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Locations of Gas Plants and Other Coal-tar Sites in the U.S.

THE STATE OF ALABAMA

Introduction

In terms of industrial financial capital, Alabama was poor at the beginning of the Civil War and emerged devastated. English money was available during the war and was relied on up to the First World War. Northerners with money began to show up to live and work in Birmingham in the 1890s and gas and hydroelectric competed for the dollars. Floods early destroyed many of the electric plants and the gas works flourished locally, on Alabama’s plentiful bituminous coal until the 1929 arrival of natural gas from the salt domes of Louisiana.

Coal was king in Alabama and its resource sisters, iron and limestone, lead to a thriving pig iron and iron foundry industry centered around Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.  Again, this industry never became steel-grade due to shortfalls in investment finances, northward migration of blacks to automobile factories of Detroit (beginning in 1922) and the Great Depression.

The author currently knows of 91 FMGPs and other coal-tar sites in the State, including mill-site gas producers, coke works and by-products plants. One of the nation’s last functional coke works is that of “ABC” (Alabama ByProducts Company; In 1996, a subsidiary of Drummond Coal Co.), of Birmingham, a 1918 Federal Government byproduct coke works built to supply toluene. All in all, Alabama is one of the few States, if not the only State in which the coal-tar environmental threats of coke and by-product plants exceeds that of its former manufactured gas plants.

Click the blue "EPA" link below to view the
Alabama map of the EPA 1985 Radian FMGP Report.

Click the green "Hatheway" link below to view the
Alabama map of Professor Hatheway's research.


 

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