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The irony of Glynn County being selected by the White House as the location of June 2004 G8 Summit to "...showcase the complementary benefits of environmental stewardship and a strong economy"

The selection of Glynn County as the location for the G-8 Summit will be an excellent opportunity for the world to see the difference in how environmental issues have been handled in this Country.  Glynn County is home to the richest of the rich, and the poorest of the poor. While the wealthy retire on the islands, regulatory malfeasance has left those in Brunswick with 4 federal Superfund Sites in addition to 18 state toxic sites.  It is the circumventing of environmental laws, that continue to this day, that has allowed it to happen.

          Unhealthful levels of toxic air releases - including chemicals that are central nervous system toxicants - continue next to two elementary schools with average first grade IQs of 87 and 89 because the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) continues to use creative loopholes to allow unregulated toxic air releases.

          The pesticide Toxaphene was manufactured in our community by Hercules Inc. and millions of pounds were released into neighborhoods, school yards, and our estuary; contaminating our seafood.  Rather than cleanup and protect the poor and minority neighborhoods where this happened, the EPA, Georgia EPD, and Hercules changed the analytical method to hide this poison in our community.   Over the years, large amounts of the pesticide have been released in the air, surface water, ground water and soil throughout Brunswick.  Instead of cleaning up this contamination, the polluters and government regulators sought to redefine what contamination was.

          We are currently engaged in a battle to have the Arco neighborhood next to the LCP Chemicals Superfund Site tested.  Even though the EPA promised to test the neighborhood and determine if there were health risks, it has been the EPA that has fought the hardest to keep this information from our community.  Meanwhile, banks are redlining the area, which has stifled redevelopment efforts.

          The EPA has already given Brunswick an “Environmental Justice Community” designation due to the shameful history of dumping toxic wastes in and on our community.   It appears that Brunswick will continue bearing the brunt of corporate and government injustices. While the leaders of the world’s richest countries will congregate in the pristine environment of St. Simons and Sea Island, some of Glynn County’s citizens are living on a contaminated mainland.  Indeed, the Governor is so ashamed of this area, that his statement refers to the summit location as “the Savannah area,”—a city more than 80 miles away—without any mention of the City of Brunswick.  Perhaps the President and the Governor—both of whom will most likely be flown, along with all the other attendees, directly to the Island—are worried about what the rest of the world might think if they realized the conditions existing just across the causeway.

          The Glynn Environmental Coalition has extensive documentation about these and other injustices that are being perpetrated upon those that live in Brunswick.  We invite you to contact us so the story behind the G-8 Summit location can be told.

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