I’m a sophomore at Academic Magnet High School. Over the summer I attended the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment in D.C. The conference focused on our effect on the environment both short and long term, and a repeated theme was the influence politics has on the environment.
The government has repeatedly neglected to enforce or support environmental laws and in the process, we have risked the health of our citizens (the Puerto Rico landfill collapse, the Michigan water contamination, as well as, the collapse of dams throughout South Carolina).
It is most often small, economically depressed areas in southern states that suffer the consequences of the government’s disregard.
As a local, state, and national community, we cannot afford another environmental crisis. Unfortunately, despite promises of the EPA, DHEC, and numerous politicians, little is being done in preventative measures to ensure a healthy environment for the residents.
In Laurens County, the proposal has been made to add one million chickens to the existing industrialized poultry complexes. My concern resides in both the surrounding land and the well-being of the Laurens County residents.
Residents report heightened respiratory issues and migraines, induced by the pollution from the farms as well as flies, rodents, and coyotes being attracted to the area by the feces, urine and chicken carcasses.
The surrounding areas will become a cesspool of pollutants and pathogens, easily spread to further counties, causing an onset of related health issues.
Laurens County is on the verge of being the next environmental crisis. DHEC needs to deny proposed poultry permits until an environmental study can be conduct to ensure the health and environmental safety of Mountville residents.