Environmental Department

The Environmental Department’s mission is to protect and assist in the enhancement of the city’s natural resources and ecological health through the utilization of environmental stewardship, education and outreach, municipal leadership, environmental code enforcement, vector control, effective communication, and collaboration with all citizens.

The department accomplishes this mission through a variety of methods including code enforcement related to environmental or public nuisance ordinances. The Department collaborates with other departments within the City for ordinance updates related to development and environmental issues. State and federal permits held by the city are managed by the department as well as the review and inspection of construction site permits for environmental compliance. Coordinating with federal, state and local entities for regional environmental concerns allow us the ability to provide public education and outreach on environmental issues specific to our area. The health of our citizens and environmental is paramount to the City; therefore water quality monitoring and vector control management are key to our department’s operations.

Contact:
251-923-4267

Location / Mailing Address
23030 Wolf Bay Drive
Foley, AL 36535

Contact:
(251)923-4267

For Overgrown Grass and Weeds:
Krystal Bodiford
grahamcreek@cityoffoley.org

For public nuisance and construction nuisance:
Angie Eckman
aeckman@cityoffoley.org

For building nuisance:
Leslie Gahagan
lgahagan@cityoffoley.org

The Environmental Department addresses valid complaints related to the following:

Overgrown Grass and Weeds: defined as developed properties where grass and weeds are overgrown and of a wingy, seedy and downy nature; OR cleared properties over 5 acres where a 50 feet buffer from adjacent properties must be maintained

Public Nuisance: defined as a nuisance that damages all persons who come within the sphere of its operation though it may vary its effects on individuals; including but not limited to accumulation of garbage, litter, debris, blight or deterioration; conditions that constitute fire hazard; conditions that cause insect or rodent infestation; unmaintained pools, spas or other manmade water features that harbor insects or become stagnant

Building Nuisance: defined as unsafe, unsanitary and dilapidated buildings and structures that constitute a public nuisance contributing to blight, disease and crime in neighborhoods

Construction Nuisance: defined as dust, turbid runoff, sediment tracking, litter and concrete wastewater that leaves a construction site and enters adjacent properties, roadways or other public areas

Complaint Form: Please complete the complaint form and email to one of the contacts.

Contact:
Leslie Gahagan
lgahagan@cityoffoley.org

Angie Eckman
aeckman@cityoffoley.org
(251)923-4267

The Environmental Department provides the following permits: 

Erosion and Sediment Control Permit – permit for environmental compliance for less than ½ acre of land disturbance

Environmental Ordinance 

Erosion & Sediment Control Permit Application

Erosion & Sediment Control Permit Checklist

Environmental Permit – permit for environmental compliance for ½ acre and greater of land disturbance

Environmental Ordinance

Environmental Permit Application

Environmental Permit Checklist

Heritage Tree Removal Permit – permit for removal of heritage trees (trees over 30” DBH)

Heritage Tree Preservation Ordinance

Heritage Tree Removal Permit Application 

Riparian Permit – permit for construction of structures in and adjacent to waters (ie. docks, piers, boathouses, bulkheads)

Shoreline Construction Ordinance

Riparian Permit Application

FAQ:

What is the difference in Erosion and Sediment Control Permit and Environmental Permit?

Erosion and Sediment Control Permit is for construction under ½ acre including single family homes, additions, and small commercial sites. The Environmental Permit is for developments ½ acre and greater.

How long does it take to get a permit?

The Environmental Department will typically process a completed permit application within three business days. 

What happens if there is violations?

If an inspection reveals violations of the ordinance, an email is sent to all contacts on the permit application. Corrections must be completed to regain compliance within 48 hours of the notice. Continued violations may receive a “Stop Work Order” or civil citation until compliance is achieved.

What is a heritage tree?

A heritage tree is any tree that is over 30 inches in diameter at breast height. Pecan trees, palm trees and invasive exotic trees are excluded from the requirement.

What is a riparian permit?

A riparian permit is for the construction of structures in and adjacent to waters such as docks, piers, boathouses, bulkheads, retaining walls, etc. The permit verifies that the construction has minimal impacts to the natural resources as outlined in state and federal permitting.

Vector Control’s top priority is the safety and security of the citizenry of Foley. Public education, biological control, surveillance, larvicide operations and chemical spraying of adults are the operations performed to minimize mosquitoes.  The City will place larvicide briquettes in public drainage areas as needed. Chemical spraying will be conducted in public areas when mosquitoes are present and weather conditions allow. The City follows all State regulations for chemical application.

