SIERRA CLUB ADS - Mitch Perry

03/25/04

The Sierra Club began running ads in selected areas of the country this week, taking the Bush administration to task for what they say is their failure to make polluters pay for the cleanup of toxic messes they make....

But their ad in the Tampa Bay Market - which includes problems at the Coronet phosphate facility in Plant City, has led to some controversy, leaving one local station to pull the ads.(roll tape#1 o.q."and communities")

The Sierra Club says the Coronet Ad and the others highlights the Bush Administration's refusal to support the "polluter pays" principal that would relieve taxpayers of cleaning up abandoned toxic waste sites. Jonathan Ullman from the Club explains that Tax(roll tape#2 o.q."is going down")

But Tom Stewart is a spokesman for Coronet Industries says the ad is totally misleading.

(roll tape#3 o.q." based on fact")

So far, one station - WFLA Channel 8 - has stopped airing the ads. Sales Director Joe Pomilla did not return WMNF's phone call by airtime

Fox 13's Station Manager, Bob Linger, told the Tampa Tribune today that he was seeking more information about the accuracy of the ad, but as of mid day Thursday the ad continued to run on the station.

The Sierra Club firmly stands up to the content of the ad..Jonathan Ullman is, the South Florida regional representative for the Sierra Club (roll tape#4 o.q."American Taxpayer")

After being in business for over 90 years, Coronet announced 2 months ago that it was closing its doors for good at the end of March.

Over the years, stories spread thru the community about health problems in nearby neighborhoods - many of them cancer related.....Then last July, some former employees went public that Coronet officials had ordered them to dump toxic waste in the area...

Since then, numerous government agencies began testing wells near the plant. Hillsborough County officials said that Of 143 tested by the end of 2003, 32 exceeded what officials consider safe drinking standards, The most commonly found pollutants were arsenic and boron, and as a precaution, about 30 households were put on bottled drinking water.

But So far, no proof has tied pollution at Coronet directly to people's sicknesses.

Coronet's Tom Stewart says though Coronet has been hit with a barrage of negative publicity, Coronet has not harmed anybody's health (roll tape#5 o.q."no public health threat")

In addition to Tampa Bay, the Sierra club is running television ads in Philadelphia, Detroit, and a radio ad in Omaha, Nebraska. The ads highlight the following specific sites: Veliscol Plant in Pine River, MI; Port Richmond in Philadelphia, PA;; and Omaha Lead Site in Omaha, Nebraska, and the Coronet site in Plant City...

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