MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - There is growing concern over a petroleum storage and distribution facility looking to set up shop just north of downtown Mobile.
The facility could have as many as 37 storage tanks to hold crude oil.
The project site is just a few blocks away from the Plateau and Africatown neighborhoods. Residents in the area said they do not want their way of life threatened.
“You know, you look all over the country where pipes have burst and stuff like that, and that’s always in the back of your mind,” said resident Eugene Essex.
“It will bring down the neighborhood. We will lose people – start leaving the community because of this,” said Essex’s neighbor.
American Tank and Vessel is looking to build the facility on a strip of land off Papermill Road.
The company’s initial plans are to build five storage tanks to hold 400,000 barrels of oil.
It said the site will be built to meet federal safety standards, but city planning officials still have questions.
"At this point, I think the type of product, petroleum product, they would be storing is one of the main concerns,” said Deputy Planning Direction Richard Olsen at a planning meeting earlier this month. “Also knowing that whatever they do, if it’s approved, will also be regulated by the federal government.”
“Anytime that we are going to discuss anything that might have thus type of environmental impact and the staff says they don't have enough information, this is the time for the commission to stand back, wait, and get all the information before that," said John Williams.
The company said the facility will also import and export different grades of oil and other petroleum product by rail, pipeline or truck.
The planning commission is expected to take up the issue next week.
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