COLUMN: Monofill could threaten water

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Guest Columnists

Perry County commissioners will meet July 18, at 6 p.m. to consider a zoning change for a 200-acre parcel of land located next to the Hoosier National Forest from conservative use to heavy industrial. The purpose is to maintain an industrial landfill called a monofill.

Ask yourself why should I care if it does not affect me? In fact it affects the majority of Perry County residents. Would you like to know why? Please read further.

This letter is being composed to make you aware of a potential threat to our water supply. My wife and I have had property here for more than 30 years. My great-great-grandparents arrived in Perry County in the late 1850s. I was born in Evansville, and to follow my work, had to go to the Chicago area to make a living.

It was there we experienced the problems of poor drinking water and air pollution that was, and still is, causing major health problems.

We came back to Perry County to escape those problems, and to settle down upon retirement with the illusion that we were in a nonpolluted environment. We were wrong.

We discovered, because of all the neighboring counties industrial growth, air quality in this area has decreased compared to other areas in Indiana. Questions have been raised as to what effect this has in connection to high incidences of cancers.

Now we have a potential threat to the water that supplies more than 75 percent of our population. The sad fact is the average person on the street is not aware of this.

Let me explain. As you may know, Waupaca is trying to locate a new landfill in the very center of our county. To do that, they first have to change the zoning status to heavy industrial. That is the problem.

The proposed site sets over both the Pennsylvanian and Mississippian aquifers. The main watershed is to the west of Indiana 37 and directly into Saddle and Dry lakes. So the Pennsylvanian aquifer would be most affected if the containment of the landfill is ever compromised.

You ask how this affects me. In fact 100 percent of Tell City water, 100 percent of Troy water, 100 percent of And Tro Water below Indiana 70, all water hauled from the Tell City supply comes from the Pennsylvanian aquifer. Also most of the higher quality wells in the county. So this can affect you, and your family directly. Why does Waupaca insist on putting their landfill at that location? According to them, it’s their bottom line. Yes they have options, they choose to ignore. And to who’s expense? All the citizens in the county.

Waupaca says it wants to be a good neighbor. Well ask the residents living near their existing landfill. They already have a dust problem that Waupaca does not recognize.

According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, there have been no comprehensive studies, that they are aware of, in the long term concerning the type of barrier protection that Waupaca wants to use at the proposed site, verses any geographic disturbance predicted in our area in the future.

Remember the landfill is forever, and if it’s ever compromised we and our great-great-grandchildren will be the ones that suffer.

Waupaca states the site is a monofill, and made mention of what is supposed to be put in the fill. They used the term “such as” and did not list all the heavy elements that could be included. So if they are stating half-truths now, is it going to be quarter truths in the future?

At the last commissioners meeting, almost 100 percent of the people indicated that they did not want the zoning changed to heavy industrial.

They indicated they want it to stay conservative. On July 18 at 6 p.m. the commissioners will meet to vote on the zoning change again, we ask that you be there and oppose the change so that we can conserve what’s left of our beautiful county before it’s too late. It is up to you the people.