BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -The fight continues against a proposed concrete plant on Birmingham’s west side. Neighbors protested again Friday.
A handful of west side neighborhoods spoke with one voice saying they don’t want Sherman Industries to bring a concrete batch plant to their community. Each person wearing a mask in protest. They feel possible pollutants from the plant could be harmful to their health.
“I don’t want this pollution right down the street from my nephew. He’s six years old. What you going to do kill off all the young people," one resident asked.
The land off Fayette Avenue owned by Sherman Industries is the proposed site for the concrete plant. Residents are asking the city to rezone the area back to mixed-use. Former Central Park neighborhood president Susan Palmer says in 2011 the area was mixed use. A few years ago, she says it was changed to industrial. She and others want to know why. They feel left in the dark about it.
“Enough is enough. If Mr. Sherman industries is willing to meet with us as residents and sit down and talk to us and let us know what is going on? Who have you met with,” Palmer wonders.
The area around where the plant is being proposed is growing. Residents feel that growth could stop if the plant gets the green light.
“Someone said the other day, well it’s only 20% pollution. 20% pollution can kill you ok, if you get enough of it,” Mozella Pack, who lives in the Fairview neighborhood said. “My concern is we’re living in a neighborhood that’s growing and progressing and we need to look at this as a whole.”
"It’s not a white or black thing. It’s a wrong or right thing and this is an environmental issue and it should raise many concerns,” Adlai Trone, another Fairview resident said. "Why bring it here? We’re not going to have it either. And as Susan said, we’re not through fighting it. We’re going to fight it until the very end and if we have to, we’ll picket it once they get it down here,” Allene Carbonie, of Bellview Heights said.
The Birmingham City Council and Mayor Randall Woodfin have spoken out against this plant, citing environmental concerns. Sherman Industries says it’s been operating in the city for years and tells us it remains committed to running its facilities in a safe and environmentally responsible way.
The Jefferson County Health Department is holding a public hearing on the plant on June 6 at the Birmingham Crossplex.