2008-03-20 / Letters to the Editor

SSA is a bad idea

Editor's note: This letter was sent to Karen Maguire of the EPA voicing opposition to the Sole Source Aquifer designation and copied to the Jamestown Press.

I have forwarded two previous correspondences to Douglas Heath of your office (please see attached) noting my opposition to the designation of Jamestown as a Sole Source Aquifer. My opposition to this designation is based on the facts that this application by members of the north end of our community is a politically-driven application. It is not one, despite their repeated denials, based on an underlining concern for the safety and quality of water in Jamestown. If the quality of water was really their major concern I would suspect that they would have been present at the meetings of the Jamestown Water and Sewer Board. They have been noticeably absent from these meetings and if I am correct may have only attended the last two. They were nowhere to be seen prior to Preti Flaherty Beliveau Pachios & Haley Petition dated January 27, 2006, nor were they there through all of 2006 and 2007.

Please also be advised that the Town did not receive a courtesy copy of their original petition and was only informed months later of this application. In addition they did not follow the simplest and most basic protocols when submitting this type of application and that is to talk to the professionals who deal with these kinds of problems on a day to day basis. Nor did they take the time, effort or energy to contact the individuals who have the practical knowledge of dealing with these issues on a day to day basis, the companies that drill and maintain the wells in Jamestown.

They bypassed the Town, the professionals in the field and those individuals with the practical knowledge of existing conditions in Jamestown with the sole purpose of fostering their own ends. Namely blocking the building of our DPW facility on the closed landfill site.

I have had the good fortune to work with Larry D'Andrea of your New York office. I was the manager of the first Brownfields project in the City of Yonkers, NY. I also served as Commissioner of Public Works in Yonkers and as their grants administrator. When I retired and moved to Jamestown, I saw the crying need for a new DPW facility in Jamestown and the potential to develop that facility on a closed landfill initiating the highest and best use for that site and by capping the site with concrete or blacktop would further protect the groundwater from possible leachate problems at the same time instituting a well-designed storm water management program. What could have been and should have been a national example for the beneficial use of a closed landfill turned in to the quintessential NIMBY fight which was led by the signers of the Sole Source Aquifer Petition.

It is also worth noting that one of the individuals who is among the most vocal on this issue was a candidate for political office and lost that election in November of 2007.

Respectfully submitted,

William A. Kelly

Jamestown

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