We are responding to your news article “Enviro-group plans suit” of July 19th. The charges by the group from Pittsburgh, Clean Water Action, are very serious. They describe high tested levels of metals, volatile and radioactive compounds among a long list of toxic discharges. This explains radioactive readings all the way downstream in Pittsburgh and answers the question posed by our own WTO Editorial of 11-14-12, “Few Hard Facts”, which looked at a study by Duke University of both the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers. It found declining levels of drilling components in the Monangahela but elevated levels in the Allegheny. The writer called it “a quandary”. Well, now we know why the levels are up in the Allegheny. Following a lawsuit settlement in May of that year, the plants on the Monangahela stopped accepting Marcellus Shale wastewater and the levels went down. In fact, in November of that year, Carnegie Mellon researchers noted that “in general they returned to normal levels”, about the Monongahela.
From this history, it looks like a lawsuit and subsequent settlement results in great improvements in water quality in our rivers.
When Clean Water Action announced its suit, Waste Treatment Corp’s management’s response was: “We drink the same water. We swim in the same river”. Actually, we don’t drink the same water; our local drinking water comes from five wells, not from the river. And if WTC’s management is willing to take a swim from say the Betts Park boat launch, we hope they notify the press first. We would like to be there to applaud their bravery.
The people from Pittsburgh are coming to Warren for a Public Meeting this Wednesday, August 21st, at 6:30 PM at the First Lutheran Church. They will present their side and why they are suing. Those who want to know more and those who hold different views will be able to speak during the Question Period. So bring it, whatever your views are. Hold their feet to the fire. Both sides.
B. L. Conklin