Selling Out Sampson County

(Emily) Here in the Southeast,
the biomass industry is expanding at an alarming rate. Currently there are
approximately 20 existing wood pellet facilities,
and more than 30 are proposed to be constructed
across the Southeast. All of this is driven by an
export market that is feeding European energy facilities. (Adam) Enviva is the most
egregious of the wood pellet manufacturers in the
Southern United States. They are one of the largest
wood pellet exporters, and we’ve documented them
multiple times using clearcut and industrial logging practices. (Frances)
Because we don’t want it. We don’t want anything about it! (Jane) This is a filter that
came out of a swimming pool, which is across the road
from the plant in Ahoskie. It was in there one day.
They put it in in the morning and took it out the next morning. And this is what it looked
like, and it was white when they put it in. (Deborah) I have so many
concerns about the Enviva plant I don’t know where to start. Most of the people in this
area make their living with farming. If you mess up farmland, you’ve messed up their ability to make a living. (William) From a health
standpoint and future generations, when they expose undesirable
chemical activity in the air. (Frances)
I’ve served the county for eight years as a County Commissioner. But I am totally blessed to say “No thanks” to Enviva in Duplin County. (Cebron)
I love coming out here. When you build an industry
that does away with that many trees or gobbles up that
many trees to make a product that they’re gonna ship
overseas, I have a bit of a problem with that. It takes years to regrow that
tree, and understand these pellet people are
looking for the hardwood. That kind of disturbs me. We don’t have enough hardwood left here now anyway. (JC)
Over the past year since Enviva has moved into Northampton County,
there is a lot of devastation. The devastation looks
like there has been a bomb that has gone off or a tornado
has come through there. The devastation’s gonna last for decades. Repairing the ecosystem that
has been destroyed is going to take a long time, and I
think that’s beginning to sink in there. (Jean)
These decisions were made based on money. Sampson County has done this because it’s 4.4 million
dollars to come back in. That’s what they’re going
to be paying in taxes in about ten years. But 2.2 million dollars of
that is going to be immediately rebated back to them as
soon as they pay it in. That won’t be much money
left for Sampson County. (Jane) They’ve torn our road
up completely so we can’t go through that way. We have
to go out the other way. We hear the noise from the
construction, and I can envision a lot of noise
from the plant when it gets built because the trees are
gone that would have buffered. We also hear a lot more from the highway. (Deborah) For other neighborhoods
and communities that might be facing this same
sort of plant, I would say do everything you can to keep it out. (Emily) Our Southern
communities do not need another industry coming in and
extracting resources at the detriment of the people, only
for the benefit of a few. We need long-term solutions
that value our environment and value the health
and economic prosperity of the local people.

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