Storm Water Management Authority
The Jefferson County Storm Water Management Authority (SWMA ) was formed in 1995 to coordinate efforts by local governments to comply with the monitoring requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. It was originally constituted by 22 municipalities in Jefferson County and granted the authority to collect an assessment of $5 per residence and $15 per business from each member city to fund its operations. The chairman of the authority is Trussville mayor Gene Melton.
The activities of the SWMA have been criticized by a coalition of businesses and developers calling itself the Business Alliance for Responsible Development (BARD).
During 2007, following a rescinded proposal to increase its assessments, the cities of Bessemer, Hoover, Graysville, Fultondale, and Leeds withdrew from the authority and instituted independent monitoring. Jefferson County and the cities of Homewood, Irondale and Mountain Brook considered leaving, but determined that it was less expensive to remain with the authority.
In January 2008 environmental engineering firm Malcolm Pirnie Inc. successfully lobbied the Birmingham City Council to remove itself from the SWMA. The resultant loss of 40% of the authority's total assessments could cause the SWMA to dissolve.
- Spencer, Thomas (January 10, 2008) "Firm that gave $8,000 to Larry Langford wants role in managing storm water runoff." Birmingham News.