Monday, May 22, 2017

Lung Cancer Concern: "NO" to waste processing and fugitive dust at the Celery Fields

Honorable Commissioners and Planning Director:

My name is Jami Caseber. I live in Lake Sarasota. I am past Director of Citizens Opposing a Polluted Environment (COPE) and I was the Mayor’s appointee and past Chair of the Berkeley Community Advisory Commission (CEAC). I am here representing myself as well as Palmer East Group.

Palmer East Group contends the proposed TST project 17-01 and Special Exception 1765 should not be approved by the Planning Commission because the project is inconsistent with Goals, Objectives and Policies of Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan (1)

Negative impacts to air quality from the project are a matter of serious concern.

In the operation of this facility there will be three or more sources of ambient air pollution (e.g. fugitive dust) : crushed concrete dust (silica), soot from diesel exhaust and wood dust. We contend that, with 35-ft. or higher piles of crushed concrete (see section “a” Special Exception), in normal to high winds, no amount of spraying will prevent significant amounts of fugitive dust from entering the environment.

Considering the normal wind patterns blowing from west to east, impacted populations from fugitive dust include:
  • hundreds of Sarasota citizens who recreate and bird watch at Celery Fields each week;
  • walkers, hikers, joggers and bikers who use Palmer Blvd.; 
  • Tatum Ridge Elementary School; 
  • Meadow Walk homeowners; 
  • Big Cat Habitat; and 
  • bird and wildlife populations centered in and around Celery Fields. (Comp Plan Env. Goal 3.2 and others listed below). (2)
Concrete Dust (silica), Diesel Exhaust (soot) and Wood Dust all have certain characteristics in common. Each contains fine inhalable particles (PM2.5) and breathing each can cause lung cancer. (3), (4).

In conclusion, any heavy industrial use, especially the one being proposed, is inconsistent with the Environmental Objectives. Goals and Policies enumerated in the Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan. Because of many negative environmental impacts, it is self evident that the proposed use is totally incompatible with the long time and current use of nearby Celery Fields as a popular recreation center, wildlife habitat and bird sanctuary. (see Comp Plan Environmental Objective 1.1) (5).

For the above reasons, we respectfully urge the Commission to VOTE NO on any recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) for any changes in zoning that would accommodate heavy industrial uses especially the one currently under consideration.

Jami Caseber, Environmental Information Coordinator - Palmer East Group
  • Former Director - Citizens Opposing a Polluted Environment (COPE) 
  • Former Chair of the Berkeley Community Advisory Commission (CEAC)
  • Recipient of Clean Air Champions Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District for Work on Air Pollution
  • Co-author, Berkeley Hazardous Waste Importation Regulation Act
  • Organizer of campaign that halted the siting of hazardous waste incinerators in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Recipient, Special Award from the American Lung Association for work on Air Pollution
  • Certificate of Distinguished Contribution to the City and its Citizens, Berkeley, CA

1. Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan, Future Land Use Goal 2: "Maintain distinct land use categories that promote health, safety and welfare and minimize negative impacts posed by hazards, nuisances, incompatibility, and environmental degradation (p V1-226) to ensure compatibility with surrounding neighborhoods” including 'environmental systems and protection of habitats.'"
2. Comp Plan Environmental Goal 3 - "Meet or exceed applicable local, state and federal standards for air and water quality" (p V1-72)
3. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) World Health Organization Monographs 1997 Table 2.2 (p 370)
4.  IARC Monographs 1995 (pp 414,415)
5. Comp Plan Environmental Objective 1.1 - Identify, manage, and protect ecological communities and native habitats (p V1-61)

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