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2021 News Archives

December 20, 2021, News4Jax

Documents show the complaints began in December 2020 and have continued. They triggered a state investigation into the cause of the smell. The homeowner, whose name we are not disclosing for safety purposes, was excited about moving into her new Brunswick home about a month ago until she opened her windows.  "As soon as I started opening the windows and taking walks it was pretty evident,” the homeowner said. She called the Glynn Environmental Coalition. Rachael Thompson is the executive director there. She said the homeowner was one of more than 100 people who have called in complaints of the weird, pungent smell.

December 16, 2021, The Brunswick News

With the two-year saga of the shipwrecked Golden Ray nearly behind the community, several coastal environmental advocacy groups are hosting a public meeting Thursday on St. Simons Island to discuss ramifications to the ecosystem in the aftermath and possible responses.  The Altamaha Riverkeeper, 100 Miles, the Glynn Environmental Coalition and the Satilla Riverkeeper are hosting the meeting.

December 15, 2021, Time Magazine

And in Brunswick, Georgia, which is 55% Black, residents have long been accustomed to the smell of rotten eggs from a nearby Georgia-Pacific pulp mill. But starting in December of 2020, residents started having such severe health reactions to the smell that some called 911 because they couldn’t breathe in their homes, says Rachael Thompson, the executive director of the Glynn Environmental Coalition.

December 6, 2021, The Islander

City Commissioners were not happy last Wednesday with the report from the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources' (DNR) Environmental Protection Division (EPD) concerning the odors permeating Brunswick during the past year.

December 1, 2021, The Brunswick News

“The intent right now is to basically do the monitoring from the beginning of December to the end of January,” said Rachael Thompson, executive director of the Glynn Environmental Coalition, which has spearheaded a continued search for information about the air quality issue. A deluge of air quality complaints were filed with the EPD in late 2020. The Glynn Environmental Coalition quickly took the lead in pursuing information about what could be causing the problem.

July 14th, 2021, Southerly

Spanline Dixon, a retired teacher’s aide, is used to unpleasant smells. Her home in Brunswick, Ga. is near a waste and recycling facility, a water pollution control plant, and two facilities that emit toxic chemicals into the air: a pulp mill, Georgia Pacific (GP) Cellulose, and Pinova, a resin manufacturer. But on the evening of January 17, Dixon could literally feel a strong chemical odor, she said. She was disoriented. “I turned the air conditioner off, and it just attacked my respiratory system. I was coughing, and I didn’t know what was going on. I felt sick, nauseated…. and it was in the back of my throat,” Dixon said. 

September 23, 2021, Community Matters

Community Matters, a local program aired weekly on Rejoice 97.5 & 94.7 FM radio in Brunswick, Georgia, interviewed the Glynn Environmental Coalition Executive Director, Rachael Thompson. Listen in for this exclusive interview to learn more about the organization, local environmental issues, and what you can do to get involved.

July 15th, 2021, The Brunswick News

Ness Montoya discovered at a young age the importance of using her voice, especially in conversations about issues as critical as promoting sustainability and protecting the environment.  Montoya also played a crucial role in helping GEC organize the inaugural Latino Conservation Week observation in the Golden Isles. Events throughout the week, which will kick off Saturday, are intended to engage local Hispanic and Latino residents in conversations about environmental issues and opportunities to experience this kind of work firsthand.

April 23rd, 2021, The Brunswick News and Yahoo! News

A group in downtown Brunswick joined a global chorus Thursday calling for better environmental protections in honor of Earth Day. In a short march down Newcastle Street organized by the Glynn Environmental Coalition, participants held up signs reading “Save What’s Left,” “Protect the Okefenokee” and “I’m With Her,” which was written alongside an arrow pointing to an illustration of the Earth. The marches chanted, “What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now.”

June 1st, 2021, Oxford American

The founder of Glynn Environmental Coalition (GEC), Daniel Parshley, told me about his nonprofit’s Safe Seafood Program, which aims to educate fishers in Glynn through direct outreach on how to reduce health risks when eating potentially contaminated local seafood.

