Some Birmingham residents hold strategy meeting on Thursday evening


[lin_video src=×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1369969081&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4078805&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1369969081 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Concerned citizens in North Birmingham say they want someone to pay to relocate them away from toxic contamination.

A group called PANIC, People Against Neighborhood Industrial Contamination met at St. Paul’s Baptist Church with families to begin a petition drive.

The President of PANIC, Charles Powell says, “If relocation comes it’s going to be the value of your house.  If you’ve got a 40 thousand dollar house thinking you’re going to get 100 thousand dollars, that out.  We’re asking for fair market value.”

Many of those who attended the meeting are located within the Superfund boundaries the Federal Environmental Protection Agency slated to be tested for toxins.

Many residents are getting their EPA soil testing results back with high levels of arsenic and lead levels.

Families learned at the meeting that a groundwater plume with Benzene contamination has left the Walter Coke facility and has traveled under F.L. Shuttlesworth Dr.

Powell made a point at the meeting to argue that Walter Coke is not the only industry they believe is responsible for contamination.

Many companies have come and gone in the communities and are being considered as potentially responsible parties.

Not everyone in the community wants to be relocated.  Some say they just want their yards cleaned up.

Members of PANIC pointed out that they plan to demand stricter regulations when large industry in the area begin the process of renewing their air permits.

Powell says after decades of pollution pouring down on their communities, all they ask for now is a fair conversation.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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