This was the message repeated again and again by Redifuel, a company proposing to build two more million gallon fuel storage tanks, to over 100 eastside residents gathered at a public hearing last night. Redifuel charged residents opposed to adding to the already existing 20 fuel storage tanks with 'willful ignorance.' 20 local youth demanding an end to environmental racism were called 'puppets' and told they shouldn't be there since they can't vote. However, the best quote of the night came from the Mayor of Kirby, Ray Martin, who claimed 'racism is a card you play when you're uneducated.'
The voice and power of the people was resoundingly clear. The spirited audience spoke for over an hour denouncing the use of the east side as a 'dumping ground,' recalling decades long struggles for justice and equality, citing abuses against the community and families and calling for protection of health and safety of this neighborhood. The community needs sidewalks, parks, libraries, hospitals and supermarkets, not toxic facilities that will continue to poison already sick residents.
Redifuel is requesting that its newly purchased land is changed from Industrial 1 zoning to Industrial 2, which would open even more land for building dangerous fuel storage tanks. This however requires approval from the San Antonio City Council. Redifuel employs only 16 people and has no jobs to offer, but has big dreams of expansion, meaning more fuel tanks for the east side. Fuel storage tanks are toxic, they leak and poisonous gas escapes through even concrete barriers. They cause asthma, respiratory disorders, nausea and central nervous system problems.
Southwest Workers Union applauds City Councilwomen Sheila McNeil for supporting community voices and opposing more fuel tanks.
Show your support for environmental justice, send letters to city council, see sample
KSAT 12 - Fuel Tanks Expansion Plan Opposed by East Side Residents
Kens 5 - Neighbors United Against Redifuel