Pollution, Clean Air, and Gov. Bredesen





Pollution has no boundaries. Because of the magnitude of this problem, Clean Air Friends is calling on our


communities for help. Please contact Gov. Bredesen and urge him to appoint a board that reflects a fair cross-section of the population, not just proponents of industry and special interests. Please request a change of venue so the permit appeal hearing can be held in



instead of


is works

The Correct Answer Is

In a quote in your [March 24] article, "Ashes & High Rises," the leasing and marketing director of Campus Pointe, Barry Smith, is quoted as "complaining that the goldenrod color they were required to paint the place under the Fort's NC-1 (Neighborhood Conservation) zoning 'makes them look shorter.'"

I'd like to point out that:

1) The Knoxville Historic Zoning Commission is responsible for reviewing projects under either Neighborhood Conservation (NC-1) Overlay or Historic (H-1) Overlay;

2) There is no NC-1 (Neighborhood Conservation) zoning at the location of Campus Pointe (20th to 23rd between Grand and Laurel); and

3) The Ft. Sanders Neighborhood Conservation Overlay design guidelines do not contain color specifications, nor do any other design guidelines adopted in conjunction with Neighborhood Conservation (NC-1) or Historic (H-1) Overlay districts.



Loudonites up in Staley's Air

Most of the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board's recusing themselves from a recent hearing on the A.E. Staley (Tate & Lyle) Bio-PDO (DuPont) process permit appeal came as no surprise. This should have happened long before now.

Over a year ago, the Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board heard presentations and comments from both joint venture DuPont and Tate & Lyle (Staley) officials, Barry Baker (Loudon City), Russ Ellis (Loudon County Air Quality Task Force) and from citizens residing in an upscale retirement community near the Staley location in Loudon.

But this same board at a later meeting voted unanimously not to allow Clean Air Friends—Clean Air Kids to speak. Though we traveled to Nashville and we were on the planned agenda, Clean Air Friends was not allowed to make a presentation on health and air pollution.

Clean Air Friends intended to present petitions to the board for Gov. Bredesen with the names of nearly 3,000 citizens expressing local health and air pollution concerns. The Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board appears to have given favorable treatment to special interests while refusing to hear the voice of the people. 

The DuPont Tate & Lyle facility is currently under construction in Loudon adjacent to the Tate & Lyle (Staley) ethanol plant. According to DuPont officials, this would be the world's first commercial plant of its kind with this new technology. "The plant will produce a biological propanediol (PDO) polymer. An E.coli bacterium is used as one of the host organisms. The process includes ammonia emissions. Speaking at a public meeting, Carl Muska, DuPont manager of safety, health and environment, said much of the pilot work and projections are based on modeling, laboratory-engineering patterns, and many questions remain unanswered until the new  biological plant "is cranked up."

DuPont's safety and environmental track record is cause for concern, given their latest problems with another innovative polymer, Teflon (PFOA or C8), a non-stick material. It was introduced about 50 years ago, and decades later DuPont recently reached a $107.6 million settlement in a class action West Virginia lawsuit regarding the safety of C8. According to public information, C8 was detected in water and as far as 70 miles away, a discovery that federal and state officials say indicates the contamination can spread through air as well as water. The EPA seeks as much as $300 million in fines from DuPont for failing to report health information and possible dangers linked to the processing agent.

Closer to home, Kentucky state regulators issued four citations to DuPont Chemical Co. regarding another chemical leak. More than 75 people filed a lawsuit with DuPont after an Oct. 11, 2004 sulfuric acid chemical spill at the DuPont plant in Wurtland, Ken. Many who brought the lawsuits are first responders, including two police chiefs and ambulance crews, who evacuated people from near the Wurtland DuPont plant. The evacuation was necessary after a break in a pipe released sulfuric acid into the air, ground, and water. The lawsuits allege the chemical spill caused health problems and constituted gross negligence, malice and willful disregard for the safety and wellbeing of the people in the area. As part of an earlier 1995 sulfuric acid release at the same plant and a $1.5 million-dollar settlement, DuPont agreed to pay a fine and to create a state-of-the-art emergency system to warn area residents. But the emergency system failed to alert residents the day of the Oct. 11, 2004 spill.

Pollution has no boundaries. Because of the magnitude of this problem, Clean Air Friends is calling on our Tennessee communities for help. Please contact Gov. Bredesen and urge him to appoint a board that reflects a fair cross-section of the population, not just proponents of industry and special interests. Please request a change of venue so the permit appeal hearing can be held in Loudon County instead of Nashville.



Live and Let Die

I am writing in response to the death of Terri Schiavo. I am deeply troubled by the events that have taken place over the past few months. I am saddened by her death, but I also feel a sense of relief for her. I can't begin to understand how it must feel to not be able to communicate with the ones I love, to not be able to get up and walk to the next room if I so desire. There are so many aspects of her situation that I can't comprehend.

But what I also can't figure out is how so many of us seem to think we know exactly what should have been done, or what was felt by those involved or even what their intentions were. I have seen in countless news interviews and articles, people speaking of Terri and Michael Schiavo as if they knew them, as if they knew what their relationship consisted of. People speak of Michael Schiavo's intentions, of his reasons. I don't know Michael Schiavo, have never met him. I have no idea what he's thinking. I can only imagine how taxing the past 15 years have been on him.

Today on my way into work, I heard that Terri Schiavo had died. I turned up the volume so I could hear all the details. The DJ expressed her grief for what "was done" to Terri. "Prisoners are treated better than Terri Schiavo was," she said. She continued with many other incredibly judgmental and one-sided comments to conclude with "and as far as Michael Schiavo, he will pay for what he has done." I wanted to scream; better yet, I wanted to make her pay for what she said. After I calmed down a bit, I started thinking about why this case has America so crazy.

I truly believe that at the core, we have an overwhelming fear of death. We want people to live forever. No one wants someone they love to die. Americans have a variety of pills that will make us live longer, a variety of medical treatments to keep us alive. We even have feeding tubes and respirators to keep people breathing and eating because that's what living is all about, right? Wrong! Living involves much more that eating and breathing; it's much more than just a heart beating. Living is the ability to interact with others, with one's surroundings.

Life is an activity. It is a movement. I'm not saying that Terri Schiavo's life was not true or that it has meant nothing, because clearly it has made a huge impact. Life is a natural occurrence. We are born, and we will die. That's how is works. I like to think things happen for a reason and that we're not here just battling it out every day for no reason. People have a purpose in life. Maybe Terri Schiavo's purpose was to die so that we can reflect on our own lives. On how lucky we are to be able to live!

I'd like to challenge people to look past sensationalized journalism and accept her passing as a way of life, a passage on to whatever is next for Terri Schiavo.

I'd ask that we try to view death as a part of life, not a scary intruder to our eternal time here on earth. I'd ask that we not be so quick to judge Michael Schiavo or the Schindlers. We don't know their true intentions. And it's not our place to assume what they might be. I ask that the people who are in positions of influence, i.e. news reporters, journalists, and radio personalities, be careful not to misrepresent the story.

My thoughts are with both the Schindler family and Michael Schiavo. That particular radio DJ did do something I found noteworthy. She played "I'll Fly Away" in honor of Terri Schiavo. What a great thought!

© 2005 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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