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,
I’m just an older, working man that lives in our fair city of Valdosta. I have children and grandchildren that live, work and go to school in Lowndes County. After looking at the information available, and doing some research in my limited spare time, I’ve come to the conclusion that this proposed biomass facility that the Industrial Authority is trying to push through is a really bad idea. The pollution that will continuously pour from the plant will create cancers, heart and respiratory disease, as well as seriously aggravating chronic conditions such as asthma. Children are especially at risk, and there are two schools within a mile of the plant site, not to mention all the homes.
As a cancer survivor
Data and graph from the National Cancer Institute.
Dear Valdosta City Board of Education,
I just wanted to thank you for responding to my concerns about the proposed biomass incinerator by seeking further information. I also want to thank Dr. Brad Bergstom and Dr. Gretchen Bielmyer for coming and speaking before the board. Their expertise in the area of ecology and toxicology provided valuable information to the discussion. At the same time, I greatly appreciate that these two professors’ comments were succinct and to the point.
I am deeply disappointed that the Industrial authority chose to consume the board’s time with a 45 minute presentation that never answered the question: Is this plant safe for our students? Never did Brad Lofton or Allen Pickett come close to discussing the air pollution emissions and their effects on the health of our children. Anecdotal information from hand-picked people in Cadillac, Michigan does not convince me as to the safety of this proposed plant for my children.
Meanwhile, the American Lung Association, a group that I trust, has spoken out against biomass and its emissions in regard to children’s health:
The American Heart Association collected many specialist to look at the relationship between Particulate matter and our health and their findings are frightening:
The American Cancer Society finds that extended exposure to air pollution increases risks of cancer:
Lastly, the world Health Organization presents air quality guidelines to prevent health risks, which pertain to most of the emissions from the plant:
I am appalled at the disrespectful tone that Brad Lofton took when addressing concerned citizens of this community. I am ashamed that the Industrial Authority would be so callous as to waste the Valdosta City Board of Education’s time with an endless sales pitch.
I truly appreciate the board’s effort to become informed about the issue and hope that we can get to the bottom of the paramount question: is the proposed biomass plant safe for our students?
Karen R. Noll
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.