North Birmingham Pilot Community Air Toxics Initiative
The North Birmingham Pilot Community Air Toxics Initiative (BPAT) is a comprehensive effort to address air quality concerns in North Birmingham communities and is part of the North Birmingham Environmental Collaboration Project. The BPAT was initiated in June 2011 as an extension of the national School Air Toxics Initiative (SAT) which focused on assessing the outdoor air near various schools. Three schools in the North Birmingham area were included in the initial SAT study. Data collected in the SAT suggested a need for further air sampling in order to better assess long-term pollutant concentrations in the air near the schools and in neighboring communities. The BPAT was developed primarily to address the concerns of limited air monitoring data but has been expanded to include education and outreach to increase community awareness of various air quality issues. The BPAT includes:
- a one year air toxics monitoring and risk assessment study;
- outreach initiatives and educational workshops on radon, mold, energy efficiency, asthma management, and lead exposure; and
- a community engagement plan for increasing both awareness of environmental issues and participation of citizens in addressing environmental concerns.
On August 1, 2011, staff from the Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 (EPA) and the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) hosted a community meeting at the Hudson K-8 Elementary School in North Birmingham. The purpose of the meeting was to share information on the results of air monitoring conducted in North Birmingham as a part of the 2005-2006 Birmingham Air Toxics Study (BAT) and the SAT. An overview of the BPAT Initiative was also presented. EPA and JCDH staff addressed many questions on air quality concerns throughout the meeting, and additional questions were submitted via index cards which will be posted here in the near future.
Additional information may also be obtained by contacting Earl Bozeman at EPA Region 4 (404-562-8545) and Corey Masuca at JCDH (205-930-1595).