BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Aug. 25, 2014) — Gasp, a non-profit health advocacy organization, filed a petition Tuesday with the Jefferson County Board of Health requesting a hearing on ABC Cokes Operating Permit. That permit was issued by the Jefferson County Department of Health, which is overseen by the Board of Health, on Aug. 11. ABC Coke is owned by Drummond Company.
Gasp recently filed extensive comments on the ABC Coke permit, which was up for renewal this year. The company, located in Tarrant, Ala., is one of five named potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for toxic contamination in the 35th Avenue Superfund Site in northern Birmingham neighborhoods, per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In addition to requesting the proceeding with the Board of Health, Gasp on Monday filed a formal request with the EPA for additional air monitoring in the neighborhoods of Fairmont, Collegeville, Harriman Park, North Birmingham and Tarrant.
The suffering in north Birmingham communities is an environmental injustice, the letter from Gasp Outreach Director Kirsten Bryant says. Additional monitoring is required to reverse the disproportionate burden of air pollution in these communities. On a larger scale, Birmingham has some of the dirtiest air in the nation. Addressing these facilities will improve the air quality for the entire region.