Poisoning our community
by our readers
Nov 09, 2011
I sincerely thank Tim Garrett and all the good people who burned Anniston’s stockpile of chemical weapons without any major accidents. You did your job well. I’m also thankful that the incessant burning is finally over. Calhoun County Commissioner Eli Henderson coined the phrase, “Build It, Burn It, Forget It.” He did not say, “Build It, Burn It, Reuse It.” ’Nuff said, unless Eli insists on contradicting himself yet again.
The one thing that is almost never talked about concerning the incinerator is that toxins have been pouring out the smokestack 24/7 for eight years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available, Alabama ranked eighth highest of the 50 states for cancer mortality.
How much longer is Anniston, also known as “Toxic Town” (CBS 60 Minutes in 2002) and “The Worst Smaller Place in America” (Forbes in 2002), willing to carry such a negative reputation in a state that is already near the top of the nation for cancer deaths? And just at the time when it finally has the opportunity to rid itself of this reputation, Anniston considers medical-waste incinerator? Conventional weapons incinerator? Are you kidding?
I would ask Annistonians and other Calhoun County residents: Have you lost a family member, friend or neighbor to cancer in the recent past? Have you lost a child to cancer? Surely the madness of continuing to poison an already deeply poisoned community is over.
Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions and Rep. Mike Rogers promised that the incinerator would be shut down permanently after the burning was over. I hope that they, unlike Eli Henderson, will be as good as their word.