BALTIMORE -- CSX has sent a request to renew the operating permit for its coal terminal in Curtis Bay, which expires in 16 days.
Back in December 2021, there wasafter gas built up in that terminal. The explosion rocked the South Baltimore neighborhood of Curtis Bay and blanketed the area with black dust.
CSX officials blamed the blast on a buildup of methane gas on a conveyor belt that wasn't properly ventilated.
Ever since the explosion, neighborhood residents have been calling on the state to protect their air.
Community members say they don't want to see any more coal operations in their neighborhood that way there can never again be an explosion.
Neighborhood resident Angela Shaneyfelt said the area has not felt the same since the explosion.
"It reawakened the hazards that we live in every single day," she said.
The transportation company eventuallywith the Maryland Department of the Environment.
But neighborhood residents tell WJZ that their concerns go beyond the explosion.from CSX's coal terminal has been around for decades—long before the explosion occurred, they said.
"The impact from the coal to people's health—it's a gamut across the board," neighborhood resident David Jones said.
On Thursday night, representatives from the Maryland Department of the Environment met with Curtis Bay residents.
Maryland Secretary of the Environment Serena McIIwain said that safety remains the department's top priority.
"We're doing everything we can to make sure that this community is taken seriously and that we're monitoring air and we're monitoring any kind of environmental issue in this community," she said.
Neighborhood residents are still concerned, though. They say the permit CSX wants to renew is identical to the permit that led to the explosion in the first place.
"I'd just like them to do their job," he said of the department. "They're supposed to be protecting the environment and people who live in it—and they're not."
Department officials said they intend to hold public hearings where neighbors can share their feelings and discuss the review process.
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