This morning, GASP Outreach Director Kirsten Bryant sent a letter to the Jefferson County Department of Health regarding the public hearing for Drummond Co.’s Title V operating permit. Bryant asked that “the time and venue for the public hearing be changed to provide a more meaningful opportunity for residents to engage in this important process.”

This weekend, we learned that JCDH had granted our request for a public hearing on Drummond’s permit for ABC Coke in Tarrant, an important step to help residents gain more knowledge about the permit and a chance to chime in.

That hearing is currently scheduled for April 14 at 1 p.m. at JCDH. Unfortunately, this time is during the middle of the standard work day, and many residents in Tarrant and northern Birmingham cannot afford to take time off work to attend such a meeting.

In addition to time constraints, Bryant points out that many in the most affected areas may not be able to get there even if they are available. “The hearing should be held in a community north of Birmingham to minimize the transportation limitations faced by a majority of impacted residents.”

Evidence shows that ABC Coke is likely the worst polluter in Jefferson County, contaminating our air with toxic pollutants dangerous to our health. JCDH may also hold an informational meeting about the permit prior to the public hearing, which will be a learning opportunity and a chance to ask questions about the pollution problem plaguing Jefferson County.

GASP is currently working on comments challenging Drummond’s permit, as well as setting up a hotline to hear concerns and engage residents.

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