Diplomacy, negotiation and education are the first and foremost lines of effective defense chosen by community leaders and organizations to prevent the siting of a facility such as the proposed National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. While these methods are a necessary part of the process, both proponents and opponents are likely to agree that communities that do not exhibit a strong grassroots voice and visible presence are more likely to be chosen to become the home for a facility such as NBAF.

This is especially so when the chosen site would easily accommodate one or more landfills, which are known to leak, one or more incinerators, which are known to release toxins into the air and a germ lab that would stress already stressed regional water supplies and negatively impact other community and environmental concerns.

For 11 months we have covered Granville County and other areas with “Nobio” signs. We’ve stood up with them held high at public hearings, community forums and many other events, rallies and protests. We’ve put them on our vehicles and our horses, in our windows, on our persons and in our yards.

On July 29, at Butner-Stem Middle School, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., we have another chance to come together as a county and region to visibly and audibly show the Department of Homeland Security and proponents of NBAF that we are still opposed to the siting of this facility near Butner.

So grab the signs out of your yards or make one. Put on your ribbons, buttons and T-shirts. Bring your children, family, neighbors and friends and come to one or both sessions of the Environmental Impact Statement Public Hearing. Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of those who live in the 50 mile radius that could become the NBAF sacrifice zone. We need to ask Homeland Security and NBAF proponents “What part of no don’t you understand?”

Elaine Whitefield