Voices
January 19, 2012 Issue

LETTERS


Wadley woman points to plant’s potential dangers

Dear Editor:

I am more than surprised that we have so few people that care about our city, county and our very own lives. With the new so called industry coming to Wadley, I have noticed that there are many who may not be aware of the potential harm this is going to create, not only for me and my family, but for each one of you living in this county and even the surrounding counties. Those of you who don’t care enough to find out about the harm this is bringing to this community and surrounding counties, let me enlighten you with some known facts. I believe it is our right to clean air and water. If we stand for the so called leaders in this county to railroad us into believing this is a good thing for our community, then we have done ourselves a great injustice. There are many websites to go on to see the harmful effects this type of so called industry brings. There are many environmental agencies that fight this type of thing every day. What we don’t know can hurt us!

As noted in the Augusta Sierra Club newsletter, “If you research what is happening across America, you will find the plans for building new woody biomass plants to produce commercial electricity are requesting Federal Funding as green alternatives. The vast majority are disapproved by the local communities because of the air and water pollution that would contaminate those communities. Those few plants that are permitted receive Federal Funding and once they are built are only lasting a year or two before they file bankruptcy and their officers walk away rich! The reason they are not sustainable is the lack of woody biomass to keep up the daily incineration requirements.” The cost of the woody biomass prohibits these facilities from being cost productive. “Woody biomass incineration is just not sustainable and the only people who will get rich are the people who pay themselves generous salaries from the Federal Grant.”

 

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North Star Jefferson Renewable Energy, LLC, is planning to construct and operate a 24 MW output power generation facility in Wadley, Ga. (They have already started construction on it even without an air permit.) This plant will supposedly employ 25 (maybe) employees that could come from other areas other than Jefferson County and most probably will be from out of the area. The primary emission source at the facility will be a fluidized bed boiler (aka incinerator) depending on what they use as fuel. The boiler is supposed to be fueled by approximately 80 percent wood biomass and up to 20 percent tire-derived fuel (TDF), more commonly known as used tires. Who is going to police this? How are we going to know how many tires are being burned?

What is “tire-derived fuel” an why is it so dangerous? There is an enormous lack of knowledge about a wide range of potential dangers from tire-derived fuel which is a major concern among some reputable scientists, ecologists and public interest groups. These experts have uncovered the truth behind the propaganda—that tire incineration by an method is not safe!

1) Effects of exposure to more than one carcinogen or toxicant,

2) The toxicity of the many chemicals which pose health risks,

3) The estimates of cancer potency in humans contain many sources of uncertainty,

4) Dioxins are highly toxic and cause serious health problems, including infertility, learning disabilities, endometriosis, sexual reproductive disorders, birth defects, damage to the immune system and cancer. Dioxin is fat-soluble and once it’s released into the outside environment, it readily climbs up the food chain, causing consumers to get 95 percent of their dioxin exposure through their diet. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, the most toxic forms of dioxin are considered to the most carcinogenic (cancer causing) substances known to science. Certain metals, present in tires (such as copper, iron , manganese, nickel, sodium, aluminum, tin titanium, mercury, lead and zinc) serve as catalysts for dioxin formation. None can be destroyed by burning them, since they are elements. All are quite toxic to humans and can wreak havoc on aquatic wildlife if even a small quantity finds its way into a body of water.

Also, virtually nothing is known about the health effects caused by the combinations of toxic chemicals that are emitted when burning tires, therefore concluding, that burning waste tires is not safe. (Taken from Energy Justic.net/tires)

The special problems posed by the burning of tires in boilers, and the alarming lack of knowledge about a wide range of potential dangers that tire incineration may pose to the health and safety of our communities and the environment, make it clearly evident that tire incineration is dangerous. I am especially concerned about the amount of water being taken from our water supply to be used in cooling this boiler—500,000 gallons a day. We will certainly be without water before long. Everyone in Wadley knows what problems we already have with our water supply. This is only going to compound the problem for us, especially during a drought.

So, why isn’t more of this community upset about what our leaders are bringing to our county, using taxpayer’s money to bring them here, and giving them a tax break—no taxes for five years??!! What is this all about? Are other industries here wondering the same thing?

Please keep in mind that this is unhealthy for all the citizens, there are no benefits for anyone except the people who are involved with this facility, it will only lower our air quality through pollution, contaminate our water, our rivers and streams, and therefore present more health problems for our already over-burdened health care system.

Sincerely,

Julia Hall





Business owner feels he has been treated unfairly

Dear Editor:

As the proprietor of a longstanding business in Jefferson County, it has become increasingly difficult for me to do business here because of the actions of the judge of the Magistrate’s Court.

While I pursue any legal issues in the appropriate manner to obtain due process in accordance of the law, the judge wishes to circumvent legal procedures and act outside the law in the most threatening and demeaning ways possible.

The Magistrate judge has misused the Sheriff’s Department of Jefferson County in an illegal attempt to compel me to hand over vehicles that I have worked on and not been paid anything. He has threatened to jail me if I do not comply. This is malfeasance of the first order and should be brought to the public’s attention.

The citizens of Jefferson County cannot have their legal rights trod upon in this fashion by a rogue judge with no regard for the rule of law. The citizens of Jefferson County cannot live in fear of the power of a judge that either disregards our rights or is unaware of the laws that he is duty bound to protect.

I encourage anyone who has experienced similar violations of their rights by the Jefferson County Magistrate’s Court or any other should step forward so that all citizens be informed and protected.

Albert Young
Citizen and Business Owner


 


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