Evidence Is Mounting That a Koch Brothers-Owned Paper Plant Is Poisoning People in Arkansas (Video)
Residents who say they've been sickened by wastewater discharge are demanding Georgia-Pacific take responsibility.
A bulwark of the blue-collar community, Georgia-Pacific has provided generations of families with a steady stream of well-paid jobs replete with health packages and retirement plans. The plant in Crossett employs around 1,200 people, over three-quarters of whom are from the town or surrounding Ashley County. Many speculate that without the plant, Crossett would simply wither and die. But others fear that the plant has already been slowly poisoning those who live there for decades.
“People are afraid—afraid and scared to say something,” said David Bouie, who worked at the plant for about 10 years, his wife for over 25 years. They live in Crossett, and suffer respiratory and sinus problems, sore throats, nausea and allergies—symptoms, he says, that are shared among many of his neighbors.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory, Georgia Pacific emits approximately 1.5 million pounds of pollutants every year, including highly toxic chemicals like dioxins, formaldehyde and naphthalene. Then there’s the 45 million gallons of wastewater Georgia-Pacific is permitted to release every day.