Richmond County Residents Oppose Enviva Mill and Rally for Health and Environmental Justice

On March 25th, Dogwood Alliance joined the Concerned Citizens of Richmond County for a Rally for Health and Environmental Justice.

Local residents fear that the proposed Enviva wood pellet facility will bring harmful dust pollution, constant noise, dangerous truck traffic, and forest degradation. 

The community rallied to affirm and stand for their rights to clean air, clean water, standing forests, and strong and healthy communities.

At a time when we need our standing forests to protect our climate and our communities, Enviva threatens the very future of communities like Richmond County.

Now, more than ever we need to keep our forests standing. We need to protect our home.

In the face of increasing threats to our health and the health of our children, threats to the well-being of our jobs and communities, and threats to our ability to grow and flourish, we need to protect our home. Every year our coastal communities face increasingly devastating and costly natural disasters. Rates of childhood asthma and respiratory illnesses have reached near epidemic levels, impacting everything from missed school days to an increasing medical cost burden on the family. Economic inequality continues to grow as our rural, black, Latinx, and Native communities bear the burden of international extraction economies. Industry promises jobs and economic growth but only extracts wealth, damages communities, and degrades the environment. Industry intentionally targets communities that have a much higher mountain to climb to reach economic equality.

The only ones who benefit are corporations and wealthy individuals who have little to no connection nor honest care for the community and region from which they profit. 

On numerous occasions, residents of Richmond County attempted to deliver public comments to their county commissioners regarding their concerns, but were denied access to public comment

Community members are calling on the Richmond County Commission to place a moratorium on the Enviva wood pellet facility. 

Richmond County residents fear the facility will worsen conditions for this already overburdened community. Kim McCall, Treasurer of Concerned Citizens of Richmond County, says:

“Our county already has one of the highest levels of childhood asthma in the region, and cancer is the leading cause of death in Richmond County. We are already living with a CSX station, Piedmont Natural Gas, a Perdue Chicken plant, the Duke Energy complex, and we are the final stop for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. This Enviva plant is an additional injustice to our community.”

Last year, the NC Department of Environmental Quality and the NC Department of Air Quality approved an air quality permit for Enviva, despite numerous flaws in the permit and despite never holding a public hearing in Richmond County. 

Join concerned citizens in Richmond County to call on NC DEQ to review and revoke the Enviva air quality permit. 

“I live less than a mile from the proposed site”, said Debra David, resident and Treasurer of Concerned Citizens of Richmond County. “The dust and the noise from the plant will affect the way of life for our entire community. Enough is enough.”

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