Parramore residents demand action on neighborhood pollution complaints

ORLANDO, Fla. — Some people who live in the Parramore community say their neighborhood is making them sick.

WFTV has reported how the Environmental Protection Agency will soon oversee the clean up of an old gasification plant along Robinson Street.

The residents also have concerns about air quality in the neighborhood.

Pollution has been a concern at this community of Griffin Park, in the area surrounded by the 408 and I-4 interchange.

“I’m a young man who lost everything just like that,” said Allen Lee, a Parramore resident.

Nearly three months since losing his 43-year-old wife Latoya, Allen Lee described to Channel 9’s Angela Jacobs how her asthma worsened after the couple moved to a home near the contaminated Orlando gasification plant, a known Superfund site.

“These particles in the air don’t affect everybody the same, y’all. I’m telling the truth,” he said.

Lee joined a group outside Orlando City Hall Monday asking the city for an immediate health disparities study to see how many stories match Allen’s.

“Don’t tell us we’re not affected,” said Lawanna Gelzer, a community activist. “Take our interest very seriously. That’s all we’re saying.”

City officials said it already has a plan to perform such a study as part of an 87-page, long-range comprehensive plan for the neighborhood released in 2015.

“We take the health of all our communities very seriously,” said Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Further details like cost and funding for the study are sparse. Dyer said Parramore and the city’s main initiatives there remain a priority.

“There’s a lot of aspects to this that we’ve taken a lot of action on,” he said.

The city Environmental Protection Division said from July 2016 to late June 2017, daily air quality levels in the area fell within “good” and “moderate” ranges.

But activists said it’s not the whole story, and they’re frustrated that any answers could still be years away.

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