Coalition of Communities for Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice is our Goal


EPA and MDEQ are not just killing my babies they are also killing my mothers.

The CIA , the only agency that should be allowed to keep secrets has published a world factbook.  The maternal mortality of Grenada, Columbus and Hattiesburg rival some third world countries.






So Far the Government has won. I have not given up my fight.  My court appointed Attorney is William C. Barrett.  Please feel free to contact him if  any of you have any new information to offer concerning my case. 

Tennie White

The Players: The US Government, Borg Warner, MDEQ and Tennie White.

Fenceline Communities all across the Nation This is your call to action. 

Talk to one another, Talk to your elected officials, Talk to your Regulatory Agencies, Talk to your Elected  and Appointed Judges, ask for the Data, get more than one expert to read the Data, Develop networks and connect with like minded communities. 

A Tale Told Without Words

A young lady working on her Thesis generated this from Forrest County Environmental Support Team's and Sister Organizations over the Years, Yes , Years!


The City of Hattiesburg paid $626,169.64 to Brunini Law Firm.

Subject: Payments to Brunini Law Firm 
Billing Date Amount Paid
Feb. 28, 2011 $39,806.18
21-Mar-11 $48,664.43
25-Apr-11 $41,029.23
27-May-11 $32,066.10
23-Jun-11 $41,919.87
19-Jul-11 $39,964.79
9-Aug-11 $33,559.04
21-Sep-11 $31,370.43
14-Oct-11 $60,903.08
17-Nov-11 $50,922.78
20-Dec-11 $69,815.53
23-Jan-12 $30,608.35
21-Feb-12 $18,337.46
20-Mar-12 $15,153.05
20-Apr-12 $27,118.36
17-May-12 $32,084.97
12-Jun-12 $12,845.99
Total  $626,169.64

The City of Hattiesburg paid $626,169.64 to Brunini Law Firm.
The Hattiesburg City School district cannot get a millage increase.

City of Hattiesburg - Responsible Government or Shut up and Die  Politics


Success for Palmer's Crossing!

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Not in My backyard!  Not in My Community!  Not in Palmer’s Crossing!



Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 9:32 AM

To: Tennie White; [email protected]

Subject: Fw: In-Line Forest Products - UPDATED STATUS


Just got this in an email about the facility:

Just wanted to let you know that we have been informed that the facility is not going to go forward with its plans to locate the operation at the site they submitted the application for. There was quite a bit of opposition in the community surrounding the proposed site and I don't believe the location was properly zoned. Our understanding is that they are now in discussion with other abandoned sites throughout the state. As I understand it, they want to locate nearer New Orleans since the logs they are shipping overseas are leaving the docks there.



MDEQ's Greatest Failure

Coalition of Communities
949 Main Street, P.O. Box 374 Hattiesburg, MS 39402 -601-517-7707
The Coalition of Communities seeks to provide open, transparent, fair, inclusive community involvement in existing and future environmental justice locations throughout the southeastern United States. We know that many communities lack the resources to investigate, document, advocate their environmental justice issues. We will assist any community, which seeks to become knowledgeable about their Environment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To the Honorable Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming EPA Region 4 Administrator,

It was supposed to be a distinct pleasure to visit Hattiesburg on September 27, 2011 for the “Public Listening Session” Hosted by Mobile Bouie Street Neighborhood Association and North Main Street Historic Association. The Guest’s were US ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, HERCULES INCORPORATION / ASHLAND, CITY OF HATTIESBURG/ FORREST COUNTY SUPERVISORS, MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY. The purpose of the meeting was:
 Listen to community issues and concerns
 Encourage a dialogue with the community to identify strengths, challenges and opportunities for future communication,
I arrived before 6pm with the intention of broadcasting the meeting via the internet. I brought my computer inside. I was not challenged at the door. I set up, logged on, and opened the
broadcast. A Hattiesburg police officer approached me, requested that I cease my activities and shut down the video camera, which was recording, I did not. I did however have to leave my computer unattended. The moderator Mr. Melvin Williams, President of Mobile Bouie Street Neighborhood Association requested that non-press cease all activities and any photos taken and posted on the “Website” would result in the responsible party facing a lawsuit.
No one from MDEQ Community Engagement neither Melissa Collier nor Gloria Tatum attempted to modify Mr. Williams’ directive. I believe that is because Gloria Tatum acting on orders from Director Fisher used the screen of Mr. Williams to attempt to exclude COCEJ from broadcasting or filming the “Public Listening Session”. I find this very disturbing:
 One because it is a blatant attempts to circumvent the Open Meeting laws of the State of Mississippi.
 Two because this meeting was conducted in a public venue not a private home.
 Three because none of the officials present attempted to correct this until it became clear that Sherri Jones would not be leaving nor would he stop filming unless he was handcuffed and removed. Mr. Jones was rescued by Hattiesburg City councilperson Delgado, who requested from the police present that they leave Mr. Jones alone.
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality garnered a black eye for open transparent community engagement. Attempts to hide behind organizations of six persons while pretending to be engaging a neighborhood association of six members is deplorable. How can MDEQ or its Community Engagement Team build trust with these sorts of machinations? MDEQ’s Community Engagement Team appears to lack a defined sense of justice or even a simple sense of right and wrong. Let us make this as clear as possible. It was wrong to attempt to exclude any person based on personality conflicts with any person present at a public listening session. It was wrong to attempt to involve police in a public listening session, which was decent, and in order. It was wrong of ranking officials in a public building to go along with any denial of open and transparent engagement with the public. It was wrong of the MDEQ and EPA to allow Mr. Melvin Williams to behave in such a destructive and petty manner. Any person with a sense of fairness, justice and strength of character would have requested that Mr. Williams not attempt to threatened people who were simply attempting to widen the audience that the meeting could reach. I am ashamed that I did not take pictures. I am ashamed that I felt compelled to walk away from my broadcast. I am ashamed that Mr. Pallas, Ms. Peurifoy and Ms. Collier, did not veto Mr. Williams’ ill-advised actions. Oh but I forget Ms. Tatum has a close personal relationship of long standing with Mr. Melvin Williams. It must be a good thing for MDEQ to have a puppet and a scapegoat. Neither the COCEJ nor the FCEST are interested in Mr. Williams. I am very interested in a State Agency receiving Federal Funds who refused to be responsive to people that they have placed in harm’s way for decades and would use a person mired in a closed box mentality to continue to disenfranchise the citizens still in harm’s way.

