Construction company closes plant site, neighbors still want more done

birmingham plant neighborhood concerns

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Amid neighbor complaints about pollution, a longtime Birmingham construction company is suspending operations at one of its plant sites.

Dunn Construction told us Wednesday that the plant located off Jefferson Ave. in the Hillman neighborhood would close at the end of June 2019.

The plant site had been operating for three to four years, according to Commissioner Sheila Tyson.

Tyson joined forces with neighbors to address their concerns about a fine black dust covering nearly everything in the plane’s vicinity.

“It’s terrible. and we have worked so hard," said neighbor Tommie Ware.

Ware has lived in her home, steps away from the plant, for nearly 50 years.

"All this black. This is where it's settled down here,” said Ware. "See it's all up on the side of the house. The roof just makes me sick."

Ware and several neighbors held a press conference at Ware’s home Wednesday afternoon.

The once-tan roof is now black. The white vases on Wares porch are nearly covered in the spot-like substance.

Amid neighbor complaints about pollution, a longtime Birmingham construction company is suspending operations at one of its plant sites.
Amid neighbor complaints about pollution, a longtime Birmingham construction company is suspending operations at one of its plant sites. (Source: Brittany Dionne)

Neighbors complained the fine black dust would get inside their homes and cover cars.

Head of the Jefferson County Department of Health, Dr. Mark Wilson, said although the particles are an eyesore it's what's unseen that causes health problems.

“The finer particulate matter, which is invisible to the naked eye is what we’re mainly concerned about that can cause heart problems, lung disease,” said Wilson.

Amid neighbor complaints about pollution, a longtime Birmingham construction company is suspending operations at one of its plant sites.
Amid neighbor complaints about pollution, a longtime Birmingham construction company is suspending operations at one of its plant sites.

Commissioner Tyson gathered signatures and made calls to Dunn Construction demanding action.

“They received our letters. They received the petitions. They understood. And, they will be moving,” said Tyson.

According to Dunn Construction president, Craig Fleming, the company perform regular testing and the plant has always been in compliance with local health parameters. However, due to other reasons, in which Fleming did not reveal, the plant site will close on June 30th.

Amid neighbor complaints about pollution, a longtime Birmingham construction company is suspending operations at one of its plant sites.
Amid neighbor complaints about pollution, a longtime Birmingham construction company is suspending operations at one of its plant sites. (Source: Brittany Dionne)

"This is my home. All of our hard work, doing without to try to make things comfortable and ending up like this, this is not right," said Ware.

Neighbors are happy the site is closing but Ware said she wants her home returned to its previous condition.

“When it closes this mess is still going to be here, so they need to clean this up to. I think I have gotten the worst part of all," said Ware.

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