Contact:
David Childress, III
dchildress@cityoffoley.org
(251)284-0192

FAQ:

  • How often does the City spray for mosquitoes?
    • Typically the City of Foley sprays public right of ways once a week within the City limits of populated areas.
  • Why did the City not spray by my house this week?
    • If weather conditions are not right due to rain, wind over ten (10) miles per hour, and/or temperatures below sixty (60) degrees, the City is unable to spray. Spraying of pesticides can only occur when all of the following weather conditions are met: 1) no forecast or occurrence of rain 2) winds below ten (10) miles per hour 3) temperatures above sixty (60) degrees. In addition, the City takes steps to reduce spraying if mosquito populations drop through documented trappings or lack of rain. Also the City may be unable to spray weekly due to equipment issues or limited support staff.
  • Are there areas that the City will not spray or reasons why the City did spray a certain way?
    • The EPA and ADEM have established regulations that provide guidance for spraying operations that the City is mandated to follow. It is prohibited to spray in or around bodies of flowing water. In addition, the City does not spray private property or perform stationary spraying

Contact:
Leslie Gahagan
lagahagan@cityoffoley.org 

Angie Eckman
aeckman@cityoffoley.org

(251)923-4267

Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater runoff is generated when water from rain or other precipitation flows over land or impervious surfaces (such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops) and does not seep into the ground. As this runoff flows, it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment, and other pollutants that could harm water quality if it is discharged untreated into our local water bodies.

Stormwater Management (MS4)

Under the 1987 Clean Water Act Amendments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed new stormwater regulations to address storm water that might impact water quality. These new regulations were set up in a two phase National Polluted Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting approach based upon population and are enforced by the U.S. EPA, delegated to most states. The expression Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) was given to the permittees. Phase I, issued in 1990, dealt with MS4s serving an urban population greater than 100,000 people and in Alabama. Phase II, issued in 1999, requires regulated small MS4s in urbanized areas, as well as small MS4s outside the urbanized areas that are designated by the permitting authority, to obtain NPDES permit coverage for their stormwater discharges. In Alabama, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) enforces the NPDES MS4 permitting program. 

Stormwater Management Control Measures

The intent of the Phase II regulations is to reduce the adverse impacts to water quality and aquatic habitat by the development of a stormwater management program, instituting the use of controls and measurable goals for the following stormwater related Minimum Control Measures:

  • Public Education and Public Involvement: The City is required to implement and evaluate a public education and public involvement program that distributes educational materials to the community or conducts equivalent outreach activities about the impacts polluted discharges on water bodies and the steps that the public can take to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff to the maximum extent practical. Ongoing activities for public involvement may include state and federal collaboration, advisory councils, watershed associations, committees, stewardship programs and other environmental related activities. Public workshops and youth environmental programs are provided through Graham Creek Nature Preserve. Check out Graham Creek Nature Preserve’s website or Facebook page for more information.
  • Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination Program: The City is required to develop, implement, enforce, and evaluate a program to detect and eliminate illicit discharges and improper disposal, including spills not under the purview of another responding authority, into the City’s regulated MS4 area, to the maximum extent practicable. If you wish to report an illicit discharge please contact (251)923-4267 or lgahagan@cityoffoley.org. 
  • Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control: The Construction Site Stormwater Runoff Control requires the development, implementation, and enforcement of a program to reduce, to the maximum extent practicable, pollutants in any stormwater runoff to the MS4 from construction activities that result in a total land disturbance of greater than or equal to 1 acre and activities that disturb less than 1 acre but are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that would disturb 1 acre or more. For more information, please refer to the PERMITS tab.
  • Post Construction Stormwater Management in New Development and Redevelopment: The Post-Construction Stormwater Management goal is to minimize water quality impacts from new development and re-development sites by ensuring the implementation of proper Best Management Practices and their long term maintenance.
  • Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations: The City is required to develop and implement a program for pollution prevention and good housekeeping for its municipal operations. It also requires the development and implementation of an employee training program designed to prevent and reduce stormwater pollutants, to the maximum extent practicable, in areas such as parks maintenance, fleet and building maintenance, new construction and land disturbances, stormwater system maintenance, and all other applicable municipal operations. The City maintains permits for transportation facilities, underground fuel storage tanks, pesticide applications, scrap tire disposal and capital projects. Operations conducted to achieve this requirement include street sweeping, recycling, cooking oil recycling, drainage maintenance operations; litter trap implementation and monitoring and capital projects to achieve improved water quality.
  • Water Quality Monitoring: The City monitors water quality through routine monthly sampling for basic chemistry parameters as well as bacteriological for certain sites. Alabama Water Watch protocol is followed to obtain trend lines to provide observations of potential issues. For more information please visit http://www.alabamawaterwatch.org/.  

The following Foley area locations are monitored: 

    • Unnamed Tributary of Bon Secour River at Hwy 59 (South of Co. Rd. 12)
    • Bon Secour River at Co. Rd. 12
    • Turkey Branch at Co. Rd. 65
    • Bon Secour River at Co. Rd. 26
    • Wolf Creek at Poplar St.
    • Wolf Creek at Doc McDuffie Rd.
    • Graham Creek at Graham Creek Preserve (+ Bacteria)
    • Wolf Creek at Wolf Creek Park (+ Bacteria)