Let me propose this solution. MDEQ should host their own public listening session. MDEQ paid for the refreshments, the venue and the flyers. It is not necessary that MDEQ attempt to hide behind a puppet.
MDEQ and EPA should allow any person or persons who wish to take pictures, video or broadcast any such public meetings.
MDEQ and EPA contact other Neighborhood associations, area churches, juke joints, McDonald’s and radio stations with information concerning their next meeting.
MDEQ and EPA bring “DATA” and ATSDR to their next Public Listening Session in response to the questions asked and not answered in this listening session.
MDEQ and EPA learn from their mistakes and leave the puppets and scapegoats at home.
Tennie White,
Technical Representative
Coalition of Communities for Environmental Justice

March 2 Meeting with Regional Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming

Coalition of Communities for Environmental Justice









Link to the Boxes at MDEQ$$SearchTemplateDefault?OpenForm&QueryStr=Hercules

 Urban Gardening for Grenada and other EJ Communities








Environmental Justice group

exposes polluted chemical sites at Capitol hearing

By Earnest McBride
Jackson Advocate Contributing Editor

More than a 100 residents from across the state filled the hearing room at the State Capitol as the discussion devoted to airing longstanding grievances over deadly chemical wastes – particularly creosote – left for decades in unsuspecting residential neighborhoods by large manufacturers like Kerr-McGee that have either packed up and gone or changed their names and continue to do business as usual.

State Representative Greg Holloway, chairman of the House Forestry Committee, called the hearing Monday afternoon to provide several

black community organizations a chance to report their problem in trying to get compensation equal to that provided white business under the EPA Superfund program.

Holloway said that he was concerned that no one in state government was giving any serious attention to the complaints from so many different communities. It is his aim to at least get the cases on record and to propose legislation that will put an end to the neglect of taxpaying Mississippians who are suffering and dying as a result of industrial wrongdoing, Holloway said.

Sherri Jones, the Hattiesburg-based organizer for the Coalition of Communities for Environmental Justice, said that several black residents of the Hub city are suffering from the destructive effects of creosote that has remained in their soil and water system since a Kerr-McGee-owned plant opened there in 1942. That plant closed in 1969, but the poisonous creosote remains to this day.

“We came here today to put our legislators on notice of what we believe to have been conspiracies for a number of years that have left our people in harm’s way,” Jones said. “In Columbus we have proven this to be a fact. Rev. (Steve) Jamison spent a lot of money for a professional assessment. Now the government has admitted that they did not do their job. And the chemical pollution is rampant there.”

Jamison, the public relations director for the community coalition, is pastor of the Maranatha Faith Center in Columbus that is on the brink of bankruptcy because of their decision to fight the EPA decision to ignore chemical pollutants remaining in the church soil.

“The land is still contaminated and our church is in bankruptcy because we’re trying to hold on to our lawsuit against Kerr-McGee and Tronox (a former subsidiary of Kerr-McGee) that is still in process. “The good news is this: Our lawsuit was a legal matter that we couldn’t deal with on our own accord. But now we’re dealing with the environmental aspects of the case. After 10 years of wrangling and spending about $35,000 of our own money to do the testing that proves our land was contaminated, the federal government and our own geologist lied and said it was not contaminated.  By spending our own money, we forced the EPA inspectors to conduct their tests. They have now admitted that the pollution is there. We are waiting for them to grant Superfund status to the property. They are now in the preliminary stage of their work. They can either clean it up or move us out and grant compensation as a result.”

