Clara Curtis

Clara Curtis lives in Sylacauga, Ala., and is the president of POET — Preserve Our Environment for Tomorrow. Several years ago she noticed that a plant in the area was emitting noxious odors. The pollution was making people, especially schoolchildren, sick.

Clara Curtis-POET site

Clara and other residents organized POET and began to put pressure on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to make it right. EPA set up a superfund investigation and spent months cleaning up the pollution.

Thanks to the efforts of Clara and others in POET, folks in the Sylacauga area are now able to breathe a little easier.

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