Community Member

Concerned Citizens of Cook County (4C)

Adel, Georgia

Concerned Citizens of Cook County (4C), founded in 2020, aims to advocate for the health, safety, economic gain, and well-being of the community in Adel, Georgia. They confront various threats, including a proposed wood pellet biomass plant, propane tank refurbishing emissions, disruptive bitcoin mining operations, and an abandoned, toxic lumber yard. The predominantly low-income and African American community faces environmental burdens, pollution-related health issues, and potential long-term consequences. For these reasons, 4C has been causing “good trouble” in the community: investigating noxious fumes from a propane tank refurbishing company; fighting for stricter permitting and oversight of area industries; and winning commitments from the new biomass plant on increased pollution control beyond state environmental requirements. The legacy pollution and patterns of industrial development that have harmed Adel’s residents propel 4C in the fight for change.

Concerned Citizens of Cook County GA organize to oppose dirty wood pellet biomass plant.

Partnering, communicating, and dedicating themselves to improving their community are what bring 4C success. When the state permitted a pellet manufacturer to emit particulate and gaseous pollutants in residential Adel, 4C partnered with Dogwood Alliance and soon sought help from the Southern Environmental Law Center. The groups challenged the permit on the grounds of legacy discrimination. They demonstrated at EPA’s Atlanta office, appealing to EPA for stricter oversight of all pellet factories. They put up billboards saying, “Stop the wood pellet plant. Join” They got the attention of the press, and Georgia Conservation Voters produced a YouTube documentary about the environmental injustices in Adel. Finally, they brokered a settlement with the pellet company, which agreed to monitor more frequently than required by law and to provide the neighborhood with air filters, limit noise and traffic, set up a hotline, and pay fines if it violates air pollution agreements.

Dr. Treva Gear Celeste Hayes standing in front of a Concerned Citizens of Cook County billboard.

For more information:

The biomass climate hoax | Shipping Southern forests overseas to burn – Southern Environmental Law Center News, June 2023

Advocates file civil rights complaint against Georgia EPD – The Atlanta Journal Constitution, January 2023

Concerned Citizens of Cook County, SELC secure stringent terms in settlement agreement with Spectrum Energy LLC, Press Release – Southern Environmental Law Center, January 2023

Residents to get hearing in discrimination claim against Georgia EPD – The Atlantic Journal-Constitution, November 2022

Conference aims to educate public on environmental health, climate change – 41NBC – WMGT, May 2022

Adel residents celebrate ‘Community Action Day’ with garden – WALB News 10, July 2021

Adel citizens upset over odor invading the neighborhood – WFXI Fox 31, July 2021

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Dr. Treva Gear


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Air Pollution, Water Contamination

Environmental Justice Concerns

Groundwater Contamination, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Logging/Biomass, Noise/Light Pollution, Sewage/Sewage Treatment


Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education, Fighting Industrial Contamination, Halting Bad Development, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Political activism, including protests, petitions, and lobbying, Risk mapping and/or monitoring e.g. flooding/contaminants etc

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations