Alabama does not support the Department of Environmental Management

Commentary

Montgomery, Alabama, department of environmental management, adem

 

One story that really caught my eye this week was an al.com article about the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s (ADEM) severe lack of funding. Some of the figures in the article that stood out:

  • In 2017, ADEM got $280,000 in funding from the state, down from about $800,000 in 2014 and 2015.
  • In Alabama, ADEM has received less than $1 million from the state’s general fund every year since 2013.
  • ADEM would have to increase its total funding by $7.9 million just to climb out of last place nationally for environmental funding.
  • ADEM has already increased the permit fees it charges to regulated industry by more than 100 percent in the last three years to deal with cuts from state budget cuts.
Neighboring States

And how do we compare to our neighbors? Here are the appropriation amounts (contributions from state governments, not counting permit fees and EPA grants) from our neighboring “state EPA’s.”

Tennessee – $24-26 million
Mississippi – $10 million
Georgia – $26 million
Florida – $286 million

Again – Alabama’s appropriation – $280,000

Lack of Funding

The total lack of funding for ADEM is going to be a big a issue, especially if EPA monies disappear and businesses say “enough” when it come to rising permit fees.

Stay tuned to this issue if you care about nature, health and Alabama’s environment.  Alabama’s lack of support toward our state environmental protection agency is unsustainable and compared to our neighbors embarrassing.

If you think this needs to change call your state senator at 334-242-7800 and state representative at 334-242-7600

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.