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Sewage plant hearing draws packed house
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Opponents and supporters of an east-end sewage plant imply the other side of being uninformed about the plant's effects on ecology and marine business.
Whistles, cheers and shouts against permitting the plant rippled through the crowd of a couple hundred at the Midway Civic Center Tuesday evening during a public hearing, in a sort of grassroots resistance.
Roy Hubbard from Richmond Hill thought consultation from "acceptable scientific data," from qualified sources still has not been provided.
"There is scientific analysis by qualified persons that strongly suggest that there is a very real danger in causing irreversible damage," Hubbard said, referencing a Dr. Jack Blanton, of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.
But Clarence Kessler thought the outspoken opponents should "think before you act," calling them "just a pawn," on "the whole Monopoly board."
"All of you are good people and you mean well, but you may be a tool," Kessler said of the $30 million project. "You may be a tool for the means for the Development Authority to lose everything they put in it."
The plant's discharge to the Laurel View River should not alarm citizens with fears of starting a slippery slope, according to Environmental Protection Division and the Liberty County Development Authority representatives.
Three million gallons of discharge is the absolute limit, Curtis Boswell stressed to a group huddled around the EPD's engineering display.
But the possibility of expansion was stressed.
"They [LCDA] doesn't have an application to go any further than that [3 million gallons]," Boswell said. "And by the looks of tonight, that would be something that would be quite a request."
While the officials pushed their agenda, the public wanted the experts to null any promises and admit there really is no certainty in the outcome.
Fiorella, a Midway resident who didn't want to give her full name, was one of the skeptics.
"They're just basically counting on computer models and giving it a positive spin," she said, in the midst of table presentations during the informal public meeting. "They're bringing the theory in. Fishermen here know the facts."
And another location was not even pursued as another option, according to Fiorella.
"They just picked that one and that was it," she said.

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