How-To Guide for Commenting on Walter Coke's Permit

by | Jun 11, 2014


  • The Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency authority to issue permits known as Title V Operating Permits to sources of hazardous air pollutants.
  • The EPA gives authority to state and local agencies to review and approve permits. In Jefferson County, this includes the Jefferson County Department of Health and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
  • Title V Operating Permits are issued every five years.
  • The public is allowed to comment on permit applications when they are up for renewal. The comment period for Walter Coke’s permit expires Monday, June 16 at 4:30 p.m.
  • JCDH reviews permit applications for 30-days after the comment period.


To comment, write a letter to the agency responsible for reviewing and issuing the permit. In Jefferson County, Ala., the Jefferson County Department of Health is responsible for Title V Operating Permits for facilities like Walter Coke. Here are some tips on what to include in your letter:

  • Include your contact information.
  • Include where you live and/or work and its proximity to the plant.
  • Explain how your health and/or quality of life are affected by pollution from the facility in question.
  • Detail any pollution events you have witnessed or been affected by, such as a large plume or odor from the plant.
  • Mention how your health is being affected by air pollution odor (e.g., changes in appetite, sleep difficulty, breathing difficulty, nausea, etc.).
  • Say what you mean. Do you want to permit online blackjack com to be modified to reduce pollution or improve monitoring? Do you want the permit to be denied? Say so.
  • Comments on Walter Coke€™s permit are due Monday, June 16, meaning they must be received by JCDH by 4:30 p.m.
  • You may deliver your comments via mail €” we recommend mailing by Friday, June 13 €” or in person at the health department (address below). Email comments are not permitted.
  • Click here to download a sample letter.

To comment on a permit in Jefferson County, letters should be sent to:
Corey Masuca
Jefferson County Department of Health
P.O. Box 2648
Birmingham, AL 35202.


  • Air pollution is a health risk. Exposure increases the risk of cancer, lung disease, heart disease, asthma attacks, emphysema, and COPD.
  • The Birmingham metro is home to some of the dirtiest air in the nation, according to the American Lung Association.
  • The 2005 National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment shows that the cancer risk from air toxics in Jefferson County is higher than the average cancer risk in Alabama and the United States. Jefferson County has the highest cancer risk from air toxics in Alabama.
  • The census tract where Walter Coke is located has a cancer risk from air toxics that is 171% higher than the Alabama average and 81% higher than the Jefferson County average.
  • Pollution is preventable. Reducing pollution can save lives, reduce healthcare costs and improve our quality of life.
  • Technology exists to reduce pollution and monitor emissions effectively.
About The GASP Team
Gasp is a nonprofit health advocacy organization based in Birmingham, Ala. Our mission is to reduce air pollution, to educate the public on the health risks associated with dirty air, and to encourage community leaders to serve as role models for clean air and clean energy production.
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