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Deadline for Comments on BP Settlement, NAACP Uniontown Press Conference

Deepwater Horizon

Time is running out if you want to speak out about the settlement from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Residents have until the end of the day today to express their concerns over the deal between BP, the Gulf States and the federal government. The goal of the settlement is a dollar for dollar restoration of the damage done by the spill.

Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden says all accounts will be taken into full consideration.

“Every single one of those comments that we receive in writing or orally, ultimately we present to the court. Ultimately, we take every single one; we evaluate those carefully, we work with the states, we work with the federal trustees; we decide if there’s anything there that would cause us to change the consent decree, and that happens sometimes.”

The proposed consent decree sets the maximum funds available through the federal RESTORE Act, which was passed to manage the payment of damages. Of the total settlement amount of nearly $19 billion, about $4.5 billion will be distributed through the RESTORE Act.

The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP is holding a press conference at Pitts Cemetery in Uniontown this afternoon. Uniontown residents are concerned that they haven’t been able to find their ancestors' burial plots.

According to Uniontown residents, Arrowhead Landfill has widened a road in the area, encroaching on the cemetery. Now, Uniontown residents can’t find certain graveyard plots.

Ben Eaton, a member of the advocacy organization Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health & Justice, says not only is the landfill company using heavy equipment to travel near the cemetery area, but there are also reports of toxic material leaking into a nearby creek.

The Arrowhead Landfill in Uniontown stores millions of tons of toxic coal ash from the 2008 TVA spill in Kingston, Tenn. and from other sources across the country.

#2 Alabama is getting ready for the SEC Championship game tomorrow against #18 Florida.

However, many reports out this week say Crimson Tide Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart is set to become the new head coach at the University of Georgia next year.

Coach Nick Saban says Smart has played an integral role on his team for the past seven years.

“I think his competitive character certainly rubs off on the players in terms of his spirit, enthusiasm, attention to detail. All of these things contribute to how we’ve been able to play defensively. So he’s done a really, really good job not just this year, but for a lot of years.”

Smart’s defense has been consistently ranked high in his seven years at Alabama. The Tide defense is currently second in all of the FBS in total defense.

Kickoff for the SEC Championship is set for 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Georgia Dome on CBS.

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