Aug. 4, 2012
Join the crowd. Here’s our take:

There is a proposal (already approved by Planning) coming before the city commission to change the zoning on this property from “residential use” (to which it was changed for the failed, elite, high-rise residential project known as “Belharbour”) back to “industrial use” to accommodate the property’s new owners: Savannah, GA-based Seagate Handling, Inc. If approved, Seagate has promised 16 new jobs to the area.

Aerial Proximity View

A reader sent us this map that he created to show the proximity of South Norfolk locations to the proposed Seagate Handling, Inc. storage area. Click to view.

What is the proximity of South Norfolk residents to this property? Click the map and see!

What is “Seagate?”
Seagate Handling, Inc.’s “About Us” web page lists three businesses

on the right side: Dulany Industries, Seagate Handling, and Savannah Bulk Terminal.

At the bottom of that page are links to Dulany, Southern States Chemical, Seagate Handling and Savannah Bulk Terminal’s web site pages.

Reading further, the page says that Dulaney Industries is the parent company of Southern States Chemical, “the largest supplier of sulfuric acid on the east coast, our facilities are serving customers 24 hours a day.”

With a Southern States Chemical plant in Savannah and Wilmington, NC, a container storage location in Chesapeake, VA would likely enhance their sulfuric acid distribution operations.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess what Seagate Handling intends to store at the former-Belharbour property, at the foot South Norfolk’s newest and greatest claim to fame, her long awaited jewel: the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge.

So, okay… what can sulfuric acid do to people and our environment?

According to, a site dedicated to international environmental issues (thus explaining why they spell “sulfur” as “sulphur” and other English conventions):

Sulphuric acid is a corrosive acid used as a chemical reagent in laboratories and it has both uses and effects. A brief note of how it effects the health and environment is being explained below.

What is sulfuric acid?

It is a colorless, odourless acid known by different names such as battery acid, hydrogen sulphate. Its chemical formula is H2SO4. It is soluble in water and thus it liberates a lot of heat.It is very harmful acid and explodes when comes in contact with any chemical.

Uses of sulphuric acid:

  • Phosphate fertilizer production.
  • Used in the manufacture of explosives, batteries, acids, and dyes
  • Used as a laboratory reagent.

Effects of sulphuric acid

Healh effects:

  • When inhaled, it damages mucous membrane and upper respiratory tract. Irritations and difficulty in the breathing are the symptoms leading to swelling of lung.
  • If ingested accidentally, it causes burns of the mouth,throat,stomach. Leads to circulatory shock followed by death.
  • When the acid comes in contact with skin, it causes irritation and burns. The burns can develop scars, resulting to circulatory shock and death.
  • On eye contact, it causes blurred vision, burns and finally blindness.
  • The long term exposure to the vapours cause erosion of teeth.
  • It is carcinogenic i.e causes cancers when exposed frequently.
  • It damages the enzyme systems of animals.

Environmental effects:

  • Sulphuric acid when present in air reacts with the chemicals present and forms salts.These salts when come in contact with fog,rain,snow result in wet depositions known to be acid rains.
  • It is very destructive and causes burns to plants,animals,birds when exposed.
  • It is toxic to the aquatic life and lowers the pH levels.
  • When deposited on soil,the chemical leaches into the groundwater thus effecting water purity.
  • It causes photochemical smog which contributes to the decay of limestone buildings & bridges

For images too gruesome to publish, google “sulferic acid burns” and check out the photos. Or, [YUCK ALERT! NOT FOR THE SQUEEMISH!] CLICK HERE for sulfuric acid burn images from Google.

Folks who want to fight the zoning change are urged by the South Norfolk Civic League and other opponents to contact city commissioners by phone, fax, and email. Links to their pages with all their contact info, is below. A recent email from Tammi Amick, president of the South Norfolk Civic league urges everyone to be diligent in making their wishes known:

Please! Let’s be vigilant in our plan to use this Belharbour property for revitalization of South Norfolk, and Chesapeake. We MUST not just think that it’s a foregone conclusion that it’s a done deal. We MUST convince and ‘RESELL’ this vision to these new councilmembers. WE MUST let them know that we care enough about the future of our community to stand up and speak our position over and over again. You know Seagate is there letting them know THEIR position again and again. WE MUST be as diligent. PLEASE do NOT get discouraged in this. WE MUST EMAIL, CALL, WRITE, or even STOP and SPEAK to your councilmembers when you see them and LET THEM KNOW WE DO NOT ACCEPT the proposed change in the zoning there. WE HAVE TO stand together in this –the more that stand, the bigger voice we have. Please do NOT get discouraged. Hang in there — be strong South Norfolk!