May 4th, 2021, GPB News

“They need to tell us what they’re doing and then if they don’t do it, then we need to hold them accountable,” says Glynn Environmental Coalition Director Rachael Thompson. “We can’t do that if they aren’t being transparent.”

April 26th, 2021, The Brunswick News and Yahoo! News

A new campaign aims to raise awareness of the risks facing North Atlantic right whales and to educate Georgians about the wide-reaching impact their consumer choices can have. One Hundred Miles, Glynn Environmental Coalition, St. Marys Earthkeepers and The Dolphin Project recently launched the “Eat Local, Not Lobster” campaign, which most directly targets Coastal Georgia residents and visitors.

April 5th, 2021, The Brunswick News

Rachael Thompson, executive director of Glynn Environmental Coalition, said her organization is excited to work with the students. “We would love for the community to turn out in support of these students,” Thompson said. “Youth are our future, and the fact that these young men have come out and decided to actually take an action to do something to better our environment and support our organization, that’s kind of just a plus.”

April 22nd, 2021, The Brunswick News

The meeting began with a presentation by Rachael Thompson, executive director of the Glynn Environmental Coalition, regarding the Hercules/Pinova corrective action plan.

April 20th, 2021, The Brunswick News

The Golden Isles community will join others around the world this Thursday to celebrate the planet we all call home. Locally, the Glynn Environmental Coalition and numerous partners will celebrate Earth Day through a variety of events, all of which will highlight the role everyone can play in protecting the environment. “Our planet has one day of the year that we get to dedicate to celebrating it and taking action,” said Rachael Thompson, executive director of Glynn Environmental Coalition. “As an advocacy organization, we want to protect the environment and we want to protect the people who live in and are sustained by it.”

April 10th, 2021, The Brunswick News

Those who were hoping to learn the source of the noxious odor that permeates areas of Brunswick periodically didn’t get the answers they hoped for at a meeting Friday hosted by the Glynn Environmental Coalition.

March 18th, 2021, The Brunswick News

Representing an environmentalist viewpoint, Glynn Environmental Coalition Executive Director Rachael Thompson said GEC wanted to see more capital and infrastructure projects on the SPLOST 2021 list that addressed sea-level rise and coastal resiliency. That was one of three reasons the coalition stepped in to voice opposition to the tax. Another was public input. Thompson said none of the government agencies that stood to gain from the revenue gave the public any true opportunities to influence the projects list.

March 17th, 2021, The Brunswick News

The tax faced opposition from several sources, including the Glynn Environmental Coalition, which Executive Director Rachael Thompson said did not feel enough was being dedicated to the task of combating sea-level rise and resiliency efforts, and Citizens for St. Simons Island and Sea Island, which conducted multiple town hall meetings to discuss with citizens the downsides of SPLOST 2021 and the failures of past SPLOST taxes.

March 15th, 2021, The Brunswick News

It is rare in our polarized political landscape to find an issue where every leader is on the same page. Recently, one issue had city and county leaders in lock step with our state delegation and our congressman — the consent decree on the Terry Creek Superfund landfill cleanup.

March 13th, 2021, The Brunswick News

Legislation reintroduced by U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, this week will enable communities to become more involved in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund cleanup process. The legislation will be of particular interest to Glynn County, home of four Superfund sites and the springboard for the measure.

March 2021, Paisley Magazine

Growing up spending her summers at the Jersey Shore, Rachael Thompson developed an early love of the ocean.That love would ultimately lead her to the Golden Isles, where she is now the executive director of the Glynn Environmental Coalition (GEC), an organization that educates and advocates for a safe, clean environment and healthy economy for the people of Coastal Georgia.

March 2, 2021 - The Brunswick News

Rachael Thompson, executive director of the Glynn Environmental Coalition, was among the dissenting voices on the panel. “Our main concerns from an environmental standpoint are the fact that we are in a climate crisis at the moment,” Thompson said. “We feel the Glynn County Commission could have done a better job to prioritize climate resilience projects for inclusion on the project list, and those projects would help the residents of Brunswick and the greater county.”

