People voice problems with potential petroleum plans

Concerned citizens crowded into the International Trade Center to voice their opinions on current and future petroleum and oil projects in the Port City Tuesday, February 18.

Several speakers stood up to let the city’s advisory committee they aren’t happy with the potential plans.

“That’s something the citizens of that community don’t want and don’t deserve,” one citizen said.

The city’s industrial zoning advisory committee was there to get all the input possible then come up with recommendations for the city council.

Their focus was on whether the city’s zoning ordinance should limit above-ground oil or petroleum storage tanks. There are several plans to build them, specifically around the Africatown community: 30 large storage tanks on the east side of the mobile river and 30 tanks on a bayou near the delta.

“Mostly it’s coming in on rail then the goal is to bring it out by barge. The problem or the question becomes: Are we going to make any money off of it if we’re a weigh station between Canada and China? Do we want to put our community at risk? Is it environmentally sound, because tar sands are way toxic,” said Casi Callaway with Mobile Baykeeper

Local environmental groups maintain studies show a greater risk of cancer and have a small economic impact when dealing with these types of refineries.

Concerned citizens said they want information, before these oil giants set up shop.

“What’s really bothersome is the community members have no idea what’s going on in their community,” said Nashid Rushdan with Africatown Community Development. “The goal is for the committee to really gather data so I want everyone to tell us how they feel in abundance. We really need to hear from you so we can represent the city and district and make the best decision moving forward.”


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