Birmingham and Spartanburg leaders unite: "We can't give up, we can't quit"

Nearly 40 Birmingham officials and community members are on a two-day educational trip in Spartanburg, S.C.{}The group is learning how to move communities forward after they've undergone environmental pollution. It is scheduled to return to Birmingham Friday.Councilman William Parker organized the trip for people of the Fairmont, Harriman Park and Collegeville neighborhoods. The area was designated a "Superfund" site by the Environmental Protection Agency. Spartanburg S.C. was targeted as a similar area in the 1990's. It has since overcome many issues and is considered a model city for revitalization."We are here to learn best practices," Parker told ABC 33/40.Birmingham Councilwoman Sheila Tyson, other city employees and a representative from the Mayor's Office is also on the trip. The Birmingham group will participate in capacity-building workshops, tour EPA sites as well as a local health center and speak with Spartanburg city officials about the area's accomplishments. Parker says the ultimate goal of the trip is to come up with next steps for Birmingham.At this time, the EPA has told a few Birmingham companies to take steps to clear pollution. The agency is also embarking on cleaning up more than 50 properties in the area that still exhibit high levels of contaminants. The cleanup is scheduled to begin in February.Important Facts:Designation1990 -- Spartanburg receives Superfund designation

2013 -- Birmingham is officially deemed a Superfund site{}Population37, 401 -- Spartanburg

212,288 -- Birmingham

The two cities are similar in median household income and in poverty rate, according to U.S. Census.