For years, an Arkansas branch of the Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia-Pacific has literally been poisoning the community of Crossett, AR. Now, two environmental advocacy groups are taking action.
The Ouachita Riverkeeper and Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), are filing a petition with the EPA against GP and the Kochs for releasing millions of gallons of water in Coffee Creek and the Crossett water supply, which violates the Clean Water Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the Louisiana Record:
In its own announcement about the petition, LEAN said Georgia-Pacific’s paper mill in Crossett, Arkansas must no longer be allowed to daily release millions of gallons of untreated wastewater into Coffee Creek.
The daily discharge into Coffee Creek flows through a predominantly African-American Community in West Crossett, where residents claim their health and quality of life are adversely effected, the LEAN announcement said.
While Georgia-Pacific and Koch Industries claim to care about the communities that they operate in, their record tells a different story.
Another Koch company, KCBX, based in Southeast Chicago was sued last year for their poor containment of coal and Pepcoke dust. The dust was connected to “high rates of respiratory illness,” and children who live near the area even came home “covered in black grime” from the plant. Despite the evidence, the Koch owned company refused to admit “that petcoke may have caused health problems or otherwise contaminated people’s properties.”
Both Southeast Chicago and Crossett are predominantly African-American communities that Koch Industries has exploited for its own gain. Koch Industries has accrued more than $90 million in fines and settlements over the years connected to environmental violations. The Kochs could not care less about how GP’s pollution affects the quality of life for the community. Without being kept in check, G, KCBX, and other Koch Industries subsidiaries will continue to destroy ecosystems and violate rules that keep Americans healthy as long as it helps their bottom line.