Two weeks ago I delivered the official NAACP letter to all City Council members (and Mayor Fretti) asking for a written response as to their position on biomass and selling reclaimed water to the Wiregrass, LLC, proposed incinerator.Continue reading
No response. Not one.
I have heard that at least two Council members refuse to do so because “it might be used against them.”
Citizens are entitled to hear where their elected officials stand on these issues. At least Councilmen Vickers, Wright, and Yost have stated publicly that they support biomass, even though black infants are already dying in Valdosta at a rate twice as high as white infants. According to Mr. Wright,
It’s really unfortunate when City Councilmen like Vickers and Wright don’t care that:Continue reading
When politicians vote for the interests of rich Atlanta investors
- The black infant mortality rate in Valdosta is twice as high for black babies as for white babies
- The asthma rate nationally for African-Americans is 3 times higher than for white Americans
- The death to asthma rate nationally for African-Americans is 5 times higher than for white Americans.
- 75% of the biomass incinerators in Georgia have been proposed for black communities, and the rest for poor white communities.
I just want you and every one at the Industrial Authority to know that my congregation and I are totally against the building of the bio mass plant. There are people in my church who suffer from asthma and COPD. This plant would only make those who already have existing breathing problems worse. We have a number of children and babies too. According to the American Lung Association this plant would be harmful to the health of healty human beings let alone those who have problems. I stand with the NAACP, the SCLC, the American Lung Association, and any other group fighting against the bio mass plant.
Taking a Stand in the Community,
Dr. Angela Manning
From: Leigh TouchtonContinue reading
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 20:04:48 -0400
Subject: Mr. Lofton once again misrepresents the facts
Cc: email@example.com, [and the VDT and some elected officials and other interested parties]
1. Mr. Lofton stated: “Despite what Mrs. Touchton stated, we’ve been in touch with the Massachusetts and Florida EPD, and in no way, shape, or form is either state banning biomass facilities. In fact, there are 15 scheduled now for New England, many in Mass, and a number in Florida. There have been discussions regarding the level of incentives (tax credits) allowed, but no moratorium. We’ll be happy to share our contacts with you.”
I would like for Mr. Lofton to share his contacts with WACE. Because previously his contacts at the Sierra Club were misrepresented by him. Sierra Club does NOT endorse Biomass Incineration, neither does any other major environmental organization in America.
I would also like Mr. Lofton to share his private email list of stakeholders with WACE, in particular the investors, because I would like to share some information with them. I expect transparency in our public officials and his refusal to address my letter to the editor of the Valdosta Daily Times in the same newspaper in which it was published does not lead me to believe that he is operating in good faith. I am very disturbed that any public official would state that they did not want to “energize a forum for misinformation” regarding published concerns in the local newspaper. Mr. Lofton has a duty to respond to all citizens’ concerns publicly. I am very disturbed that he thought he could privately email a group about my published letter to the editor and that the first I learned of it was nearly a month after he did so. And no, I still don’t wish to have a private telephone conversation with him or a private meeting with him, I’ve been reading all the public documents that have resulted from his supposed lengthy due diligence period. As I stated, the first I learned of this proposed biomass incinerator was when the EPD called for public comments. Mr. Lofton and Councilman James Wright were both invited to the June Women in the NAACP meeting and neither man showed up so I don’t really care to engage in who didn’t return whose phone calls. Additionally he could have made contact with the schools and churches in the area, or attended an SCLC or NAACP meeting but he did not. All our our meetings are open to the public, unlike his private list of stakeholders.
Here’s one internet article on the moratorium in Massachusetts.
Subject: My response to Brad Lofton, why doesn’t he want his correpondence in the Valdosta Daily Times? What is he hiding?Continue reading
From: Leigh Touchton
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 20:53:56 EDT
(Please see correspondence below mine which I am responding to: Mr. Brad Lofton’s email to his “stakeholders” which he doesn’t want to put in the newspaper )
My title is President of the Valdosta-Lowndes branch of the NAACP, I am not the Chairperson. I have a Master’s in Science in Biology from the University of Virginia, I have taught Environmental Science classes at the college level. It is incorrect and furthermore rude for you to refer to the President of the NAACP as part of the “misinformation on the street.”
I would be happy to deconstruct your arguments on the trip to Cadillac, Michigan, and how “green” Biomass Incineration can be. I invite readers to research all the Biomass incinerators around the country that have been shut down. They are banned in Massachusetts. They have been blocked in Florida. They show up in areas of the country where wealthy industrialists control the government and environmental regulations are lax. All the major environmental organizations in this country oppose them because they burn more wood that can be sustainably harvested. In the decade that is the hottest on record, in a crucial period in human history when life literally hangs in the balance over Global Climate Change, the Lowndes County Industrial Authority has decided to implement a Biomass Incinerator which spews more carbon dioxide than a coal plant.
When Wiregrass Power chose the site for their Biomass plant, they put it near one of Valdosta’s most affluent black communities. There are at least six black churches: New Life Ministries, Morning Star, Evangel Temple, Southside Church of Christ, Church of Prophecy, Church at Pine Hill. Two predominantly black elementary schools are in the area: Southeast and Moulton Branch. A large senior citizen assisted living community, Sands Horizon, is located in the affected area and serves over 60 families. Scott Park, where the Sands Horizon residents enjoy outings and the local children enjoy baseball games, is located nearby. Huge apartment complexes with several buildings, Park Chase and Brittany Woods, whose residents are primarily people of color, are located near the proposed site.Continue reading
While certain entities see no negative environmental impact of the proposed biomass plant, the information and data that I have does not indicate that incineration of wood is efficient, environmentally sound, or safe for our citizens. Yet others see this as a win-win scenario claiming a vastly different perspective on the situation; economically, environmentally and in regard to the health of our citizens. Why is that?Continue reading
Eric Cornwell of APD explains location, process flow, and specific items covered by the permit (soot, SO2, NOX, CO, VOC, HCL, etc., but not CO2). He remarks that Wiregrass Power LLC is building a small plant with a “lower emission limit in order to avoid some of the red tape” by getting a minor permit instead of a major permit. The first half hour concludes with Bob Turner, the plant manager, presenting similar material, ending with:
“No new carbon is added to the atmosphere when burning woody byproducts.”I beg to differ on that: in the time it takes trees to grow back, there is indeed new carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere. More from Dr. William Sammons on that.