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Brochure, ca. 1982; Warren County Citizens Concerned About PCBs, Warren County, NC

Brochure, ca. 1982; Warren County Citizens Concerned About PCBs, Warren County, NC
Brochure, ca. 1982; Warren County Citizens Concerned About PCBs, Warren County, NC

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Brochure, ca. 1982; Warren County Citizens Concerned About PCBs, Warren County, NC



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P.O. BOX 487

"Action from principle - the perception and the performance of right - changes things and relations."
Henry David Thoreau "Civil Disobedience'1

A Brief History

Since Dec. 22, 1978, the citizens of Warren County, North Carolina have been fighting battle after against toxic aggression. For its people, this day will be especially infamous because on it the state announced its unbending intention to bury toxic PCB in the Afton community. Blatently threatening the people with its mighty fist, the state, in fact, declared that the PCB would be buried "regardless of public sentiment". Yet the state has done more than merely disregard the sentiment of the people. It has criminally wronged them with violations of law, breaches of promises, half-truths, outright lies, unwritten deals, and each under the guise and sanction of the law.

Why has everything been clandestine, planned, and behind-the-scene? Because it is scientifically accepted that landfills cannot be made to work and that underground burial of toxic chemicals - especially but a few feet above the water table - instead of solving problems, creates monsterous others, leaving sacrifice areas. Therefore, not science but politics determines the siting of landfills.

Warren County may be sparsely populated, rural, poor, largely black, supposedly "back­ wards", and virtually expendable by governemnt, but it is worth saving to the people of Warren County, and they are willing to fight hard and to make the necessary sacrifices to win the right to a safe environment. The people of Warren County will succeed because with the ded­ icated work of many, 0right will become might", and communites will unite in telling the state and the EPA that people, not partisan politics, will determine the future of this country.

It is with this spirited commitment to the truth that the people of Warren County have launched a movement that has joined environmental, civil and human rights. And it is with determination to save its community, and others like it, that Warren County will continue to fight on the front lines against toxic aggression.

The Laws - How They Make and Break Them

Since landfills are not safe, people will oppose them, and the state and EPA have done everything in their power to make their actions legal. They have done this by:

--Watering down & dropping altogether EPA regulations such as the 50" minimun distance from
water table and landfill base to 5’ or less.
--By disregarding county injunctions and local ordinances implemented to protect the people.
--By passing the Governor's Waste Management Act which overrides local sovereignty, putting dictatorial control of dumps in the hands of politicians.
--By arrogently and irresponsibly disregarding three law suits formulated from scientific and constitutional facts for the preservation of the county.

"The state never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength."

EPA Regulations - A Shield

--Athough EPA maintains that landfills are a last resort, evidence shows that they are more often a first choice, and until they are outlawed altogether, they will promote the production of massive volumes of hazardous waste.
--Regulations for the Warren County PCB landfill have centered only on PCB in general. However, state reports admit there are numerous kinds of PCBs, and those in Warren Co. are among the most dangerous (1260), With 1260 PCB comes dibenzofuran which is "one hundred to ten thousand times more dangerous than regular PCBs". (Yusho PCB Poisoning Report) In addition, report stated there are chlorinated benzenes (from Ft. Bragg), tetraphenyls, chlorinated diphenylethers, napthalenes, possibly biphenylenes, and because of the furans, the report said the analysis for chlorinated dioxins was made difficult.
--Acceptable standards for PCB contamination from released leachate are considered safe by EPA because they are supposedly in low amounts (50 ppm), Yet since PCBs bioaccumulate, rather than diluting or dispersing their effects, they multiply and build up, especially in the food chain.
--Soil scientist, Dr. Charles Hulchi, Univ, of Maryland, and other experts testify that soil in Warren County cannot hold the PCBs. There are some 900,000 acres more suitable in the state.
--Water table levels were dismissed, and topography in general. The PCB landfill is located only a few feet above the water table, on a hillside, so run-off goes in every direction and remedial action continues to keep the top of the landfill in place. Severe erosion continues.
--The PCB landfill was capped with at least 678,586 gallons of water in it, and now the water (leachate) must be pumped out before the bottom and sides rupture.
--Pumping procedures are inadequate, involving clogging of the sump, inadequate filtering and monitoring, time involved (months to years), financial responsibility and more.
--Gases have caused the upper liner to bubble. The bubbles were burst and vents installed.
There are no filters on the vents, and state reports show significant levels of PCB in the gas.

"Under a government which imprisons any justly, the true place for a just man is also a prison."

Siting Landfills and Martial Law

--Citizens who have "gone to the letter of the law" have no choice but to civilly disobey the law which threatens their persons and their properties.
--Government will "have to spend precious funds on law enforcement as was the case in Warren County. Over 800,000 dollars was spent on law enforcement costs, and there will be more.

What Can We Do?

--We can make a daily commitment to the education of our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers civic leaders on the crucial issuses concerning landfills and waste management, and we can let our government leaders know that the party politics of the day must not determine the future of persons and their properties.
--We can give our support in many concrete ways which include donoting money for the money necessary to keep up such a struggle, donoting time for purposes such a telephoning and sponsoring funders, to contacting numerous local, state and EPA officials with our concerns and desires.

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