Permit Requested for Second Asphalt Plant on Whitlock Street
The Georgia EPD has announced a second asphalt plant has requested an
air permit for Whitlock Street, Brunswick. If approved, this would put two
asphalt plants ~1/2 mile from Brunswick High School and Jane Macon Middle
School. Locating a second asphalt plant next to our schools would be
another significant setback to our efforts to provide a healthy learning
environment for our children.
The Glynn County Commission objected to the first asphalt plant air permit
in 2003 because, "The proximity of this plant to established residential
neighborhoods and schools intensifies our concerns about monitored and
unmonitored toxic emissions from this plant, including formaldehyde,
benzene, and other chemicals and dust which could be injurious to the health
of the surrounding residents and children attending schools in the area.”
Numerous residents, parents, and businesses also objected to the air
Brunswick is 60% minority, 28% live below the poverty level, and the EPA has
listed Brunswick as an Environmental Justice community under Executive Order
12898 - Environmental Justice. Under the order, air permitting should not
cause, "... disproportionately high and adverse human health or
environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority
populations and low-income populations.” In other words, polluting
industries can't all be located in minority and low income areas.
Permitting a second asphalt plant in a minority and low income neighborhood
would result in a disproportionately high impact, and therefore be in
violation of the Executive Order. The second asphalt plant would be located
next to the currently permitted asphalt plant.
Business, particularly auto dealerships, objected to the last asphalt plant
because they are notoriously dusty. Glynn County Community Development
Department visited several asphalt plants in 2004 and noted in their report
that blowing dust was a problem. The report also identified excessively
loud noise as likely for any asphalt plants located on Whitlock Street.
Rail car shakers used to get stone out have been a chronic problem with
asphalt plants located near residential areas.
Impact to economy in the Rt. 341 "High Tech" corridor from pollution and
truck traffic should not be underestimated. Efforts to revitalize the Rt.
341 area could be dealt a significant blow if polluting industries
discourage desirable commerce or investment into the area.
The GEC has requested a public hearing and an extension of the public
comment period. Our community should unite once again in an effort to
protect our children's learning environment, stop the injustice of
disproportionately locating polluting industries in minority and low income
areas, and protect our community's economic future.