Environmental Protection Statement 'Asinine'

Article excerpt

Byline: Ron Littlepage

Spinning around the news dial ... click.

There's a new leader in the house for the most asinine statement of the year.

Lad Daniels, the president of the First Coast Manufacturers Association and a former Jacksonville City Council member, attended the Jacksonville Waterways Commission meeting last week and defended plans by Georgia-Pacific to dump daily 23 million gallons of polluted wastewater into the middle of the St. Johns River.

With an entirely straight face and without his fingers crossed behind his back, Daniels told the commissioners: "I have never seen a company that had a greater commitment to environmental stewardship."

That company, of course, is Koch Industries, which owns Georgia-Pacific.

Nevermind all of the past lawsuits and indictments involving Koch companies for environmental violations.

Nevermind that last year the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute ranked Koch Industries among the top 10 air polluters in the United States, with 33.5 million pounds of toxic air releases.

Let's just look at something dead-on relevant to the issue at hand - a Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Arkansas.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a complaint last March saying that mill is dumping 45 million gallons of polluted wastewater a day into a creek that crosses the border and flows into the Ouachita River in Louisiana. In that toxic stew that is harming the Ouachita is ammonia, chloride, zinc, copper and mercury.

Koch Industries, well known environmental stewards. …