MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - American Tank and Vessel, a company that wants to build a controversial petroleum storage and distribution facility just north of downtown Mobile, withdrew its application Tuesday, September 3.
The company was set go before the Mobile Planning Commission Thursday, September 5.
That doesn't necessarily mean the proposal is dead in the water.
LOCATION AND DETAILS
The facility was proposed to be built on land at 1000 Paper Mill Road.
The proposal to the City Planning Commission was to build as many as 37 petroleum storage tanks, 10 new railroad tracks and other buildings.
Mayor Sam Jones and his staff members were concerned about exactly what type of petroleum would be stored in the facility just a few blocks away from the Plateau and Africatown neighborhoods.
Mayor Jones said, "We saw the application and looked at it last week, saw what it consisted of, and, also, didn't see what petroleum product would be stored in these tanks."
That was the key.
Jones said, "What they say is 'petroleum products.' And, I think our planning commission staff asked, 'What petroleum products?' As of right now, they haven't got a response to that."
As a result, the mayor said he sent a letter to planning commission members telling them he and staff members opposed that application.
However, Mayor Jones said, "Prior to it getting to them, I understand the application was pulled late Friday evening by American Tank."
People living in neighborhoods near the proposed facility were just finding out about the decision to withdraw the proposal.
When she heard about the latest developments, Helen Williams said, "Good. Good. We don't need that over here. We definitely don't."
Erica Craig said, "We've lived for years with chemicals out here. We don't need any more."
Some opponents also feared Canadian tar sands could be stored or distributed at the site as they came through Mobile in a pipeline.
COMPANY CAN RE-APPLY
Mobile City Council member John Williams is a member of the Mobile Planning Commission.
He said the company can re-apply.
Williams said, "I would fully expect within the area that they have defined, that we will see something come back."
He also said city officials need to proceed with caution, but that tank farms operate around the country safely.
Williams said, "It is regulated both at the federal, state and, in a sense, locally to make sure that they build according to those codes."
REACHING OUT TO AMERICAN TANK AND VESSEL
FOX10 News has reached out to officials at American Tank and Vessel to find out more about their decision.
A company representative said there was no comment Tuesday but left open that possibility in the future.
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