Citizens living on Hollinger's Island are already concerned about current operations at Millard Maritime. Concerns include the facilities storage of up to 40,000 tons of fertilizer on the site and the potential for the fertilizer to impact nearby air and water quality.
While there are concerns from community members about the current activities the facility also plans to expand their operations. Mobile Baykeeper has submitted comments on behalf of our board, officers, staff and more than 4,500 members regarding two separate permits for the expansions proposed by Millard Maritime.
Proposal 1) Millard plans to construct a salt dryer requiring an air permit (Synthetic Minor Operating Permit) from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).
- Our comments on this proposed permit mostly regarded the monitoring and reporting of emissions in order to strengthen the ability to prevent pollution.
- We also requested that ADEM require facilities to have a particulate matter (pm) monitor to collect important data on air pollution from their facilities.
If you would like to submit comments on the proposed project to ADEM you can do so by writing a letter to Ronald W. Gore at ADEM (information below) by 4/22/17. A full copy Mobile Baykeeper's comment letter is contained at the bottom of this post for your convenience.
Ronald W. Gore, Chief
PO Box 301463
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-1463
Or Email: email@example.com
Proposal 2) The second activity proposed by the applicant was to fill 0.12 acre of wetland for additional storage through approval from the Corps.
Wetlands are vitally important. They filter stormwater and protect against erosion and flooding. Wetlands within urban and industrial areas are particularly needed; they slow down and filter surface-water runoff from these activities and improve nearby water quality.
Our comments include:
- The facility has already filled a total of 10.12 acres of wetland to benefit the facility operations. In the permit to fill the 10.12 acres of wetlands, Millard said they would NOT fill the wetlands they now plan to fill.
- If this new permit is approved, it will set an extremely dangerous precedent.
Applicants in the future may say they will avoid certain wetlands (required by the Corps) but then in subsequent applications ask to fill those same wetlands that were intended for avoidance.
- The construction of the Theodore Industrial Canal resulted in a loss of hundreds of acres of the wetlands serving the Deer River Watershed. Despite this large development, there has not been a significant environmental study since it was built, leaving many of the long-term impacts largely unknown.
- This remaining wetland area provides important stormwater drainage that if filled, would become piped directly into waters and increase the possibility of stormwater pollution.
- Wetlands, even those that have already been impacted by industrial development, are a valuable and finite resource. It is our belief that filling wetlands in the Theodore Industrial Canal where the impacts are unstudied and few wetlands remain is irresponsible.
- It continues to be the position of Mobile Baykeeper that all mitigation should be performed or purchased in the impacted area (i.e. in the same 8 digit HUC catalogue unit or 12 digit HUC sub watershed) so as to provide the least negative impact to hydrology and water quality within the area.
We encourage you to submit comments on the proposed projects so that the Corps and ADEM can understand the community’s thoughts and concerns. If you would like to submit written comments, make sure that they reference the project code SAM-2017-00250-LET (otherwise they will be lost) and do so by 4/23/17. Please feel free to use the information above to construct your own written letter or you can refer to Mobile Baykeeper’s official comment letters below.
USACE Mobile District, Regulatory Division
Attn: Ms. Leslie E. Turney
P.O. Box 2288
Mobile, AL 36628-0001
Or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have any questions or comments regarding this issue? Please contact Program Director, Cade Kistler at (251)-433-4229 or email@example.com