GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) – Residents in Goose Creek are very concerned about alumina dust that has been floating across portions of the city from the nearby Century Aluminum plant.
An informational town hall meeting will take place Monday night where residents can ask questions and learn about ways the plant is working to mitigate the problem.
Representatives from Century Aluminum and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will be on hand to explain the situation.
Century Aluminum believes an “unusual failure” in the plant’s baghouse is to blame. Apparently, alumina was allowed to escape into the air.
Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib said he understands this happened on four occasions for at least an hour or more each time.
DHEC told News 2 earlier this week that the alumina dust is not considered a hazardous substance.
“The particle size of the dust being seen in the community is large and therefore too big to enter human lungs; however, it can still irritate your skin, eyes, and nose, and can be a respiratory irritant after prolonged exposure,” health officials said.
Now, residents will get to hear directly from Century and DHEC.
“I felt like it was really important for our citizens and citizens around the City of Goose Creek to hear from the actual players — the people involved in the process — a little bit more than hearing from me. It’s one thing for me to tell folks what DHEC says or what Century Aluminum says. I believe, pretty strongly, those groups need to be able to come and speak and were happy to do so,” said Mayor Habib. “I don’t want anybody to think that I had to coerce them or anything.”
Monday night’s meeting will take place at Goose Creek City Hall beginning at 6:00 p.m.