More than 100 companies are permitted by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to dump industrial discharges into the Cahaba River watershed. These industrial discharges release multiple contaminants into the river, including toxic metals. Studies of the Cahaba conclude that the upper portion of the river is stressed by a large number of other pollutants. 1, 3, 6, 14, 19-22
There is a continuing need to identify the point source outfalls of these discharges and to review ADEM files for permit violations and to monitor those discharges that consistently violate the parameters of their permits. Cahaba Riverkeeper monitors permit expiration dates and those permits that are up for comments to suggest stricter designation and rulings on the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).