Eight Mile, Alabama facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Eight Mile
Unincorporated community
Country United States
State Alabama
County Mobile
Elevation 33 ft (10 m)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 36613
Area code(s) 251
GNIS ID 117888

Eight Mile is an unincorporated community in Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The community is named for its distance from the city of Mobile.

Geography

Eight Mile is located west of Mobile Bay and just north of the Gulf of Mexico. The elevation is 33 feet (10 m).

Demographics

The mostly African American enclave had a median income in 2014 of $35,000 which is more than $8,000 lower the state median.

Mercaptan spill (natural gas odorant)

Lightning struck a mercaptan storage tank in 2008 at a Mobile Gas Service Corp. underground natural gas pipeline at the Whistler Junction gas transfer facility within the Eight Mile community. An estimated 500 US gallons (1,900 l; 420 imp gal) of Mercaptan, the chemical odorant added to natural gas to help detect leaks, spilled into the soil and groundwater for 6 months, according to Alabama state environmental officials. It has migrated to ponds and surfaced, polluting the community's air. Beginning in 2011, residents in Eight Mile began complaining of an overwhelming mercaptan odor and health problems. They have concerns about the damage to their health from the chemical, and to property values from its persistent rotten egg smell.

Mobile Gas officials maintained that the odor had nothing to do with their operations and did not publicly mention the leak or the lightning strike until April 2012. In subsequent court documents Mobile Gas acknowledged the leak, but claimed the responsibility is with the waste cleanup firms they had hired failed to get rid of the spilled chemical. Sempra Energy acquired the Eight Mile facility several months after the accident and owned it until September 2016. Sempra Energy also owns the well that caused the massive 2015−16 Aliso Canyon gas leak in the Santa Susana Mountains and San Fernando Valley of Southern California.

Mobile Gas started operating a new water pollution remediation ozone treatment process system in 2015. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management odor patrol reports indicate that there is more mercaptan in the air now than before it started operations. An ADEM odor patroller noted in January 2016 that she had to leave the area to finish her report because the mercaptan smell was overwhelming. Mercaptan was federally reclassified as a hazardous chemical by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2016.


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