Saturday, April 08, 2006

Landfill Hysteria

Landfill Hysteria

I received a letter on Aril 4 from a lady who is prominent in Peoria news, telling me that “railway cars of toxic waste are rolling thru the town to the PDC site. Under oath testimony was submitted that there are not nor will be a railhead at PDC.

There were “No Toxic Waste yard signs in front of any residencies of the 24 streets I visited in most affected part of the community and closest to the landfill. Not a one. I was told “you know how it is; the opposition always takes down your signs if they don’t agree with you.” Maybe, but probably not. (I noted only three “For Sale” signs in these neighborhoods less than I saw on Grandview drive where the affluent live and had lots of “no” signs.)

She wrote that“The reason Pleasant Valley Water System, closest to the landfill and the Illinois American Water Company did not submit testimony that the expansion was a threat to the community’s water was that when the water gets more polluted, they will just charge us more.” Ah, so that knocks the theory we will become a “ghost town” as Tom Edwards said one unidentified individual told him. The water companies will be able to treat the water same as they do the water containing mercury, barium, chloride and battery acid and other chemical toxins that are in the river now; Illinois River water we drink from our taps and fountains every day. Hmmmmmmmm. This was probably a realtor looking to drive values down so he could buy houses in the ‘hood’ cheap and rent them to immigrants.

“Any negative affect on property taxes has already happened.” I agree but people over the 27 years the hazardous waste landfill has been at this location and growing, kept building new homes right up to the valley separating PDC form the neighborhoods. Yes, some have told me now that after negative statements made by the environmentalists, they MAY see some loss in value. Two buildings are under construction now. Mr. Edwards says why would anyone build in the area around the landfill knowing what they know? Does he feel all those people who built there and bought their in the past 20 years couldn’t see.

The greatest effect of decrease of property values is from the humans who move into your neighborhood who don’t have the same cultural values you do. As neighborhoods age, they are the same as most things that age; they become less valuable. People often improve their earnings and look for larger or smaller, more expensive or less expensive, move to be closer to someone or something or move out of town because of high property taxes, lack of jobs or dissatisfaction with schools. Location is what realtors say. This location of the landfill is at the same place it was 27 years ago! And the landfill will still be there as the community ages with experts testifying that they will have the same problems they are having now. NONE11

A document was submitted by the opponents, copied from the Washington Post on 9/15/1997 about health effects of a chemical dump in Pitman NJ. They suffered from industrial compounds that gave off breathing fumes. Expert testimony could not tie that toxic dump to PDC’s solid waste dump that the State of Illinois says emits so little emissions that they do not need to regularly test for them.

Mr. Edwards states “Do you think the Chamber of Commerce would tout new business coming to Peoria because it has one of the Midwest major toxic chemical landfills?’ Mr. Edwards is wrong on two points: Did he forget that the Executive Director of the Greater Peoria Chamber of Commerce testified that the 1200 members of the Chamber supported the expansion and did he find in his letters from the State of Illinois Officials where Mr. Edwards described this site as a major toxic waste landfill. The State says it is not. I believe the state and expert testimony presented that this site is not a “toxic” landfill and will not be if the expansion is permitted. Some board members have taken an attitude of guarantee me everything. Sorry, I doubt even the God you worship, could do that.

In a letter to the County Board dated 5/13/04 states that PDC may look for a buyer of this site. Sure and what if it is Waste Management, and then you would have one major waste contractor who could set any price for garbage they want. Does this sound familiar? Think about it. By accepting the application with added protective criteria, the Coulter family cannot sell this landfill without approval from the County Board. Deny it and they may and don’t need approval from the Count Board.

As part of the new siting application the contract would contain a clause of no sale of the company without County Board approval.

Mr. Edwards is constantly talking about the barrel trenches. Those barrels were buried in a different era and if they become a problem, that problem will belong to the owner. The barrel trench area is not affected in any negative way by this siting process which is not over that area. In fact Mr. Norris, expert witness for the opponents testified that an expansion could help prevent leakage from some of the older closed sites.

