Rules weren’t made to be broken

On Tuesday, Jan. 5, five Mobile City Council members voted to allow a coal-handling facility near downtown. I moved to Mobile 16 months ago and knew enough to apply to the city for a permit to plant a sapling in my yard.

Cooper Marine & Timberlands stated on record that they did not know it would be necessary to apply for a permit to bring one million tons of hazardous coal into our port and have it stored illegally within a mile of downtown, which they have done since 2010. CMT applied for permits at the federal and state level and stopped short of getting a permit at the local level.

Most of you are aware that almost anything you do on your property requires a permit from the city. So, I would like to ask you to decide what the council’s motives may have been to allow this facility so close to downtown.

Despite the pleas from residents, these same council members denied a recommendation to explore the use of pollution-control devices currently available to suppress the coal dust and keep it from blowing into nearby neighborhoods. I would like to thank Bess Rich and Levon Manzie for supporting this appeal to deny the permit for this facility and for looking out for the health and welfare of the citizens of Mobile, which they took an oath to protect.

Tim Lloyd