Dec 20: Kid's drawing for Georgia-Pacific

kid's drawing

Nov 12: Special siren in place
South Side neighborhood to be alerted of any chemical threat

COLUMBUS -- "A siren perched on a pole between a South Side resin factory and a rail yard soon will be able to warn people of something other than tornadoes. The two-tone alarm, which will be tested for about a minute starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, will warn the Marion-Franklin neighborhood if a spill, derailment or some other industrial emergency shoots a cloud of poisonous chemicals into the air... Georgia-Pacific still faces a public campaign waged by neighbors and an advocacy group, Ohio Citizen Action, over its use of a 2-million-gallon wastewater pond, which uses bacteria to break down chemicals used to make resins," Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch.

Nov 1: Pit fatigue
pit
Georgia-Pacific's two million-gallon toxic pit.


COLUMBUS -- "That 2 million-gallon biological treatment pond is at the heart of the complaints about Georgia-Pacific’s South Side plant, at 1975 Watkins Road. The lagoon uses bacteria to consume formaldehyde, phenol, methanol and other chemicals before releasing the treated water into the Columbus sewer system. The water isn’t the main concern of Ohio Citizen Action and the neighbors it represents. The air above it is. They contend the chemical wastewater lagoon is creating hazardous air pollution, and they have a court-ordered environmental study to prove it. The Georgia-Pacific folks say the pond is harmless—and they have a clean bill of health from the Ohio EPA, which is allowing them to keep using it," Dan Williamson, The Other Paper.

Oct 19: Kids' drawings for Georgia-Pacific

close the pit!


Oct 3: Drawing for Georgia-Pacific: "Stop polluting our world"

kid's drawing

Sep 18: Letter to Georgia-Pacific: "I am sure that you know what is right"

Pastor Denis Kigozi COLUMBUS -- "It is in that same spirit that I implore you to do what you can, in your immediate control and under the given circumstances, to help the lives of your neighbors, in fact and in spirit . . . I am sure that you know what is right.  The people are not asking you to move the Plant away!  They are just asking for a fundamental change that considers also the God-given lives of those who breathe the polluted air that comes from 'the pit,'" letter dated September 17, 2007, from Pastor Denis Kigozi, St. Thomas the Apostle Church, to David Mason, Plant Manager, Georgia-Pacific Columbus Resin Plant.

Aug 30: Letter to Georgia-Pacific: "I strongly urge you and your company to renovate"

Rev. Eric Moehring
The Rev. Eric Moehring
COLUMBUS -- "Thirty years ago it was ok to have a football size field to store toxic chemicals in.  Thirty years ago, although we shouldn’t have, we didn’t worry about the fumes that entered the air, or the possibility of the chemicals seeping into our water supply.  Thirty years ago, your plant was probably considered to be state of the art, as was our sanctuary. But a lot has changed in thirty years, both here in Whitehall, and in our understanding of the processing of hazardous chemicals.  Therefore, I strongly urge you and your company to renovate," letter dated August 25, 2007, from The Rev. Eric Moehring, Faith Lutheran Church, to David Mason, Plant Manager, Georgia-Pacific Columbus Resin Plant.


Aug 28: Letter to Georgia-Pacific:
"There is no such thing as a 'safe' level of those chemicals "



Justin Whitaker returned the Quilted Northern he bought recently after learning of Georgia-Pacific's practices.
COLUMBUS -- "As an OSU alumnus, I've taken microbiology, calculus-based physics, and engineering classes. Your assumptions and guesses as to the effects you are having on the people living around your facility on Watkins Road are interesting, but ignorant. You cannot expect me to believe as you do that there is a 'safe' level of industrial solvents evaporating from your wastewater pond when in fact there is no such thing as a 'safe' level of those chemicals... Until you do the right thing, I will avoid buying your products if I notice your branding on them," letter from Justin Whitaker to David Mason, Plant Manager, Georgia-Pacific Columbus Resin Plant.

Aug 24: Letter to Georgia-Pacific:
"We want our community, especially young children and elders, to live their life as pollution-free as possible"


Islamic Society logoCOLUMBUS -- "I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and the Islamic Society of Greater Columbus. We have been established since 1984 and our community is substantially growing. We want our community especially young children and elders to live their life as pollution free as possible. We understand that Georgia Pacific has stated its intent to be a good neighbor & made a number of important needed changes since 1997 like automation of its resin process and added new safeguards. There still few important things to accomplish especially closing of the toxic pit and an up to date waste water treatment facility.

"We urge Georgia Pacific to accomplish the tasks which are harmful not only to the community but to all the residents of Columbus. Please take this opportunity to correct what should have been corrected long time back. Thank you very much for your time and looking forward to a great future," letter dated August 22, 2007, from Imam Shaik Ahmed Hammouda, Islamic Society of Greater Columbus, to David Mason, Plant Manager, Georgia-Pacific Columbus Resin Plant.