As a fear tactic Mr. Edward submitted a clipping from the New York Times dated 2/16/05 stating that a “study suggesting that anthropogenic air pollution carries health risks and genetic consequences. Exposure to pollutants caused chiefly by vehicles, pesticides, and smoking have been linked to some fetal harm”. Yes, I believe that so why not spend our valuable dollars eliminating those proven pollutants instead of pollutants that don’t exist at PDC. What does that article have to do with the PDC siting application?? You say PDC does pollute? Prove it. Your experts couldn’t, show me where they did in sworn testimony?

In an undated document submitted to the County board Mr. Edwards had “marked out” 1100 toxic chemicals and their compounds and penned in 900. A quick drop of 200 and a quicker one yet when he said in a document to the county dated Jan.31.06 that there are “843” of the worst toxic wastes known to mankind.” Again reread my blog of the letter the IPEA sent to Mr. Edwards and where he later said the IEPA is lying. He questions why PDC have sometimes had to correct their figures yet Mr. Edwards does it to fit his agenda. PDC has trained laboratory people who are constantly analyzing the entire process.

Turnover is mentioned. Sure, PDC is a local FAMILY OWNED Company. There may be less opportunity for advancement in a family company than a multi-billion dollar company like WM.

Tom says close the facility now. He says “We made it, we can unmake it.” Maybe a lot of the money spent on this hysteria could have been spent of recycling and studying reuse of lead, barium and fly ash. Sure, close all dumps and go back to dumping everything in ditches and on our roads stream beds and rivers, lawns and school yards. We’ve been trying to minimize the bad health effects of vehicle exhaust for 20-30 years. It’s still in the air today. Maybe all problems will be solved in 15 years and the landfill put under a perpetual maintain fund for the next 500 years. I’d suggest the more passionate environmentalists pool their time and money and go to work researching and then developing a permanent waste problem solution.

“Everything eventually leaks.” It was demonstrated by expert witnesses that some moisture escapes from all things over enough years. But it is in such small amounts that it is absorbed into the tightly packed clayey sub-soils and the amounts that would ever hit the small vein to the Sankoty would be no worse than a kid eating chemically treated fruit picked out of a garden or tree without washing it in soap and water, breathing 2nd hand smoke or inhaling oil product fumes and harmful coal dust.. Products are eaten every day that if eaten in great quantities would kill us.

“Closed portions of the landfill have to be constantly sumped or leached.” That’s true, some rainwater gets thru the cover before the three feet lined cover is completed. As testified, the amount leached and treated become less and less so that in 8-10 years the buried covered hazardous waste has virtually no moisture content.

Wastes that are runny are solidified but not treated” says Mr. Edwards. Expert witnesses testified differently, and the trucks I see going into PDC do not appear to be tank trucks.

Testimony submitted by the Sierra Club shows I was absent on February 24. The chairperson will confirm I sat beside her on that day and left at dinner break. Otherwise I have missed no important testimony and I read the testimony by Mr. Norris that I missed only because he asked that his testimony be taken out of sequence and the chair approved.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more facts.

2 comments:

DPJ said...

Merle,

"I received a letter on April 4 from a lady who is prominent in Peoria news, telling me that “railway cars of toxic waste are rolling thru the town to the PDC site. Under oath testimony was submitted that there are not nor will be a railhead at PDC."

Just FYI, in late winter through spring 2003, PDC did receive railcars of uncontaminated dirt that came from a Commonwealth Edison site near Oak Park, Illinois. The dirt was shipped in railcars to the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway yard in East Peoria, but it ended up at the now-closed Tazewell County Landfill on East Washington St.

This was, of course, a temporary move and ended nearly three years ago, and apparently had nothing to do with the Pottstown facility.

My source is an article that appeared in the PJS on February 5, 2003 entitled "Truck Traffic to increase in EP."

The person claiming that railcars of of toxic waste were rolling thru town to the PDC site is WITHOUT A CLUE, but perhaps he/she recalled this article.

Furthermore, topography makes rail access to the PDC landfill at Pottstown impossible.

I appreciate your common sense on this issue.

Merle Widmer said...

Thanks for the info and your kind comments. My comment boxes are pretty empty. I sent my email and blog site to the lead environmentalists who seem to have taken this community by storm yet they haven't disputed much of what I am saying.

Facts hurt so they may not be reading me.

Interesting.