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LETTER: Dump Q&A puzzling

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To the editor: 

I attended the public information meeting Sept. 10 concerning the proposed landfill in the Duff community. No commissioners from the 5th district were there. 

To my knowledge, the county mayor was not present. Our state representative stayed about 30 minutes. 

The audience was allowed to ask questions of the Ketchen Land Company representatives, operators of the dump.

I left the meeting with many unanswered questions. 

Some of the questions concerning the health hazards of fly ash were avoided altogether. 

The question: “Will property values decrease?” was answered with a definite “no,” but when asked if property values would decrease, if homeowners were located next to the dump, the answer was “yes.” 

We were told they would accept waste products from other states.

I have done extensive research on fly ash and cannot find anything positive. 

There is no way to completely contain this waste material. 

It can be airborne when it enters the respiratory system. 

It can get into the ground, contaminating soil and water sources. 

It contains numerous heavy metals. 

These metals are toxic, causing such health problems as birth defects, cancers, lung disease, developmental delays to name a few.

What are the benefits to Campbell County? 

The proposed $50 million dollars would be distributed over the life of the permit (20–30 years). 

Who would see that this money is wisely spent? 

The 20–25 permanent jobs are not guaranteed to the people of Campbell County. The fly ash would be transported either via railroad or highway. 

Our roads are already in bad shape and heavily traveled. 

Does Campbell County have the resources in the event of a hazardous spill? 

The financial benefits do not begin to compare to the negative aspects and possible future expenses to the county.

Now, let’s fast forward 20 to 30 years when the permit expires and the landfill is full. Suppose Ketchen decides to abandon the landfill. No longer able to make a profit, they stop paying land taxes. 

The land and its landfill would then legally belong to Campbell County. 

Are we prepared to pay the tremendous expense required to maintain this 300 acres of toxic waste?

Evelyn Hutson,

LaFollette