This week, the President sent a memo to America about his plan to protect the environment. In that spirit, and on a much smaller, albeit important scale, this is a memo to those living in the New River Valley of Southwest Virginia. Recent efforts by dedicated environmental advocates including the Environmental Patriots of the New River Valley and the New River Valley Chapter of the Sierra Club have shown a light on air pollution coming from from the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RAAP) here. A potentially game-changing improvement may actually happen. That game changer is an enclosed state-of-the-art incinerator for toxic waste destroyed at the arsenal. Astonishingly, now toxic material from munitions manufacture is open burned! The permit for the open burning is up for review and possible renewal. The US Army, the British contractor BAE (which manages the plant for the Army)and The RAAP facility have announced they are planning to upgrade the facility. This is too important to sit on the sidelines. Make you voice heard. Continued open burning is not an appropriate 21st Century solution.
Please turn out for the public meeting Wednesday, August 5th, 6 PM, at the Blacksburg Public Library, 200 Miller Street. A spokesperson for the arsenal will attend.
Residents of a Louisiana town confronted with similar burning got safer methods (a state of the art incinerator) now under construction there.
RAAP officials appear to be open to improvements in emissions from the plant. It is time to upgrade the facility. To help assure success, Senators Kaine and Warner should join in the upgrade effort. RAAP officials are posed to listen. And you too can help make positive change happen. Please attend Wednesday’s meeting.
*Disclosure: I no longer live in Blacksburg and have not lived in Virginia for several years.