Fight for environmental justice
Published 8:19 am Wednesday, August 22, 2007
By By Keiana White
Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."
Proverbs 4: 7 says, " …with all thy getting, get understanding."
Atmore, please try to understand what is happening to you!!!
Since the early 1980s, minority and low-income communities have been in a consist battle with environmental INJUSTICE (The Crisis Magazine July/August 2007). With the community unaware, commercial industrial facilities, like C&S Chemicals, Inc., locate in the heart of these communities (Center of Health and Environmental Justice 2003). Since this industrial movement, Atmore has not been targeted in such a horrific way, until now. I serve notice to Atmore, "The fight for environmental justice has arrived."
Underserved people all over the country have been burdened by living in toxic and pollutant environments. Polluted air and water, toxic substances in soil, groundwater, food, workplaces, schools and homes are a result of industrial facilities, hazardous waste producers, that "set up shop" in rural, politically powerless, small, poor and/or minority communities (The Crisis Magazine July/August 2007). Woods Road is not the only place that will suffer as a result of C&S Chemicals, Inc.'s location, Atmore will suffer, too.
According to data collected by an environmental justice group, when companies, like C&S Chemicals, Inc., moves their facility into a community like Atmore, one out of five people leave the community because of industrial pollution and declining health in the community. That means that 20 percent of the population moves away solely because of industrial facilities in the community and the adverse effects on the residents (Center of Health and Environmental Justice 2003).
With thousands of jobs underway with the Casino resort, why did someone allow C&S Chemicals, Inc. into Atmore to hinder the progress that has been made?
I suppose that the biggest question is why aren't more people trying to get C&S Chemicals, Inc. out of Atmore? Do you not feel that Atmore and all of its residents are worth saving? I do.
There are not very many communities like Atmore left in this country. I believe that Atmore and all of the rural communities are worth preserving – as they are right now, untouched and untainted. A prayer vigil will be held on Aug. 25, on Woods Road across the street from the facility site clearing. If you wish to preserve Atmore and all of its rich history and tradition, please attend. We must unite together to preserve our way of life.
Keiana White is a resident of Freemanville.