Source of contaminated dirt leads to potential legal battle in Birmingham

With the removal of lead-contaminated dirt from one Birmingham city park, Councilwoman Maxine Parker is now asking the city to provide legal representation for people in surrounding neighborhoods.

Parker represents the Collegeville, Harriman Park and Fairmont neighborhoods, all areas part of a federally-declared Superfund site and subjected to environmental testing.

On Tuesday's Birmingham City Council agenda, she is asking city leaders for up to $175,000 in legal representation fees. Parker, retired federal Judge U.W. Clemon and Collegeville residents discussed the contaminated dirt in Collegeville's Maclin Park as well as{}getting legal representation during a neighborhood meeting last week.

The Environmental Protection Agency found higher than normal amounts of lead in the Maclin Park infield. Consequently, city crews removed the dirt about two weeks ago.

Representatives with the EPA and Birmingham spoke with ABC 33/40 about the findings. Reporter Marissa Mitchell learned city leaders believe a third-party contractor may have put down the contaminated dirt. Mitchell also learned that city leaders are now seeking $35,000 in legal matters to investigate issues surrounding the source of the dirt.

EPA spokesperson James Pinkney says the agency will reveal all of its findings during a public hearing before January 2014.

Stay with ABC 33/40 for more on this developing story.