Letters to the Editor

Stop Polluting Madison County

What does it take to be heard? I have been asking this question since last year, when Georgia Renewable Power began operations.

I began in a respectful manner, pleading with local officials to make it stop. The noise and the pollution was, and still is, unbearable. Being spoken down to, admonished and ignored was the response I received. As individuals, I like most of our county leadership. They seem to be nice folks. So why do my requests fall on deaf ears? I want to know my air and water are safe. I want to be able to go outside and enjoy peace and solitude. Why is that such an outrageous demand?

I can only assume it’s because of money. With that in mind, money can’t buy what GRP, National Salvage and the response of our local leadership has taken from me. Air and water quality cannot be bought, but the assurance that I am not being poisoned can. Trust has been broken, but it could be earned back. Talk is cheap, action proves the spirit.

The only reason that I have one ounce of hope is because of the action of Rep. Alan Powell. He came to one meeting, heard our concerns, and the very next day began writing a bill (HB 857) and bringing in Rep. Tom McCall and Sen. John Wilkinson to help us with our problem. This is the type of representation we should have, not the endless begging, pleading and protesting we have had to engage in to get attention. 

We have received the opposite treatment from one of our own citizens, Sen. Frank Ginn. He brags about that fabulous water tank, yet it will never serve my home or offer fire protection as he says. It appears that he is not in the least bit concerned about our health and well-being, and adamantly defends a major source of pollution in our midst. 

I publicly demand that the Madison County Board of Commissioners and Industrial Development Authority invest in the community that surrounds GRP. I demand regular well testing for the toxins they put into the ground with their runoff and accidents. I demand air testing for volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and all the other listed chemicals they emit. This testing should be performed within a one-mile radius, the area that is suffering the most. I demand the BOC reverse the amendment to the noise ordinance and require GRP/Veolia to install silencers on all equipment that steals our sleep and wrecks our peaceful community during the day. I demand that National Salvage be forced to cease operations until they can control their fugitive dust.

In conclusion, I want to remind everyone that for the last year, my community has endured water, land, air and noise pollution. GRP, National Salvage and Veolia are not our friends; they are a nuisance that is destroying our county.

Biomass is not green energy. It is not even cost-effective energy. If we allow this to continue, our state will become the dumping ground for the nation. And Madison County will pay the ultimate price.

Gina Ward