Tag Archives: environmental justice

Do you miss him yet? Brad Lofton in SC

He may be gone, but he’s still up to his old tricks, and he’s using us for a reference.

Adva Saldinger wrote in The Sun News 8 May 2011, Lofton hits ground running in new post; CEO asking taxpayers for $1.6 million:

The new Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp. president and chief executive is by many accounts aggressive and personable, and he says, ready to take charge and bring much needed jobs to the area quickly.

Brad Lofton said he will bring 500 jobs in the first 18 months, and an average of 500 jobs each year over the next five to 10 years.

And a pony!

Has anybody verified the jobs Lofton claimed he brought to Lowndes County? Continue reading

Environmental Justice –Leigh Touchton @ VLCIA 15 March 2011

Chairman Jerry Jennett asked for Citizens Wishing to be Heard, and first up was Leigh Touchton, President of Valdosta-Lowndes NAACP, who presented them a letter from Dr. Robert D. Bullard, about his findings that 80% of the residents within one mile of the proposed Wiregrass Power Plant are black and 75% of biomass facilities in Georgia are sited in minority/poor communities.
“This is what is called environmental racism.”
She also said she was tired of people who are against biomass being represented as a fanatical fringe crew, primarily by Mr. Lofton, considering she stood before them representing the local NAACP, the Georgia state conference of the NAACP, “the largest organization non-profit of voters in the state of Georgia”, and the national NAACP.

Leigh Touchton, President, Valdosta-Lowndes NAACP
regular monthly meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA)
Norman Bennett, Roy Copeland, Tom Call, Mary Gooding, Jerry Jennett chairman,
J. Stephen Gupton attorney, Brad Lofton Executive Director, Allan Ricketts Program Manager,
15 March 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Perhaps I missd it because I was a few minutes late, but this was the only mention of the Wiregrass Power LLC biomass plant that I heard at this VLCIA board meeting.


“a foot in the door to bring in more toxic waste streams” –Robert D. Bullard

Robert D. Bullard writes in Dismantling Energy Apartheid in the United States,
Many “clean wood chips” burning biomass plants can easily turn to burning more contaminated fuels (which may be cheaper or even free), or get paid to take really dirty wastes like trash or tires. Public opposition to biomass facilities has driven siting that follows the “path of least resistance,” which often translates to states where environmental regulations are lax and companies are given huge tax incentives to build these kinds of incinerators, and investors count on the local residents being uninformed and apathetic. Environmental justice siting concerns often get buried in the excitement and notion of “green energy.”

Zoning laws are often legal weapons deployed in facilitating energy apartheid.

There’s more, including a writeup about the local proposed incinerator, starting:
Residents in Valdosta, Georgia are fighting to block a 40 megawatt biomass incinerator slated for construction on a 22-acre site in their community. The community is already overburdened with polluting industries and heavy truck traffic.
Read it and see.


Environmental Justice Community? –Phyllis Stallworth, First VP, NAACP

She asks about preschools, apartment complexes, etc.
I am for green energy, but I am against infant mortality. To VLCIA, City Councillors, County Commissioners, try planning with the community in mind.
A: It’s in an already-industrial area.

Video by Gretchen Quarterman of the 6 Dec 2011 VLCIA biomass event
for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

See also Phyllis Stallworth’s previous letter. See also VLCIA executive director Brad Lofton on “some opposition has crept up”.


NAACP asks EPA for review of biomass plant permit

More from the NAACP about Wiregrass Power LLC’s proposed biomass plant. -jsq
From: Leigh Touchton
Subject: NAACP Georgia State Conference asks EPA for review of Wiregrass permit
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 21:39:26 -0500
To: [numerous parties]

Apparently some people have incorrect information about the Georgia State NAACP Conference position. Please see attached.

Attached was a PDF file. Here’s an excerpt. Continue reading

Valdosta NAACP Claims Environmental Racism

Brad Lofton says “all of a sudden we haven’t heard anymore about environmental racism.” I guess he hasn’t looked at the local NAACP’s front page on the web.

Valdosta NAACP Claims Environmental Racism

The Valdosta-Lowndes branch of the NAACP unanimously passed a resolution of Environmental Racism concerning the siting of Sterling Planet’s Wiregrass Power, LLC, Biomass Incinerator, slated for construction in Valdosta, Georgia, next to the Mud Creek wastewater treatment plant. This incinerator is sited in a predominantly black community: within 2 miles of the incinerator are 2 predominantly black elementary schools, J.L. Lomax with 607 students and Southeast with 304 students, and one predominantly white elementary school, Moulton-Branch with over 500 students. The “Little Blue School” Head Start program serves over 165 children ages 3-5. There are 7 large black churches including Valdosta’s largest African-American church, New Life Ministries, pastored by Dr. Angela Manning, who has organized one Town Hall against the Biomass incinerator. Other churches include the Church at Pine Hill, Morning Star Baptist, Evangel Temple, Church of God of Prophecy, and others, with congregations numbering hundreds. In the area is Sands-Horizon assisted living facility which serves over 60 families, 2 large apartment complexes, Brittany Woods and Park Chase, as well as Valdosta’s largest and most affuent black residential community.

Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority, Brad Lofton, rejects the claim of environmental racism, and at the September 27, 2010, Valdosta Board of Education meeting called Valdosta NAACP President Touchton “irresponsible” for making the public claim. He says there are seven times more white people who live around the proposed plant. He did not address the fact that school children and church members do not show up on census forms.

The incinerator will emit 87-89 tons per year of tiny particulate

Continue reading

“some opposition that has crept up” –Brad Lofton

On 6 Jan 2011, Brad Lofton made a joke out of “some opposition that has crept up” that he claims called him an “environmental racist”. He says “we just provided the facts” and “all of a sudden we haven’t heard anymore about environmental racism.”

Lofton has been misquoting like this since September. Back then he was willing to name the chairman of the local NAACP. He doesn’t mention that Leigh Touchton responded to him back then:

I did not call the Industrial Authority an environmental racist. What I stated quite clearly was that the siting of the Biomass Incinerator in a predominantly black neighborhood constitutes environmental racism.
In her response, she went on to rebut Lofton’s alleged facts. He has never to my knowledge responded to the points Touchton raised in her rebuttal. Instead, he goes around making a joke out of the NAACP.