Sierra Pacific needs to take responsibility

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Sierra Pacific needs to take responsibility On Saturday, Jan 7, I had turned the corner of O Street walking east on Nicolas Road when I immediately noticed huge plumes of black particulate coming from the Sierra Pacific property. After billowing up behind a large black pile, it was caught by the gusty north wind, which blew it south through the Lincoln High School stadium area and on through the rest of town. How many unsuspecting innocent Lincolnites unknowingly became targets of the harmful particulates? How many young girls out playing softball on the Lincoln High field or the very young or old with heart, lung and breathing disorders inhaled particulate from the black cloud? This is nothing new. Ten years ago, I notified Sierra Pacific of the same problem. In 2007, Sierra Pacific paid out $13 million to settle multiple air-quality violations. It seems like a never-ending disregard for the health of the people of Lincoln. Rather than take responsibility for Saturday’s pollution, Sierra Pacific spokesman Mark Luster told me that the blame belongs to a subcontractor using Sierra Pacific byproducts to create soil amendments. Déjà vu, that was exactly what Sierra Pacific told me 10 years ago. What bothers me is why is this allowed to continue? The multimillion-dollar mill is a state-of-the-art highly efficient processor of raw lumber. The cogeneration plant earns Sierra Pacific millions by selling electricity. Sierra Pacific’s chairman, Red Emmerson, is a billionaire. Sierra Pacific is the largest private landowner in North America. Yet with all those resources, all that capital, all those millions at its disposal, all those lost millions from being sued, Sierra Pacific apparently will not spend a relative pittance to contain the dispersion of their byproducts here in Lincoln. Don Stewart, Lincoln