EPA to begin pollution testing in North Birmingham

Thursday night, people in North Birmingham met with the Environmental Protection Agency - asking for relief from nearby industrial plants. "We're living in a nightmare," Isaac Peterson, who lives in North Birmingham said. "I was born {}here in 1956 and the pollution is so bad you can't open your windows and if you open yourwindows, there is a plume of dust and pollution all over your house." "I started noticing the pollution about 1968," Beathene Beatty, who lives in North Birmingham said. "It started getting bad. really bad." Beathene Beatty lives on a street - {}full of long time North Birmingham residents, who tell us, the pollution is eating away at almost everything they own."It's like a grit, like sandpaper and even when you walk in your house it's like it clings to you," Peterson said.And getting rid of the powdery mess is a daily {}routine."You can't keep anything clean on the inside. By the time you dust, it's back," Beatty said."We just painted this porch at the beginning of the Summer," Lamar Coleman, who lives in North Birmingham said. "That's less than 2 1/2 months. It was pure white. Within a couple months, you can see the dew and mist and dust and stuff coming off that plant."But aside from it's unsightly tracks around town, it's their health that's cause for concern.

"Me and my wife and children, health wise. I worry about that all the time," Coleman said.The EPA is looking for volunteers to be a part of the study. They're sampling the powder that neighbors say travels from the nearby plants - and testing to find out what it is.

"They're soil samples in their yards and what we're looking for are constituents, contaminantsthat may have come from the industry in the area so that we can try to figure out where they came from," Jeff Crowley, EPA On Scene Coordinator said.Volunteer households will be selected in November, then members of the EPA plan to go door to door - asking to take samples. The EPA told us, they expect to have results by December or January.