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City of Huntsville, AL
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Natural Resources & Environmental Management

Program Overview

The Division of Natural Resources is responsible for administering Huntsville's Air Pollution Control, Blasting Control, and Noise Control Programs. The Division coordinates City compliance with EPA storm water regulations, enforces Huntsville's Storm Water Quality Ordinance, and conducts initial investigations of possible surface water quality problems. In addition, the Division provides environmental support to City agencies, including performance of asbestos inspections, Phase I Site Assessments and facility environmental audits.

Air Pollution Control Program

In administering the APC program the Division: develops strategies and regulations to maintain compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS); enforces strategies and regulations including provisions of the Federal Clean Air Act; performs ambient air monitoring to demonstrate compliance with the NAAQS; evaluates pollution control equipment and issues permits to industrial and area sources; performs compliance inspections of sources; and ensures control of open burning and proper asbestos removal.

Air Quality Information

A 'daily air quality index', is calculated using measured pollutant concentrations and provided to the Huntsville Times, WAAY-TV, WAFF-TV, and WHNT-TV. This information is published or aired five days each week in conjunction with weather reporting. Pollen counts and identification are also provided three times each week.

An Air Quality Report for the Huntsville area has been prepared by the Division. The report summarizes ambient air quality data for major pollutants, and presents long term trends graphically. Emission estimates are also included in the report. Interested persons can obtain a copy of the report by contacting the Division. Literature on the effects of air pollution, sources of pollution, and air pollution control, is also available.


Blasting Control Program

'Huntsville's Blasting Ordinance', requires persons detonating explosives to be certified and requires a permit for blasting within the City of Huntsville. Ground Vibrations and airblast standards are enforced by the Division by reviewing site monitoring reports, performance of inspections and conducting seismographic monitoring. Blaster training and certification programs are administered by the Division.

Noise Control Program

'Huntsville's Noise Ordinance', limits the sound level of community and vehicle noise impacting area citizens. The standards of the Ordinance are based on receiving land use categories and are designed to prevent exposure to excessive noise. The Division enforces the Ordinance by conducting field measurements of community noise levels and conducting investigations of citizen complaints. Provisions of the Ordinance which address excessive noise from motor vehicles on public premises are enforced by the Huntsville Police Department.

Environmental Complaints

Citizens who observe or suspect a violation of local air pollution, blasting, or noise control regulations are encouraged to contact the Division. An environmental specialist will investigate the complaint and provide follow-up information of the results if requested.

Indoor Air

Information on indoor air pollution, sources of pollutants, and corrective action alternatives is provided to Huntsville residents by Division Personnel. Indoor air inspections are performed at the request of homeowners who are unable to determine possible sources or who have difficulty in selecting an appropriate remedy.

A coloring book entitled The Indoor Air We Breathe, is also available as an educational resource for kids. To view or print the file you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or later installed on your PC. (To obtain a free copy of the software see link below).

Storm Water Quality Control Program

Natural Resources coordinates activities by the City of Huntsville designed to ensure compliance with State and Federal storm water quality requirements for medium sized municipalities. These requirements include implementation of a comprehensive municipal storm water management program*, as well as requirements for monitoring storm water quality. In addition to assembling information gathered by other City Departments to satisfy reporting requirements, Natural Resources conducts industrial inspections and investigates discharges of pollutants to the storm sewer system. Surface water quality investigations are also performed by Natural Resources in support of the storm water quality program.  Available information on urban stream water quality and information on preventing surface water pollution is available to the public through the Division Office.  A copy of the 'Storm Water Quality Control Ordinance', and  'Fact Sheet', is also available at the Division office.

(*To view PDF files you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or later installed on your computer. Acrobat Reader is available free from Adobe's website (Adobe Acrobat Reader).

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