Mobile City Council Delays Vote on Arc Terminals’ Sulfuric Acid Tank Expansion
Questions Linger over Risk Mitigation and Long-Term Plans at their Tar Sands Tank Farm
by Ramsey Sprague for MEJACoalition.org
JUNE 30, 2015 12:30pm – In a 5-2 vote, Mobile City Council approved District 2 Councilman Levon C. Manzie’s motion to delay an appeal vote on the Planning Commission’s approval of Arc Terminal’s sulfuric acid expansion at their tar sands tank farm by six weeks.
Aerial Map of Port of Mobile Petrochemical Bulk Storage Facilities in Relation to Residential Historical Districts and Downtown
Fourteen people testified strongly against the approval including President of the Church Street East Neighborhood Association Greg Vaughn who called for Arc Terminals to host a public information session about their long-term business plans, a sentiment echoed by De Tonti Square Neighborhood Association President Kelly Baker, several MEJAC speakers, and ultimately by Councilman Manzie. Continue reading
MEJAC organizers participated in the creation of a comprehensive compendium of resident concerns over expanding the petrochemical complex along the Mobile River into historic neighborhoods like Africatown. At 66 pages, its size alone sets the tone for how deeply-held Mobile-area residents’ convictions are against such quality-of-life-wrecking “development”.
The statements compiled within come in direct response to the City of Mobile’s Planning Commission Subcommittee on Above Ground Storage Tanks’ recommendations that would permit petrochemical tanks too close to homes, schools, and churches.
Medical doctors, business leaders, University professors, residents, neighborhood advocates, among many others present compelling analyses for why we must not continue expanding petrochemical facilities on the west bank of the Mobile River. Continue reading
MEJAC’s statement excised from the full “No Petrochemical Storage Tanks on Our West Bank, A Compendium of Citizen Concerns“:
Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition
Demands Equity and Inclusion
in the Municipal Planning Process
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across the nation. This will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work. In this sense, community leadership must exercise what can be described as “planning justice”.
Despite Mobile, Alabama being an apparent destination for much of the continent’s tar sands oil transport, ensuring environmental justice does not appear to be a priority. Here in our very ecologically diverse Mobile-Tensaw Delta, we are still reeling from the devastation wrought by the BP deep water drilling disaster. Yet in 2012, close on the heels of that unresolved catastrophe, we learned that there were plans to put the local drinking water reservoir in jeopardy by running an oil pipeline through its watershed. That pipeline corporation, Plains Southcap, threatened and coerced Mobile County residents out of their property with zero public participation in that planning process by using highly controversial criteria set by the Army Corp of Engineers allowing them to sidestep the Clean Water Act’s public hearing provisions. Continue reading