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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Law

Proposed Alabama Bill Seeks to Protect Polluters of Alabama Rivers


Environmental watchdogs are using drones to trace toxic spills and other pollution back to their sources. A bill before the Alabama Legislature would make that illegal. (Photo courtesy of the Southern Environmental Law Center.)


DRONES AND POLLUTION IN ALABAMA

To hide the pollution flowing into Alabama rivers caused by their clients, lobbyists for the coal and petroleum industries are pushing a bill (SB45) that would criminalize public interest groups from using drones to monitor pollution. While the bill is ostensibly targeted at “terrorists,” the timing of the bill suggests otherwise.

Environmental watchdogs are using drones to trace toxic spills and other pollution back to their sources. A bill before the Alabama Legislature would make that illegal. (Photo courtesy of the Southern Environmental Law Center.)


THOUGHTS

Drones have been recently used to track pollution from coal and petroleum facilities into Alabama waterways. Under the proposed bill, using a drone even over public lands that may have oil or gas pipelines specifically in order to document pollution would be a misdemeanor. If the bill was truly aimed at terrorists, why is the crime only punishable as a misdemeanor? Additionally, this bill is unnecessary because there are numerous other state and federal laws that would criminalize terrorists from using drones.


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