Thursday, January 18, 2007

Letter to the Editor

November 27, 2006

Hi again neighbors:

I am hoping this will be published in the Citizen this week - we shall see!!!


Begin forwarded message:

From: Constance Biemiller <>
Date: November 27, 2006 8:25:45 AM EST
Subject: Letter to the Editor

 Two of the most visible regulatory agencies in the post 9/11 era that have been charged with an even higher duty to protect it's citizens from terrorist events are the Environmental "Protection" Division and the Environmental "Protection" Agency.  There has been much talk and investigation into the fact that a terrorist organization would try to use facilities under the EPD's/EPA's care to implement a terrorist attack by poisoning our water or our air.

The reality is this protection is not taking place!!  We have all just watched this being played out in Fayette and South Fulton Counties - the truth is that there is no oversight of these facilities once they are permitted by the EPD or EPA.  They are never routinely physically investigated for compliance nor are they required to turn in annual reports with regard to their operations.  When an issue does arise -  like the Philip Services Corportation incident where thousands of people have been poisoned by toxic threat agents released from this plant (yes thousands merely due to the fact that air moves and carries the chemical warfare agent) - the EPD/EPA then get involved.  However, they only provide limited involvement because they have not been trained as to how to test for chemical warfare agents.  Due to their lack of knowledge and implementation of appropriate testing, they can easily give the "all clear" signal and issue a fine to the company and go their way.

I for one have learned a great deal over the past 6 months.  It is my understanding that the Georgia EPD has never permanently shut down a plant for excessive violations - they just issue fines -  such as the one that they negotiated with PSC without involving the citizens.  The EPD was mandated years ago to begin involving citizens in any consent order negotiations however they refuse to carry out this mandate.  We as a community must wake-up to the fact that we are not safe and we must begin to demand that the government that we pay "truly protect us".  Our money deserves much more than lip service let alone our lives.  Fayette and Fulton Counties have set forth resolutions for PSC to be shut down - I always thought that once our government spoke that it's instructions were carried out but now I have found out that our local governments have no power at all because the plant is still open.  Let us all beware - the citizen is not the priority but it is given to the corporation no matter how heinous the crime.   I ask again how much longer?  When will this nightmare be over?  Is it really going to take the literal death of a community before we make changes to truly protect our citizens?

I was  "blinded but now I see" therefore I cannot stop until the "crooked path is made straight"!

Constance Thomas Biemiller, Chairman
South Fulton and Fayette Community Task Force

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