I quote from another half /truth or no truth in a “letter to the editors of the JS” in today’s edition. Esther Cohen writes “County Board member Bob Baietto asked engineers for a “certainty” that there could be no serious accidents and, of course, after a long and detailed answer by staff, the conclusion was that it was impossible to know.” Had she been at the ITOO Hall to listen to the 40 hours of expert testimony, she would have heard safety discussed and testimony provided by expert testimony, including our Highway Superintendent. No human being or company on the face of the earth can guarantee any accidents. PDC nor anyone else can recall any accidents that would have harmed the environment. Ms. Cohen wants a guarantee of no accidents till the end of time!!
According to my records this was the only meeting out of 8 or more that Esther Cohen attended if you can call her short appearance, an attendance. The record will show she has never in the 5 plus years I’ve been a county board member attended a Peoria County Board meeting to express her concern about anything.
In the Journal Stat today it reads “Woman dies after SUV hits utility pole.” I want to ask Esther and all people who are asking for “forever” guarantees may wonder if the poor woman, who was killed, asked before she bought the SUV or before she went out of the house would anyone guarantee she would return alive. Next time you go to a doctor for treatment or surgery, ask this doctor to guarantee that you will not get more ill, get staph infection or even die. 43,000 people died in vehicle accidents last year. Guarantees for life? Time to bunker down, Peoria. Maybe use those bunkers abandoned by American East Explosives that may be the source of pollution near PDC. Aren’t by vows, marriages guaranteed for life? Hmmmmm.
Esther continues “Another question was asked about the type of ground under the PDC. Was it usual? Yes, was the reply? I left abruptly.” (Ms. Cohen)
Ms. Cohen, would you please explain your definition of “usual” soil? Read expert witness statements and you will see that even the opposition expert says this if not ordinary dirt soil. Some who read me and know Ms. Cohen, who I’m sure is a nice lady as was my mother who also knew nothing about landfills, ask her if she knows about the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and their stringent controls over all landfills AFTER the IPEA was created and was given authority to safeguard our health. Have any of the “no” people beside Tom Edwards gotten an opinion from the IPEA on the PDC landfill and its threat to our water system? If we’re going to become a ghost town, surely Caterpillar is interested. I saw a Caterpillar representative testify for the expansion, not against. Who wants headquarters in a “ghost town?”
Tremendous time and money was spent to bring forward expert testimony only to have much of the populace and some County Board members buy into the hysteria poisoning that PDC expansion will bring to this community. The Landfill is already there and if it’s going to pollute it’s going to pollute, once it is abandoned.
Dave Williams, Peoria County Board Chairman, defending his “no” vote, is quoted in today’s Journal as saying, “My concern is the aquifer.” Hey, Dave, aren’t we all concerned? That’s why we “yes” voters, voted for the only plan that guarantees a lifetime maintenance plan!!
Williams was noticeably absent thru most of the six day testimony. When I asked him why he didn’t attend, he said “because you were there to listen to the testimony.” I , along with six other board members, voted “yes” to expand over a part of the existing landfill, voted based on facts garnered from expert testimony after hearing people testify for six days including a Saturday. . My yes vote was based on adding a number of special conditions, including a perpetual maintenance trust fund; these conditions approved by PDC to staff and presented to the full County Board. Dave voted no. Hmmmmmm.
I reiterate the facts. Neither Illinois American Water Company nor the Pleasant Valley public water system representatives came forward to testify against the expansion. Wouldn’t you think that since they are they major water suppliers to the area that they would express their concern??
On 2/26/06, Stanton Browning Executive Director of the GPSD is quoted in the JS as saying “Greater Peoria Sanitary District predicts a 5% increase in service costs to Peorians served by the district if the landfill closes. That’s because the district treats PDC’s waste in return for PDC’s hauling district waste sludge to the City/County Landfill. Note the CITY/COUNTY LANDFILL, not PDC.
Sean Shanahan writes in a letter to the JS editors, “staff is obviously uncomfortable with what now exists.” Like we all aren’t? But Sean, its there and has been there for 27 years. Are you going to guarantee to take care of it when PDC close it down in 2009 and maybe leaves the area? Oh, I see, they have responsibility for 15 years of closure, but those like you are talking about 50 to 500 years in the future? So what about after 2024?? With your requests for “guarantees”, what do you guarantee after year 2024 except the responsibility of you, your children and grandchildren to spend their money to maintain this most likely abandoned EXISTING landfill forever?
“A country (county) that seeks great change and lacks the willingness to run great risks dooms itself to futility. (Clarendon)