The First Nations (Indian's - Native Americans)

Abandon Industrial Sites

A paper based on observations

while driving throughout the

commonwealth of Pennsylvania

I will draw you a picture. It is not a new picture. It is a picture of something that many take for granted and never really think about, except for maybe if you live in Alaska.

The point of the story is a business practice is allowed to continue without addressing the obvious, even after all the planning and environmental assessments have been done. What am I describing? Industrialization. If one gets in a vehicle and drives throughout many areas of Pennsylvania, you will see abandon factories, abandon buildings, dilapidated structures, leftover industrial items, and contaminated water ways. The conditions surrounding the close of business I.e. collapse of the economic market, bankruptcy, the failure to compete, changes in federal law that force a company to make economic decisions and move their facilities off shore, or outright corruption does not matter in the end. They are just excuses that the masses will accept. The end result is the same. The capitalists and the communists, just leave their discarded materials and buildings behind. They just get up and go.

Who is left holding the bag? You and me. Many communities are faced with the question of what to do with the site once it has been abandon. Many times there are no answers. Sometimes the colonists turn the abandon sites into museums. But mostly the situation is left as is. So the questions begs to be asked, why do we tolerate this behavior? Is it because the company at one time provided jobs? Is that a valid reason to accept the disposal of the companies waste? Did the local governments (that are supposed to be protecting their communities) just give a wink and a nod and authorize the environmental contamination in exchange for a revenue stream? Did the authorities agree to accept their refuse when operations cease to exist? Did the inhabitants of these communities know and agree to the terms of these agreement? I don’t believe they did. I don’t believe the topic ever came up for discussion.

Why is this the accepted behavior? I hear and see many people jumping on the “Green New Deal” Bandwagon, but you know as well as I do that the things that really need to be changed, never get addressed. It will be business as usual, except it will come at a much higher price to the end user, and the corporations will have attractive “Green” stickers on their trucks.

It may be human nature that certain types of people automatically get accustomed to living around these dangerous and hazardous abandon properties or the shear lack of responsiveness from local government to interact with their community to resolve the problem gives rise to a feelings of despair and defeatism since the human input is not valued and respected. People in the lower 48 appear to have gotten used to the idea that the local taxpayer will be eventually be relied upon to finance the clean up, after the EPA finally gets done spending tons of taxpayer money proclaiming the site to be a Superfund site. Well, that’s if the site ever gets identified to be cleaned and reclaimed to begin with. Many people are forced to live with the environmental contamination and associated health risks of the their contaminated community.

Does your Green New Deal provide for positive changes that will arrest this time honored tradition of robbing the planet and destroying the lives of locals with your industrial contamination?

Published by Stephen Simmons

My name is Stephen Simmons. Stephen is a 25 year resident of Alaska and a property owner. Stephen built a career in Public Television Broadcasting and established life long friendships and family relationships with the Indigenous peoples of Alaska. Stephen worked at KAKM / KSKA for 15 years, CoastAlaska Inc. as a Broadcast Engineer supporting the public radio stations in southeast Alaska for four years, and served as Audio Engineer and Technical Engineer for Jeanie Green Productions. Stephen has also worked in a professional capacity for the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council for three years. In addition to regular duties and responsibilities the Director of Tribal Forestry and Fish and Wildlife Peace Officer positions, Stephen served as a liaison between the Tribes in that region and some State agencies identified as: the Matanuska-Susitna Advisory Council to the Board of Fish and Game as secretary for 4 years, an appointment by the then Mayor Timothy L. Anderson to a seat on the Matanuska -Susitna Borough, Forestry and Agricultural Advisory Board, and an appointment, by the then Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton, to a seat representing Tribal Interests and perspectives to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Council in Anchorage Alaska. Stephen has traveled to regions outside of Alaska to befriend members of the Crow Tribe after attending the annual Crow Fair Event at Crow Agency Montana, and served as a Security agent for the Western Shoshone Defense Project in Cresent Valley Nevada in the days when their lands and property was subjected to encroachment and confiscation by the U.S. BLM. Stephen has also attended Conferences in Wisconsin with the Indigenous Environmental Network, and has been a frequent attendee to the annual Alaska Federation of Natives conference in Anchorage Alaska.

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