Proposed concrete plant in West Birmingham stirs concerns

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UPDATE: During the Birmingham City Council’s first evening meeting of 2019, the body passed a resolution opposing the relocation of a Sherman Industries concrete facility to Five Points West.

Councilor Steven Hoyt, who represents District 8 where the proposed facility would be located, has been vocally opposed to the project and encouraged residents to attend Tuesday’s meeting to have their voices be heard.

“It is my firm belief that this will further impede the quality of life for residents in District 8,” Hoyt said. “This company was asked to relocate from downtown because the potential environmental impacts. The residents in the Five Points West area need to be included in this project and deserve more transparency. So far that has not been the case…This is what I would consider to be textbook environmental racism and I won’t stand for it.”

Five Points West Neighborhood President Dora Sims spoke during Tuesday’s meeting and urged city leaders to involve residents in the process of relocating the proposed concrete facility.

“Mayor Woodfin said we will have a town hall meeting to share our concerns with Sherman Industries,” Sims said. “Our community wants a chance to share our concerns and get more details about this project. Birmingham has one of the highest air pollution rates in the country. The A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club, the CrossPlex are located right there and we’re concerned about how this would affect the air quality in our community.”

During the meeting, Mayor Randall Woodfin announced that the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) will be holding a public hearing regarding the permit application from Sherman Industries as a result of the neighborhood opposition. That JCDH public hearing will be held at the CrossPlex at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, 2019.

Woodfin confirmed the City will be setting up a meeting between Sherman Industries and residents. The date for that town hall meeting has not been set.

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Neighbors living in Birmingham’s Five Points West community are hoping to put a stop to a concrete plant moving into their neighborhood. 

Some say the new plant would cause air pollution and could impact their health. 

Sherman Industries LLC has applied for an air permit with the Jefferson County Department of Health to build a concrete plant off of Fayette Avenue, behind the Crossplex.

April Myers Williams is one of the neighbors who has requested a public hearing on the issue.

Williams says she wished she was made aware of the permit request in a more timely manner and doesn’t think a concrete plant in the heart of her neighborhood is a good idea. 

“Right here, where we shop, we play, we live and we worship and so it is of grave concern to us first that we did not receive a notice, timely and then when we received the notice it’s dated April 14th,” said Williams. 

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the concrete and cement industry is the third largest industrial sources of pollution. The EPA says the industry emits more than 500,000 tons per year of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. 

Five Points West sits in Councilor Steven Hoyt’s district.

In a letter to Mayor Randall Woodfin, Hoyt says he will not stand for the city administration’s “attempt to perpetuate this kind of environmental racism”. 

 You can see the letter below. If viewing on Mobile, click here

Dora Sims, the president of the Five Points West neighborhood association, says the proposed plant could put a damper on the area’s development. 

“Now with the Crossplex Village and the Boys and Girls Club coming, you know we are really proud about what’s coming over here in the western side and we just don’t want anything else to come that’s really going to impact it, to take away what we’ve been trying to do up here on the west side”

Vickie Moore, the Central Park Neighborhood Association president tells CBS 42, she feels the community should’ve been notified sooner. 

“I want to make sure it’s safe safely tested and I want the people to be able to say yes or no to this coming, I don’t want them to overlook us because if they overlook us with one company they’ll do with another one,” said Moore.

CBS 42 reached out to Sherman Industries, our call was not immediately returned. 

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