February 17th, 2021 - News 4 Jax

Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division isn’t the only agency investigating the source of an unpleasant odor in Brunswick.  Glynn Environmental Coalition, an environmental advocacy group, told the Brunswick News that citizens deserve an answer, and the GEC hopes to be able to provide one if the EPD can’t.

February 17th, 2021 - CAI News

“The proposed measures are based on outdated information that will not protect the right whale in the short or long term or long term,” said Rachael Thompson, executive director of the Glynn Environmental Coalition. She doubted the efficacy of weak rope when it comes to reducing risk for juvenile whales and other endangered marine species. So by now, she added, the agency should be doing more to experiment with “ropeless” fishing techniques. 

February 15th, 2021 - The Brunswick News

State government agencies aren’t the only ones investigating the foul smell in the Brunswick area. The Glynn Environmental Coalition has worked for months to help citizens organize and make complaints to the state Environmental Protection Division in an attempt to address what may be a serious air quality issue.

February 10th, 2021 - News4Jax

Rachael Thompson, executive director for the Glynn Environmental Coalition, said the smell is ten times worse than usual, raising environmental, public health and mental health concerns.

While the Environmental Protection Division has yet to identify the source of the odor, Thompson said it is important that regulators get to the bottom of the issue once and for all.

February 10th, 2021 - The Brunswick News

The search for an odor in Brunswick continues not just among local authorities, but at the state Environmental Protection Division’s Air Quality Branch as well. Steve Allison, Chemicals and Minerals Compliance Unit manager at the Air Quality Branch in Atlanta, said a town hall meeting in January with Brunswick residents was informative and helpful but noted the investigation so far has been unfruitful.

February 8th, 2021 - The Brunswick News

The Glynn Environmental Coalition is also on the case. At the town hall meeting, Executive Director Rachael Thompson said the organization is looking at options to acquire said funding. She could not be reached for comment by press time, however.

February 8th, 2021 - JDSupra

A United States District Court in a January 29th Order addressed a standing issue that arose in a Clean Water Act citizen suit action. The citizen suit action involved alleged Section 404 Clean Water Act violations. Plaintiffs, the Glynn Environmental Coalition, Inc. and Center for a Sustainable Coast, Inc., along with Jane Fraser brought an Amended Complaint against Defendant Sea Island Acquisition, LLC alleging violations of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

January 29th, 2021 - The Brunswick News

Rachael Thompson, executive director of the Glynn Environmental Coalition, said residents are experiencing symptoms, including coughing, sore throat, watery eyes, irritation to the skin, difficulty breathing and more as a result of whatever is causing the odor.

January 27, 2021 - The Brunswick News

The city of Brunswick and Glynn Environmental Coalition will host a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday about widespread complaints of a foul odor in the Brunswick area.

January 23, 2021, The Brunswick News

What they spent while they were in the store will go toward the next round of funding. The most recent beneficiaries were: Brunswick Chapter of Links, Inc; Ferst Readers of Glynn County; Saved by Grace; Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Georgia; Coastal Coalition for Children; Coastal Symphony of Georgia; Golden Isles VFW Post 4092; Hospice of the Golden Isle; Faithworks, The Well; Grace House; Golden Isles Arts & Humanities; Morningstar Children & Family Services; Glynn Environmental Coalition and Children in Action Sports

January 13th, 2021 - The Brunswick News

 Enter the Glynn Environmental Coalition, which has a history of fighting for clean air. “We’ve been following air quality for years, going back to the late 1990s, early 2000s,” said GEC Executive Director Rachael Thompson. “Our organization filed a lawsuit because the facilities in Brunswick did not have air permits even though the Clean Air Act required them.”

January 1st, 2021 - Paisley Magazine

 “Locally, I serve on several non-profit boards, including Glynn Environmental Coalition (GEC) because I believe in preserving our waters, airspace and environment. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be doing more green construction in Glynn County."

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