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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tell Your Alabama Legislature To Find New Revenue To Protect Clean Water!

Clean water protection in Alabama is severely at risk. After years of "kicking the can down the road," the budget situation in Alabama is in dire straits. An “austerity budget” that was created to show how bad things in Alabama would get if the Legislature could not find new revenue to fund the state government is now moving forward as a very real possibility. If passed, this budget would gut many of the agencies and programs that we rely on to protect Alabama’s natural environment and our public health and safety. 

 Under these cuts: 

  • Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) would get $0 from the General Fund and would actually have to send the state $9.5 Million from the water permit program. 
  • ADEM will no longer be able to conduct fish testing to determine if the fish are safe to eat. 
  • ADEM will not be able to conduct inspections and take enforcement action against polluters.
  • ADEM will likely lose its authority to issue discharge permits. 
  • Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will be forced to close up to 15 of Alabama’s State Parks and let go hundreds of workers across the state. 
The Black Warrior River ©Elena White
Alabama is one of the most biologically diverse states in the United States, and for certain animals and plants, in the world. According to the Encylopedia of Alabama, the state not only "supports 77,000 miles of rivers and streams, but also harbors 64 types of terrestrial ecosystems, including 25 forests and woodlands, 11 wetlands, and 7 glades and prairies."

Clean water and public lands should not be victims of "political brinksmanship."  
Please contact your State Legislators and tell them that it is time to act in the citizens of Alabama's interests and find new revenue, and reject the “Austerity Budget.” 

You can find you legislators’ information here: http://capwiz.com/state-al/home/ 

For more information or to report back on a conversation with a legislator please contact Mitch Reid at mreid@alabamarivers.org or visit www.alabamarivers.org

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Elena White is the founder and editor of  Life The Green Way, clean water advocate, and a "rurban" wife and mother.  Learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter at @Lifethegreenway.

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