2006-02-09 / Letters to the Editor

Landfill design

Regarding the Jamestown Landfill 50 Percent Design, as discussed in the public comment session on Wednesday evening, Feb. 1, at the library, it appears to these Jamestown Shores homeowners that the main question is, Why build a highway barn in a location that has even the remotest possibility of leading to contamination of our drinking water supply? Why build it where extraordinary measures are necessary to ensure no impact on the environment? It is frightening to residents to contemplate that well contamination, were it to occur as a result of this development, would be costly if not impossible to reverse, and that that cost would fall solely to the homeowner.

If a professional hydrologist cannot conclusively determine the etiology of one well’s contamination, as was brought out during the public comment session, how can his firm determine that building a highway barn on a landfill site, even taking special precautions, definitely won’t lead to contamination of nearby wells? Is it a good idea to put a highway barn where a highway barn can’t be unless its surrounding soil and water are subject to intensive periodic testing and extraordinary remediation measures such as sump pumps and vortex separators, equipment which must be inspected and repaired in perpetuity? To put the highway barn on this bit of toxic land —albeit only mildly toxic, we are assured — to sustain the barn with an elaborate environmental life-support and testing system, the state Department of Environmental Management must grant a variance, which, it certainly appeared that night, it was ready to do. Was the meeting really just “pro forma public comment”? As we in the Jamestown Shores neighborhood now face potential threats to our wells, due in part to over-development, should we also have to worry about the consequences of unnecessary, town-sponsored risk taking? We vote no on this location for the highway barn. Kathy Fitzgerald

Keith Stavely

Jamestown

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