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Green Values: ECOLOGY • SOCIAL JUSTICE • GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY • NONVIOLENCE

June 3, 2005

RISING UP GREEN E-Newsletter

Contents

  1. Old Pulp Mill Blues: Hong Kong Company Buys Antiquated California Polluter
  2. Press Release from Green Party of St. Louis
  3. Biodemocracy 2005

1. Old Pulp Mill Blues by Patrick Eytchison, Redwood Coast Greens

California's 40 year old Humboldt Bay pulp mill has a history of air and water pollution going back to complaints of "stench" dating from its first years of operation. Faced with a 12/7/04 police raid after a whistle blower reported massive unauthorized sludge dumping, and a proposed $1.7 million Water Quality Control Board fine, the mill was about to close permanently when it was purchased by Lee and Man Paper Ltd of Hong Kong, one of Asia's largest paper manufacturing companies. Lee and Man, under the name Evergreen Pulp, began operation in March. Almost immediately, an "accidental" air emissions leak resulted in over 100 citizens complaints. Evergreen filed for a 3 month and than a 1 year variance from Air Quality standards in order to upgrade equipment. Many in the Humboldt Bay area, however, believe the 40 year mill is simply beyond saving and should be dismantled. Yet the accident prone, concrete and iron, steam belching bay-side dinosaur is deeply embedded in the local economy. The following report on Evergreen's public variance hearing by Eureka, CA resident Carol Binder shows some ways this embeddedness get expressed.

The Board seemed uninterested in hearing the public. They didn't advertise the meeting adequately and held it in the middle of a work day. They started late and had frequent breaks so they could discuss things in the hall away from the public. The public wasn't heard until late in the 4 hour meeting and then the Board seemed uninterested in concerns about health voiced by those who spoke.

They also seemed unmoved by testimony from Board staff that Evergreen had not made a good faith effort to fix problems, and that emissions from one piece of equipment was 200% of the accepted level. They did not seem worried by testimony that toxic particulate matter and carcinogenic metals and chemicals were being emitted.

They seemed very concerned about the welfare of Evergreen Pulp and frequently ask if requests would be inconvenient or cost very much money.

The finding of the Board was that the pulp mill could continue to pollute the air until a next meeting in June ( a month later ). An item requiring a "Facility wide emissions inventory of both criteria and toxic air pollutants" was omitted. It is clear to me that unless the public speaks up in a dramatic way the Air Quality Board will give Evergreen all the time it wants to pollute.

Lee and Man has recently opened one of the world's largest paper mills in the South China industrial city of Dongguan.


2. Press Release from Green Party of St. Louis

Green Party of St. Louis
314-727-8554 E-mail: fitzdon@aol.com www.gateway-greens.org

For immediate release: May 23, 2005
Contacts: Willie Marshall; 314-385-6906; Barbara Chicherio, 314-727-8554

GREEN PARTY BACKS TUMLIN IN 4TH WARD RACE

May 23, 2005. St. Louis, MO. The Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of St. Louis endorsed Independent candidate Greg Tumlin for the June 7 special election for 4th ward alderperson. At a special Green Party meeting, Tumlin assured members that he supports their calls to declare a lead emergency in the City of St. Louis, establish a Civilian Oversight Board for the police, halt the use of eminent domain for private developers and prohibit the use of public money for private sports stadiums.

Green Party members first met Tumlin when he was arrested for "peace disturbance" during the October 7, 2003 School Board meeting. The Green Party and Tumlin both criticize the School Board for closing schools in predominantly black north St. Louis, ending many transportation routes, and firing teachers and support staff.

"The fact that Greg put himself on the front line in defense of students and teacher is what got the Green Party interested in him," said Willie Marshall. Marshall won 21% of the vote in last month's election for Mayor. Though the Green Party attracts more white voters in most cities, it is largely a black party in St. Louis. In the April 5 race for Mayor, Marshall won 13% in predominantly white wards of south St. Louis; but he garnered almost 26% of votes in black wards of north city.

"We expect our endorsement to be very helpful to Greg because he's running in one of our strongholds," Marshall observed. "I got 34% of the vote in the 4th ward; but, if you leave out people who voted a straight party ticket, I got 45%. When we convince black people that they do not owe the Democratic Party their vote, we will be just about even with them in the ward."

Barbara Chicherio, Co-coordinator of the Green Party of St. Louis, likes Tumlin because "He's concerned with the same sort of environmental issues that we are based on. Greg supports having lead-free housing for children who have been poisoned. He wants expanded bus routes and bicycle lanes. He agrees that the City needs to convene a special investigation concerning the effects of genetic engineering and potential dangers of the bio"defense" lab at St. Louis University."

Where would the money come from for programs endorsed by Tumlin and the Green Party? According to Willie Marshall, "I ran on the 'Marshall Plan,' which means stopping the war on Iraq so we can use that money to rebuild America's cities. Greg sees the connection between local and international issues just like we do."

Tumlin will address Green Party members during its monthly forum at 7 pm, June 1 at Genesis House, 6018 Delmar. The forum on "Human Genes in Our Food?" will look at recent efforts of Ventria Bioscience to plant rice with human genes in Missouri's bootheel. Tumlin will be making a statement and seeking pollworkers and other assistance for his campaign.


3. Biodemocracy 2005 by Patrick Eytchison

"Reclaim the Commons" Biodemocracy 2005 will take place in Philadelphia June 16-21 as a counter action to the annual meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization ( BIO 2005 ). Some announced events are:

  • Saturday June 18th--Reclaim the Commons Festival, live music, free food, speak-out
  • June 18th and 19th--Biodemocracy Teach-In, Medea Benjamin, Brian Tokar, Romana Africa, and many others
  • Food Not Bombs 25th Anniversary Gathering
  • Green and Black Urban Gathering
  • June 21st-----------------Day of Action

Bio 2005 has the support of governments, giant corporations, large universities and foundations. Biodemocracy 2005 has only us. Attend or support Biodemocracy 2005. Check out their web page for full information: http://www.reclaimthecommons.net/