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Brunswick, Georgia 31521
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Air 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 permit. 

   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.

 
     

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