BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Last Month, GASP filed a request to the Jefferson County Department of Health for a public hearing regarding Drummond Company’s Title V operating permit for ABC Coke in Tarrant. JCDH granted that request and has scheduled the hearing for Monday, April 14 at 1 p.m. in Conference Room A at their central location (1400 6th Ave. S., Birmingham, AL 35233).
The hearing comes two weeks after a packed, widely covered informational meeting at Tarrrant Intermediate School about the permitting process. That meeting, hosted by JCDH, left many residents in attendance frustrated that they weren’t permitted to ask questions about the ABC Coke’s permit and pollution prevention efforts.
ABC Coke is the worst polluting plant in Jefferson County, which has some of the dirtiest air in the nation. Emissions from the facility contains toxic air pollutants such as benzene, arsenic, and others that are dangerous to human health.
Air pollution is harmful to human health, including: lung cancer, asthma, COPD, heart disease, child development, and more. The World Health Organization estimates that 7 million premature deaths are linked to air pollution annually.
In 2013, the EPA named Drummond Co. a “potentially responsible party” (PRP) for toxic contamination in Collegeville, Fairmont, and Harriman Park, also known as the EPA 35th Avenue Superfund Site.
The comment deadline is Friday, April 18. GASP is encouraging anyone who can demonstrate that their health or personal economy have been affected by the pollution from ABC Coke to make comments at the public hearing and to formally file written complaints with JCDH. GASP also set up a helpline — 205-701-GASP (4277) — to assist people with filing complaints with JCDH.
Michael joined GASP in 2013 as communications specialist. He has lived in Birmingham since 2008, and is an active member of the Birmingham community. He’s a passionate advocate for health equity, civil rights and equality. He is currently serving as executive director. Email Michael