The Dendron Town Council had its meeting tonight at the Surry County Recreation Center. There were lots of folks there tonight. Many were from ODEC and those who were supporting the Coal Plant and, some were from the Sierra Club and Appalachian Voices and those of us who were very concerned and/or do not support the Coal Plant — folks from Dendron and Surry on both sides of the isle (so to speak). There was at least one videographer there, maybe more (I saw a few folks who were recording some of it on their cellphones as well).
The room echoed very badly which made it difficult to make out what some of the folks were saying.
There was a 30 minute period where the Council heard 2 minute statements from people who wished to talk. They also gave ‘groups’ 5 minutes to make a statement. Not everyone got to have their say, but I don’t think any issue was left unturned to some extent — both pro and con. There were so many that were concerned and they did a valiant job of speaking their concerns.
First off, I know that the economy has hit many people very hard, especially in depressed areas like Dendron and the surrounding areas as well. I have experienced it myself in my own business. But there are other areas of business that can be brought into the area. Ones that don’t pollute. Ones that will not adversely affect the children in the schools so close at hand, and the elderly, or those that are ill, or already have trouble breathing adequately due to an existing illness. In this economy, those who own homes in Dendron likely will not be able to leave if they need to when/if the Coal Plant begins construction.
There was a time when doctors didn’t believe in things they couldn’t see with the naked eye:
… we have to go back to the 1800′s and take a look at the origin of the so-called germ theory and how it relates to the invention of the microscope and the realization that disease could be spread by invisible microscopic creatures.
Today the germ theory is accepted as real and verifiable. But that’s only because scientists and doctors can readily see these germs using microscopes. Before microscopes were invented, any doctor who proposed that disease could be caused by a doctor not washing his hands and touching two patients in sequence would have been called a lunatic or a quack. In fact, doctors did not engage in any sort of hand washing for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease until the germ theory became accepted.
Tonight I heard a few folks (who just got back from an ODEC sponsored tour of the Clover Coal Plant) talking about the cleanliness of the area (no coal dust on clothes on the lines) and air around the plant in Clover, VA — like the issues were something you could see with your eyes. The things that are harmful and at levels that can do damage to the water, air, livestock, and people and people’s genetics over time are not necessarily things you can see. Can you see nitrogen? Can you see mercury in the air? Or any of the other many pollutants that can exacerbate allergies and illnesses? Or that can seep into the water table through rain, or into your garden plants that get contaminated by these unseen pollutants? Some things build up over time in the human body to do their worst.
And one has to wonder what businesses will want to come to Surry, or Dendron for that matter, after this Coal Plant is here? I have a bad feeling that it might only be mainly other industrial types of businesses causing further pollution.
Even if Virginia changes its stance on the percentage of biomass versus coal having such a large plant right in our backyards here in Dendron will not help those with breathing problems very much.
Oh, and maybe we should all get out and enjoy the many stars you can see at night in the sky here in the rural areas of Surry County and Dendron, because with all the security and parking lot lights for the Coal Plant it will be difficult to see as many as we see now — more like how a city’s lights limit the number of stars you can see compared to rural areas. And what about the noise pollution so very close to the Town of Dendron? Heavy trains very close. At night, we can hear the heavy trains here in Dendron, and they are 6 miles away in Wakefield.
And how long will construction take? The dust and noise of the construction alone will be unbelievable on a project of this size.
I still want to know why they want to put it in our backyard? Why are they not putting it in Sussex County or outside Richmond where the electricity they generate will be servicing people? And just because we get our electricity from the Clover Coal Plant (one speaker said that at the meeting), doesn’t mean we have to have a plant here. Surry already has a nuclear power plant that doesn’t service people in Surry County.
Maybe some who have no problem with it should drive through Hopewell, VA late at night. And listen to the noise there near the plants, and see the massive light pollution and smoke stacks spewing stuff. This plant won’t be like that? IF this plant is built, how long till other industrial plants are built close by because we allowed this one? How long till Dendron and maybe Surry look like Hopewell? How long till there are no farms and it’s city here?
Well, at least thankfully the Dendron Town Council deferred action on the “Ordinance” that was being proposed to turn the Town of Dendron’s vote over to Surry County so the Town Council can apparently look further into the zoning issues.
Some interesting coal plant images … but I am sure the one they want to put here will never look like these….