City of Mobile and ADEM reach consent decree

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – The City of Mobile and the Alabama Department of Environment Management (ADEM) have worked out a deal to clean up local waterways.

ADEM said the City of Mobile did not follow its own 2012 Stormwater Mangement Plan. That ultimately led ADEM to threaten the city with a half-million dollar fine. Without admitting guilt, the city agreed to pay a loss.

“ADEM is agreeing to let us lift and resolve the lawsuit provided we do the things that we talked about.” (BUTT WITH) “Provided those things are put in place, we will not be fined $475,000,” said Ricardo Woods, Mobile’s city attorney.

Instead the City of Mobile faces a new plan to help keep litter out of storm water that flows into local waterways.

“A consent decree is two parties – ADEM and the city – coming together to agree on a resolution that was a problem and without anyone admitting fault, we will resolve this issue based on the city being able to move forward with a number of steps,” said Woods.

Those steps include:

  • City will pay ADEM $135,000
  • City will purchase one or more litter boats in 2015
  • City will purchase and install a large litter trap on a Dog River tributary
  • City will follow new 2014 Storm Water Management Plan

The City was consulted by Payne Environmental – an outside company Mayor Sandy Stimpson brought in to help look at the City’s current stormwater problem.

“Trash just pours down from here. Has not slacked up a bit. You can get five or six garbage cans full of trash out of here every time it rains,” said Joe Hyland, a resident on Dog River. It’ll be great if the City fulfills their promises.”

The new plan will be brought to the City Council Tuesday morning. Mr. Woods said the plan is to have everything in place by August.

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