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Gibbs Joins Local Citizens in Protest
of Hercules Pollution



Photo by Daniel Parshley                   

Fifteen people gathered outside of the Hercules Plant in Brunswick Saturday morning to call for an end to "foot-dragging" and immediate clean-up of the 39 toxic sites on its property. Holding signs saying "Save Our Children" and "Clean Air 4 Kids", they were joined by Lois Gibbs, a nationally known environmental activist who became famous for getting her Love Canal, NY, neighborhood relocated from a chemical dump site.  Ms. Gibbs, founder and Executive Director of the national Center For Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ), stated, “Our communities and our children deserve better treatment than continuing to be human guinea pigs for chemical experimentation.  The data is in.  We know this stuff harms and kills.  There is no excuse for any company not to clean up whatever chemical messes it has created.” She encouraged local people to organize politically to get the Plant cleaned up.  "Put pressure on your elected officials to do what they are supposed to do," she said.

   In 1987 the Georgia Environmental Protection Division ordered Hercules to investigate the extent of its toxic problems as a first step toward assessing the risk to human health and the environment – a necessary precursor to developing plans for cleanup or containment of those risks.  After 18 years, Hercules has not yet completed this investigation.  See the article "Hercules -- A Bad Neighbor?" in the Nov-Dec 2005 issue of the GEC newsletter or by clicking the above link.

   “Other companies have cleaned up when called upon to do so, but Hercules is simply foot-dragging,” stated GEC Project Manager Daniel Parshley.  “They know that if they stall forever on the first step, they’ll never have to do any cleaning up.  Meanwhile, their mess stays in the middle of our community. The health of our children is more important then Hercules' profit."

   That “mess” includes residue from the manufacture of the pesticide toxaphene.  Although manufacture of toxaphene ended in 1980, Hercules has still not cleaned up.  Toxaphene residue is suspected to be a source of continuing releases into Terry and Dupree Creeks, one of Glynn County’s four Superfund sites.  Another Superfund Site, the 009 landfill site along Spur 25, is also a toxaphene site created by Hercules.

   Bill Owens, GEC President, put it bluntly: “Hercules claims it is a good neighbor, but good neighbors don’t behave like this.  Until Hercules moves ahead with cleaning up its mess, it is a bad neighbor.  And this community needs to do whatever it takes to get this matter finally resolved and get this poison away from our families.  The GEC will learn what we can from Ms. Gibbs and use that knowledge to clean up our town.”

See the news release on this story by clicking here.



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