Concerned Citizens of Gadsden County fight for Gretna’s citizens safety

“We’re going to incinerate our way to the future,” James Maloy, the president of Concerned Citizens of Gadsden County, said in yesterday’s Florida A& M Green Coalition meeting.

Dr. Edward Holifield, a Tallahassee cardiologist, pointed out a sad reality that many in the audience did not know.

” Statistics show that black babies suffer more than white babies. It is serious business and people are dying because of air pollution and infant mortality. In Leon County 11.3 percent of black babies die while the rate for white babies is just 4 percent. The rate of infant mortality has decreased for all races, but not for the black population,” said Holifield.

After Holifield presented, Patrick Minogue, assistant professor of silviculture, gave a presentation on how some people do not understand that Florida has the potential solution to diminish the effects of pollution that causes respiratory diseases and affect fetal developments.

” The pine trees are the answer, they have little water, and good source of energy,” said Minogue, reemphasizing the need for more green areas in the state.

That’s why he proposed that forests should be cultivated and nurtured for a long period of time to help the ecosystem to sustain itself without the danger of human depreciation.

Minogue explained that Americans do not realize the national treasure they have: pine tree.

The discussion changed the pace when James Maloy, the president of Concerned Citizens of Gadsden County, revealed to FAMU students what has been going on in Gretna, one of Gadsden poorest area.

Gretna Biomass Incinerator Plan is a plan in which biomass incinerators will burn 100 tons of wood per hour, 6000,00 tons of wood per year, 310 heavy diesel truck trips per day carrying wood, ammonia, dry solvent and ash while Floridians will be ride along the same road.

” We’re going to incinerate our way to the future,” Maloy said. He is upset with the possibility of trucks full of hazardous substances having free access on common roads approved by the Gretna city commission.

Vice president, Lenard Robinson explained to the audience what their association has been going through to avoid this plan to go forward.

” These big biomass companies went to Gretna because they thought they would not find resistance. Gretna is 88 percent black and it is the poorest city in the Gadsden County. We have been in the city commission to stop this craziness. We had people ejected by the police and that’s why we are asking you guys to use your intellect, our youth to help us, ” said Robinson.

Robinson explained that the Concerned Citizen group needs three votes from the city commission to stop the Gretna biomass plan.

Mallorie Roberts, 20, a second-year business administration major from Tallahassee, said that the meeting was informative and that it hit close to home. “It was very informative and I feel I am prepared to advocate for them and use my knowledge to help the people from Gretna to have a better future.”