Permit to Pollute?

An addition to a local cement plant may produce more mercury, which residents say is more pollution coming to their town.

Branford resident John Parrino has filed for a hearing to keep Suwannee American Cement Plant from building a second kiln.

The kiln will produce an ingredient used for the production of cement that could introduce an additional 117 pounds of mercury.

Parrino says the plant has been polluting the area for the past four years.

John Parrino says, "I don't think it's fair, I don't think it's constitutional. I don't think it's right that the people in this residence around here, which is a couple thousand people haven't got the right to decide about something as serious as this."

Attempts to speak with the Suwannee American Cement Company were unsuccessful. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is giving citizens until December 16 to file a comment on the issue.