Months after a fire started underground at a Moody landfill, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) continues to address shortcomings that may have put the public at risk.

A working group of lawmakers, leaders in government agencies, experts and associations is now accepting comments from the public.

The group was formed in March to assess what happened leading up to the fire and the response to the fire. The group will determine if changes in laws, regulations and resources need to be made.

“The working group will be looking at how the state can be better prepared in terms of resources, coordination and authority if a similar emergency happens in the future,” said ADEM director Lance LeFleur. “We want to hear from the public – their comments, ideas and suggestions – about what changes are needed. This email address provides an easy, simple way to communicate that to the group.”

LeFleur previously told 1819 News that the state did not have the resources to put out the fire immediately, so ADEM went through a process to get the EPA to act. The fire caused air quality issues in St. Clair County and Jefferson County, forcing some residents out of their homes.

According to ADEM records, the site has been deemed a fire hazard by ADEM agents multiple times since 2013.

Lawmakers have spoken out against ADEM, saying they want to cut funding to the agency because of the response they witnessed to the Moody landfill fire.

LeFleur is part of the working group, along with Jeff Smitherman, the director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Rick Oates, the state forester with the Alabama Forestry Commission, Rick Pate, the commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, Sonny Brasfield, the executive director of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, Greg Cochran, the executive director of the Alabama League of Municipalities, State Sen. Lance Bell (R-Pell City) and State Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville).

Comments are being accepted electronically through email at [email protected].

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