Aug 9: Neighbors, groups fight Georgia-Pacific
They want chemical wastewater pond removed


Destiny Blakely, 6, and Nyesha Newsom, 9, join a protest outside the Georgia-Pacific plant.
COLUMBUS -- "Mary Hawkins doesn't leave her South Side house when the temperature climbs above 90 degrees. But yesterday, the 80-year-old stood outside the Georgia-Pacific plant on Watkins Road with neighbors, church leaders and environmental advocates and held high a 'close the pit' sign. They were there to protest the 2-million-gallon wastewater pond behind the plant before Georgia-Pacific officials sat down with members of Ohio Citizen Action and the Marion Franklin Area Civic Association. The groups have sent 12,000 letters and placed more than 1,100 'close the pit' signs in yards across central Ohio," David Conrad, Columbus Dispatch.


Aug 3: Neighbors plan action

August 8 Action COLUMBUS -- "Georgia-Pacific needs to hear from the community.  The plant manager of Georgia-Pacific, Mr. David Mason, has received 12,196 letters since August 2006, written by neighbors in Central Ohio asking him to close the pit.  This pit, or lagoon, refers to an outdated method of wastewater treatment.  Hazardous air pollutants are dumped into this pit.  Technical experts Henry S. Cole and William M. Auberley, recommend 'that the lagoon, an outmoded disposal method, be closed and replaced with a modern system,'" Leontien Kennedy, Ohio Citizen Action and Mike Jones, Marion Franklin Area Civic Association. 21 k doc.

Jul 27: All I am asking - Would you be a good neighbor?

Pastor Dane
Pastor Dane D. Clark
COLUMBUS -- "I am not writing this letter to point fingers at anyone, but to ask that you help this community to move forward from its wounded and painful stage to its healing, so we can all move forward and establish a future for our succeeding generations in this Southside community... All I am asking would you be a good neighbor to the Southside community, because we want to be good neighbor to you, for this is the way God desires all of us to live our life, " Pastor Dane D. Clark, Bethel Temple Apolistic Church.

Jul 25: Good neighbors...in a real neighborhood


Pastor F. Allen Debelak
COLUMBUS -- "As I buzz along on my scooter or in the car, I’ve noticed blue and white yard signs that announce: 'CLOSE THE PIT.' The signs are directed toward the company Georgia-Pacific... Sometime this week I plan on 'scooting' by this plant to see the layout of the neighborhood. I do think in a society like ours, the church needs to keep its eyes and ears open to things like this. Along with my scooter tour, I will be writing a letter to the plant manager asking that he take a more active role in closing the pit and moving Georgia-Pacific to install an up-to-date waste water treatment facility," Pastor F. Allen Debelak, Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Jul 19: Marion Franklin Civic Association appeals permit for Georgia-Pacific toxic pit



COLUMBUS -- "The Marion Franklin Civic Association is is acting on behalf of the individual members of the association in this action to protect its members' health, safety and property from the results of the activities at the Georgia-Pacific Resins Watkins Road plant... Appellants also assert that the Ohio EPA, in issuing the permits to install and operate, failed to consider complaints of residents that noxious odors from the wastewater pond interfered with their peaceful enjoyment of their properties," Supplemental notice of appeal before the Environmental Review Appeals Commission. 745 KB pdf.


Jul 11: "Close the Pit" campaign protests Georgia Pacific chemical disposal

COLUMBUS -- "Ohio Citizen Action wants a Columbus plant to stop emptying waste water containing chemicals into a lagoon. The organization's "Close the Pit" campaign is directed toward the Georgia Pacific resins plant on Watkins Road in south Columbus .the same plant where a 1997 explosion killed a worker and partially destroyed the facility. 1100 yards signs that say Close the Pit have popped up on lawns across Franklin County," Sam Hendren, WOSU. Published June 28, 2007.

Jul 9: Toxic releases halved since '98

COLUMBUS -- "A steep drop in the toxic chemicals spewed into central Ohio air each year might have as much to do with a poor economy and plants closing as with clean-air laws. The amount of hazardous compounds emitted by Franklin County companies has dropped 47 percent since 1998, the latest government statistics show. That's twice the decline reported statewide and nearly twice as much as the nation's drop... Environmental advocate Teresa Mills of the Buckeye Environmental Network said the economy shouldn't be such a factor. 'Could we make these reductions without losing jobs?' Mills asked," Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch.



Older news: 1997- June 2007


Leontien Kennedy
Ohio Citizen Action
(614) 487-7880




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14,197neighbors have sent handwritten letters and petitions urging Georgia-Pacific to be a good neighbor, as of November 16, 2007.