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Thursday, 10 February 2011


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Leigh Touchton

Dear Mr. Quarterman:

Thank you for posting this article. I gave it to the City Council and reiterated Dr. Bullard's research:

1. 80% of the residents within one mile of the proposed Wiregrass Power Plant are black. Dr. Bullard is the nation's premier expert on this subject. He, unlike the RDC, uses GIS and the latest census demographics to research this issue. His findings are in stark contrast to what the VLCIA Executive Director Brad Lofton has been promoting. Dr. Bullard is Director of the Environmental Justice Dept at Clark Atlanta University.

2. 75% of biomass facilities in Georgia are sited in minority/poor communities.

This is what is called environmental racism.

Contrary to what Mr. Lofton, Executive Director at VLCIA, has been saying publicly, the Valdosta NAACP has never backed down from our position about this. Environmental racism is real, the Wiregrass Biomass plant siting clearly constitutes environmental racism, and the mission statement of the NAACP is to fight against environmental racism. We have kept our position prominently displayed on our website: www.valdostanaacp.com

There are two City Councilmen who shouldn't have to be told this important concept: James Wright and Sonny Vickers. Unfortunately, both men have publicly supported the building of the Wiregrass Power LLC incinerator.

I hope readers in Wright's and Vickers' districts will contact their councilmen and demand that they step up and protect the health of the citizens of the Southside community, and NOT sell graywater to the Biomass incinerator. If Valdosta City Council refuses to sell graywater to the Wiregrass Power LLC plant, the plant will probably not get built because it will have to seek permits to pull 800,000 gallons per day from the underground aquifer. This amount of water will cause shallow wells to run dry.

I urge city residents in Wright's and Vickers' districts to contact their councilman and demand that they vote to protect citizens' health rather than further the interests of wealthy Atlanta investors.

Leigh Touchton, President
Valdosta-Lowndes NAACP

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