Letter to the Editor: Bryson
The editor: The article published by Enviva Vice-President of Communication Kent Jenkins (in the Sept. 7 issue of The Chronicle) should give Laurens County residents and council members cause for concern. As residents of Sampson County (N.C.), we will be living with the destruction and disruption that the Enviva plant is bringing to our community. We are a group of landowners that have lived, farmed grown timber in Sampson County for generations. We are strong proponents of development in our county and for bringing in jobs that benefit the local population. we do not support the development of an Enviva wood pellet facility in Sampson County. We understand that Laurens County is facing a similar facility, and we urge the residents and elected officials of Laurens County to take action now to avoid this facility from moving in. The Enviva wood pellet facility doesn't benefit our county like the headlines indicate. Our Sampson County elected officials tell us that Enviva is paying $4.4 million in taxes over 10 years. But a closet look reveals that $2.2 million of that will be immediately rebated back to Enviva after it is paid in. In addition Sampson County is funding the land and about five other incentives. When you subtract land and incentives from the $2.2 million left after rebates, it doesn't leave much for Sampson County's bank account. In a commissioners meeting, a representative of Enviva said they might not be paying $4.4 million because they might be using rapid depreciation on their equipment. In 10 years Sampson County will be lucky to see any tax benefit. Enviva's truck traffic tears up roads that takes tax dollars to repair. Their entrance is located at a point near where I-795 goes into I-40 and where NC 403 enters I-795. This is along a dangerous intersection with a lot of wrecks. When the plant goes into full production and about 200 trucks and cars are expected each day, seven days a week, Sampson County will pay for the jobs with human lives. We talked to an Enviva representative, our county economic developer, and brought it to the attention of county commissioners. Nobody cared! Now Enviva wants a stop light on I-795 because of the wrecks. I-795 is an interstate highway. Enviva says they are providing a market for scrap wood. We already have a market for scrap wood, they will only be an additional buyer. Furthermore, Enviva wants mostly hardwood. There are not that many hardwood forests left, and the ones that are replanted after cutting are replanted with pines. The pines in our area do not grow enough to be cut again in 10 years. When we first learned about this facility coming to Sampson County, we visited Ahoskie, N.C., and Roanoke Rapids, N.C., to meet with residents living near an Enviva wood pellet facility. We didn't just take the word of Enviva representatives, we knocked on doors in the neighborhood to learn the truth. You should go and let the people tell you about the noise, dust and the traffic. Ask them who do they know that works at the plant . Ask them how long that person has lived in the area. While you are there take a look at the buffer at the Roanoke Rapids plant. It is supposed to help filter the dust and noise from the plant. If at first you cannot find it, stop the car, get out and look knee-high and lower. Then you can find it. Is this the kind of buffer you want in your area? While we must live with the negative impact of an Enviva plant in our community, we urge you to stop this plant from coming before it is too late. Jean Bryson Faison, N.C.