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Screenshot of the April 2, 2018 air quality forecast. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Do you know if today’s air quality in Birmingham is poor or good? We’ve got the answer.

As of April 1st, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s (ADEM) and Jefferson County Department of Health’s (JCDH) Joint Air Quality Forecasting programs for ozone and particulate matter air pollution has resumed.

Birmingham has a long history of air pollution issues. In the 1960s, our air was so polluted truckers driving into the metro area called Birmingham “Smoke City” because of the haze that hovered over the region from pollutants.

Birmingham Alabama
“The United States Steel Corporation, Jefferson County’s largest employer, has two plants in operation, one in Fairfield and the other in Ensley. A chimney pours out the characteristic red-orange smoke of the steel plants. Much of the smoke becomes trapped in the valley in which Birmingham is situated.” – June 1972

We have made great strides reducing air pollution over the past 20 years primarily because of civic and educational programs from groups such as the Alabama Partners for Clean Air.

The ADEM/JCDH daily forecasts (here is the website) is a useful tool for folks who have health issues that occur as a result of “bad air” days and for citizens that want to take actions and voluntarily reduce their impact on the environment.

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Signup today at EnviroFlash to receive air quality information such as forecasts and alert day notifications via email or text message for the area around Birmingham, AL. EnviroFlash gives you instant information that you can customize for your own needs. For example the up-to-date air quality information is especially helpful for those with sensitivities, such as children, people with lung (such as asthma) and heart ailments, and the elderly.

Get your daily Ozone and particulate matter air pollution forecasts HERE.

Other helpful websites:

ADEM’s Air Quality website
Alabama Partners for Clean Air

Also: Read Bham Now’s special series on Clean Air published in 2017.

“Smoke City” – Birmingham air pollution our past and future

Birmingham air pollution looks different today – but lives are still “at risk

Author: Pat Byington

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.