Alarming Facts Found about the Africatown Asphalt Plant, Hosea O Weaver & Sons, Inc.

MEJAC has some major and alarming news to share about the Hosea O Weaver & Son Inc (HO Weaver) dry mix asphalt distribution facility on the south end of the Africatown Planning Area, immediately next door to residential homes along Chin Street who reside within the Africatown Historic District. This facility is just a block away from the proposed multi-million dollar Africatown Welcome Center.

We have found evidence that in addition recent violations and fines, HO Weaver hasn’t been operating under the proper federal air pollution permit since its construction in the late 1990s, potentially putting nearby residents at serious health risk.

To understand how truly awful the impacts this facility has had on the community, it’s been to start back from when construction began on the facility – without local planning permission.


HO Weaver has been a priority source of concern to MEJAC since we began our work in 2013. Residents along Chin Street have been fighting the source and have been living with its extreme, disturbing, and unjust health and quality of life impacts since the late-1990s.

June 3, 1999 Mobile Register article entitled "Asphalt plant seeks belated approval"

June 3, 1999, the Mobile Register reports on HOW.

June 4, 1999 Mobile Register article titled "Asphalt plant owner must plant green-belt buffer zone".

June 4, 1999, the Mobile Register continues reporting on HOW.

Some more recent concerns with HOW came to light in February 2022 via a WKRG report entitled “‘Help us, we need help’: Africatown neighbors and advocates begging for relief from ‘environmental racism’.

Just months after that report, we were able to help residents pressure Vulcan Materials, which has an easement across the HOW facility, to pave its dirt road easement, resulting in dramatically less fugitive dust emissions from their facility’s heavy duty truck traffic.

Additionally, last fall Mobile City Councilor William Carroll championed the procurement of a lab calibrated Sound Level Monitor to measure potential noise ordinance violations along Chin Street, particularly during stints of overnight construction projects utilizing the HO Weaver Africatown facility. Since the monitor’s deployment, all overnight activity at both the HO Weaver and Vulcan facilities has ceased giving nearby residents restful sleep they had been denied for far too long.

MEJAC salutes the efforts of residents and stakeholders to continue standing up and telling their painful stories through the years, often with very little support. Without their commitment to challenge the powers that decided that HO Weaver belonged in Africatown in its current configuration, the Africatown community would be in much worse shape than it already is.

Never stop telling your stories.


In October and November 2021, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) received complaints about odors and dust coming from the HO Weaver Africatown asphalt facility and responded with a Particulate Matter (PM) air quality test at the facility in June 2022, which found PM levels at the maximum allowable limit under federal law.

PM is a major pollutant that affects not only the respiratory system but can also impact the heart, the brain, and other vital organs, because PM is so small and can pass from the air into the blood and event across the blood/brain barrier. Strong links between PM exposure and overall stroke risk and stroke fatality risk have been repeatedly found around the world including by domestic research institutions like the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association.

A proposed Consent Order between ADEM and HOW was announced on May 10, 2023 ( In it, the findings of fact from the June 2022 inspections and subsequent dialogue between how ADEM and HOW should deal with ADEM’s concerns are documented and can be read here (


Based on our longstanding relationships with Chin Street residents and Africatown stakeholders and their well documented concerns about HO Weaver’s Africatown asphalt plant, MEJAC and our partner air quality organization GASP (Birmingham) reviewed the proposed Consent Order with the intention of providing Public Comment to which ADEM is required to respond. We submitted our Public Comment on Friday, June 9. It can be read here as a 15+mb PDF file: 23.06.09 – MEJAC & GASP Hosea O Weaver & Sons Consent Order Public Comment.

The Table of Contents of our Public Comment provides a very succinct overview of the many major and deeply disturbing issues we found both with the proposed Consent Order but also with HO Weaver’s original operating permit, granted in 1998. Of significant note is that since HO Weaver receives federal funding via its government contract work, it is subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and the facility’s ongoing noncompliance issues have implications for HO Weaver’s government contracts:

  • I. Commenters express gratitude to ADEM for inspection of the Source and assessment of the initial penalty. p5
  • II. ADEM ‒ a recipient of federal funds and subject to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ‒ must take into consideration that this Source is surrounded by the community of Africatown. p5
  • III. ADEM’s proposed Consent Order and accompanying statutory assessment are insufficient and must be revised. p6
  • IV. The Source is operating without required air permits and its existing permit is insufficient. p12
  • V. ADEM must include additional violations in the Consent Order. p17
  • VI. ADEM must complete its inspection activities at this Source and obtain evidence of irreparable harm to human health and the environment due to these and other violations. p17
  • VII. Additional corrective measures are necessary to make sure the Source is in continuous compliance, including fenceline monitoring. p20
  • VIII. Additional measures are needed to assess and control odors, VOCs and hazardous air pollutants. p21
  • IX. In addition to an increase in the penalty, Commenters strongly urge ADEM to include a SEP in the Consent Order, which contains specific provisions to protect the overburdened environmental justice community. p23
  • X. ADEM must include additional violations in the Consent Order. p24
  • XI. Until all pollutants from this Source are controlled and fenceline monitoring is in place, Commenters request that the Source curtail operations at this location. p25
  • Conclusion p25

Effectively, we are seeking remedy for all our agencies’ concerns as well as much more support from both ADEM and HO Weaver in terms of direct community engagement and investment around the air pollution impacts upon historic Africatown from the HO Weaver Africatown asphalt facility.

To be clear, we are demanding that the Africatown HO Weaver facility be closed until it has properly earned an appropriate air permit reflective of contemporary air quality standards and best practices, which as of right now is indeterminable without exhaustive joint inspection by ADEM and EPA in our opinion. After two and half decades of having to live next door to a facility with dehumanizing and debilitating impacts that has operated without a proper air permit in accordance with federal law, the residents of Chin Street deserve no less.

ADEM has reached out directly since our Public Comment was submitted and is interested in continuing a dialogue about our concerns. While this may be an attempt to have us relent or soften our position, this is the first time that ADEM has directly sought input from us before issuing a final finding (Permit, Consent Order, etc), so we welcome this development.

We will continue to work with directly impacted residents along Chin Street to ensure their interests are communicated clearly and are defended appropriately.


MEJAC will have much, much more to say about HO Weaver very soon. Until then, please feel free to read through the MEJAC & GASP Public Comment on the proposed Consent Order between ADEM and HO Weaver.

Feel free to share this post widely.

Thank you for your ongoing support for Environmental Justice efforts in Africatown and Mobile.

3 thoughts on “Alarming Facts Found about the Africatown Asphalt Plant, Hosea O Weaver & Sons, Inc.

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