It would not be an exaggeration to say that many
people in Cushing may owe their good health to the 8th graders at
Cushing Middle School six years ago. Without a series of persuasive
letters the students wrote to agencies and legislators, deadly hydrogen
fluoride and other chemicals might still be leaking from a former
refinery at the west end of town.
Kent Hancock's 8th graders wanted to know why the refinery, which had
been an inactive eyesore throughout their lives, had not been cleaned
up. They got busy writing letters to the DEQ, the EPA and elected
officials. Aided by Glynn McCauley, a concerned local citizen, the
students have been credited with calling attention to the neglected
refinery which led to the removal of the hazardous chemicals, the
demolition of the site, and the ongoing cleanup there.
For proving that something as simple as letter-writing can
make a tremendous difference, Kent Hancock and his 8th grade Cushing
Middle School Class of '98 are good news for identifying and addressing
environmental risks in Oklahoma.
Posted on 05/01/2003
by Sonny Wilkinson filed under