HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The new Jemison High School is slated to open its doors in August 2016, but some are concerned about the student’s safety with its proximity to a rock quarry.
The group “Concerned Citizens of Huntsville” worries that this proximity could be a danger to the health of the future students.
It is asking for the city to pay for a third party health risk assessment to be done.
“There is no way that you can convince a citizen that it is healthy over there in that environment and to allow students to go to a school so close to that rock quarry,” said Patricia King to the Huntsville City Council.
Mayor Tommy Battle understands the parents’ fears and he is doing everything he can to put their minds at ease.
“It is a valid concern,” said Mayor Battle. “We’ve had two meetings with them. We’ve sat down with them. We’ve had our environmental scientist in there and he assures them that the data that they’re looking at does not show any concern for that site air quality-wise.”
Daniel Shea, the city’s Director of the Department of Natural Resources, says the particulate matter in that area is well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard.
Shea also notes that the city has an air quality monitoring system at a fire station next door to the site for the future school.
Mayor Battle says the air there is tested every six days.
“The past 20 years’ data has shown that we have done the job that we need to, that we do not have a problem in that site or in any other site in Huntsville,” said Mayor Battle.
Still, councilman Will Culver says the council wants to do what it can to make sure there are no questions left to be answered.
“The mayor, he’s going to make the request to the school board for any data that they may have as it relates to that and what we probably need to do is compare our information and see if there are any stones left un-turned,” said Culver. “While I personally think it’s probably going to be okay and everything’s going to work out well, it’s just better to be safe than sorry.”