Residents worried about plant

Published 6:24 am Wednesday, August 15, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news reporter
Atmore residents opposed to a chemical plant in the Freemanville area voiced their concerns to Escambia County commissioners Monday.
Salter also asked the commission to consider assisting a group of concerned citizens in reaching local, state and national representatives about the situation if it should become necessary.
Alan Baker, state representative for District 66, has submitted a letter of concern to Rob Chandler, president of C&S Chemicals. In the letter, Baker expressed concerns about the project.
Alfonzo Williams, a pastor of a church in the area, also voiced his concerns about the location of the plant.
A portion of the chemicals that will be used at the facility won't cause problems but other chemicals that will be shipped into the plant could be dangerous to the community according to the Rev. Harold Askew, who spoke to commissioners Monday.
Askew said company officials have said they do not expect to have any spills of the chemicals used at the facility, but they were not able to guarantee accidents would not occur. &#8220Officials have told us that any clean up of spills would not be their responsibility,” Askew said. &#8220Any spills during transport would be the responsibility of the company hauling the material. Atmore officials have also told us they are not equipped to clean up a spill. We could have to wait for clean-up crews to come from other parts of the state or from across the country.”
Commission Chairman David Stokes explained the limitations currently being faced by the county. &#8220We don't have zoning authority over that area, but we are addressing the issues,” Stokes said. &#8220We understand the concern of residents in the area over this issue.”
In a previous interview, C&S' Chandler defended his company, stating that in its 27 years of operation only two chemical spills have occurred.