The commonly labeled “Superfund” site, formally named the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Contamination and Liability Act, comes under the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) whose agents oversee the cleanup and compensation schedules agreed to by polluting companies and the affected communities and individuals seeking redress and adequate compensation for the harm inflicted on them.

“In Hattiesburg’s case,” Jones pointed out, “the whites not only received a payday but also a tax relief as white leaseholders received reduced taxes while black leaseholders received property restrictions. Residents are still living in contamination while the community awaits the same institutions which allowed this travesty to return with a remedy.”

Leaders from what one trained investigator has called the “poisoned communities” are continuing as far back as 20 years or more. Beyond Columbus and Hattiesburg, the activists have exposed some of the deadliest chemical toxins found in the EPA’s Region 4, the six states in the Southeastern region of the USA.

Evangelist Charlotte Keys of Columbia has worked for more than two decades to obtain “environmental justice” in her community that was declared free of chemical pollution 20 years before after a purported Superfund cleanup.

Keys, the executive director of Jesus People Against Pollution, was one of the local fighters whose efforts reached all the way to the White House during the Bill Clinton Presidency. It was Clinton who took note of the disparity between white, black and Hispanic communities affected by chemical pollution. Clinton issued his executive order that called for  “Environmental Justice” in all communities plagued by deadly chemicals in the air, the soil and water.

Keys said that once she got into the routine of challenging both the EPA and the polluting companies, she began receiving death threats and her late nights were frequently plagued with harassing phone calls.

“I had an OSHA report that said that if a cloud of Phosphene had blown over Columbia High School, the children would have drowned in their own body fluids.”

The report also pointed out the many cancer-causing agents that lay exposed in the community, she said.

“We have many people who died in Columbia, Mississippi without a real, full health study. And we do not have justice because people needed access to environmental primary health care services and housing. People lived right up on the polluted soil with only a cyclone fence separating their homes from the Superfund cleanup site.”

Keys challenged the Superfund site located in Columbia to give fair treatment to poor African Americans and poor whites whose properties had been skirted by EPA agents, after many residents were not even considered for compensation for their medical and health problems caused by the pollution.

“What has happened over a long period of time is that many new communities have been awakened to the fact of environmental injustice in their own communities,” Keys said.

The Columbia Superfund site has been de-listed, Keys said, which in theory gives the area a clean bill of health, although she contends that the area is as chemically polluted as it was 20 years ago.

Deborah Conerly of Hattiesburg came late to the fight, saying that she only recently moved to Hattiesburg. But she is devoted to seeing the battle through to the end, she says.

“The citizens gave a very clear message to our representatives that we need some action,” Conerly said. “There’s been enough rhetoric. One of the things brought out in that hearing I found to be disturbing. Trudy Fisher (Department of Environmental Quality director) said that in Mississippi, someone selling a home or piece of property has no duty to report any contamination on the property. The person buying the property inherits that contamination and all the health issues that go with it. As the head of the department, why hasn’t the needed legislation been proposed by her office?”

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All over Region 4


Mississippi rash:
Virgie Peavy’s body became covered with rashes after she ate collard greens picked from her backyard in Columbia, Mississippi. Her yard adjoins the former site of Reichhold Chemical Inc., which produced a substance used in wood preservation. In 1977 an explosion occurred at the Reichhold Chemicals Inc. facility, and area residents said they were allowed to return to their homes while the fire still burned. A decade later, this was declared a Superfund site and 3,900 barrels of hazardous waste were unearthed.

“The doctor wanted tests. I didn’t have the money,” said Peavy, when I met her in 1991. “Then I got a settlement. I didn’t never read it. I was too greedy. But now I’m sick. I got problems with nerves. It got worse.”

It is not unusual for toxic waste sites to be found in communities of color or in places where poor and lowincome families live. For big business, these communities provide the path of least resistance. Today, the Peavy family lives in the same house in Columbia, but Virgie Peavy is gone. “She got cancer all over her body,” said Roosevelt Peavy, her son. “That settlement she got was small. She never got rid of the rashes, and then she passed away.” —S.G.

Stan Grossfeld is an associate editor and a photographer for The Boston Globe.

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Podcast - Lisa Jackson on the Tavis Smiley Show

Letter from Birmingham Jail


Environmental Justice at the Table

                      EPA - Region 4 Meeting

Coalition of Communities for Environmental Justice

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The Coalition of Communities seeks to provide open, transparent, fair, inclusive community involvement in existing and future environmental justice locations throughout the southeastern United States. We known that many communities lack the resources to investigate, document, advocate their environmental justice issues. We will assist any community which seeks to become knowledgeable about their Environment.

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