by Dick Hall-Sizemore
Today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch has a story that illustrates the importance and need for vigorous local journalism, while also illustrating the limitations of local journalism due to the lack of seasoned reporters and editors.
The story deals with the violation of environmental regulations by a chemical plant in Hopewell. The plant, a cornerstone of manufacturing in Hopewell, has been there a long time, under at least three owners. It is huge, covering about 200 acres. It is the facility responsible for dumping Kepone into the James River between 1966 and 1975, when it came under court order for the practice. The current owner is AdvanSix, headquartered in Parsippany, N.J.
As reported by the RTD, the plant has been cited 66 times over the past eight years for violations of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the company has violated the Clean Air Act “every month over the past two years.” Continue reading