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Point The Finger Elsewhere!
It is difficult to respond to a letter which appeared in your paper last week, authored by one C. Allen, under the title, "Now That We're Safe," because of the following: (1) C. Allen has used numerous instances of emotion-driven rhetoric, based not on fact, but upon an illogical line of reasoning. For example , "The folks at New Milford Rescue are gleefully rubbing their hands together at the prospect of the plant shutting down" (a supposition, not fact),
followed by an extended diatribe wherein C. Allen castigates New Milford Rescue for the resultant unemployment which, she asserts, will happen should the hypothetical closing of the "plant" occur. So here we have a hypothetical based upon, or preceded by, a personal supposition, which is - in fact - based upon a lack of investigatory knowledge. Such emotion-driven charges occur numerous times throughout the letter, and should be dismissed outright by any observant reader. (2) C. Allen then confuses the reader further by injecting an unwarranted assault upon the PA Bluestone Association regarding a topic which is not even relevant to the title of her letter - "Now that We're Safe" (2) C. Allen further confuses the issue by co-mingling projected future regulations concerning small quarry permittees with those required of large, non-coal permittees.
In light of the above, let's clear the air! (1) New Milford Rescue's activity has been no different from the activity of other similar groups throughout the country - ex. the Love Canal disaster in upstate New York, current ongoing monitoring and hopefully resultant cleanup of toxins near the IBM facility in Endicott, past activity of a Rescue group in New Milford Twp. - consisting of individual citizens who raised their voices - which finally forced the closing of the Lyncott Hazardous Waste Landfill. Our obligation as residents of a community - once we are informed as to the existence of a potential major threat to our environment, our homes, our roadways, our waterways, our safety and the safety of our children - our obligation at this point is to blow the whistle real loud so that all citizens of the community become informed (which New Milford Rescue has done at numerous public gatherings). Our obligation as members of a representative form of government is to seek help and relief from those regulatory agencies whose responsibility it is to enforce all rules and regulations relevant to the offending operation - irrespective of the size, or alleged political clout of the operators. New Milford Rescue members and supporters have done this and will continue to do so in the future! (2) It is absurd to assert that New Milford Rescue members and supporters are gleeful because of a prospective plant shutdown with resultant loss of jobs. New Milford Rescue, however, cannot, and will not, accept responsibility for events which we have no control over: (1) for events which were inevitably triggered when the mine operators decided to step beyond the legal parameters which DEP rules had imposed upon them, (2) for market-driven events, or (3) for disputes between business partners. Can you imagine anyone complaining about the protestations raised by residents of Endicott, NY when they discovered that toxins were located under their homes and back yards? Can you imagine that anyone would complain about members of New Milford Rescue back in the '70's and 80's when they blew the whistle on the Lyncott Landfill and demanded the removal of thousands of barrels of toxic materials from their environs? Sadly, such was the case back then, and such is the case today - done by persons, supposedly in the name of "concern for the workers," but in reality done out of sheer ignorance of facts.
C. Allen, please point the finger of responsibility at DEP for its historic failure to police that which it has issued permits for, please point the finger at those who have violated DEP regulations - the mine operators - please point it at changing market conditions and business disputes, or, point it at all three simultaneously if you will - but don't point it at New Milford Rescue!
New Milford Twp.
Another Side Of The Coin
I am amazed that two men who are not in the mining industry speak as though they know what they are talking about. It is not knowledge that drives them to educate anyone, it is ignorance and fear, which is so easy in this day and age to believe. I like facts. I also read the front page of the "National Enquirer" while waiting to get out of the check-out line. Which one reads easier?
"300+/- page guide to getting a license and permit thru the DEP," or " Resident aliens save local natives from stoners"?
Guess which one would almost make me buy the "Enquirer."
Since my whole purpose is education, may I again address this issue of the DEP. The New Milford quarry is not a publicly held operation, so it really isn't the business of a few folks who retired here after giving their talent and time and tax money someplace else. The DEP, who issues licenses and permits, would not have authorized them to mine if, indeed there were the problems suggested by these people. If you really want facts, log onto the DEP website and check it out.
The blasting stories are what alarm me the most. According to DEP, the chances of the blast disturbing the landfill and your homes are sooo rare that there are hardly any documented. In fact, in this day and age, trench blasting is done in NYC between buildings with many stories and glass without a single pane rattled. I watched the casino come down in Las Vegas, I noticed the dust and noise, and the awesome beauty that a well-placed shot is. What a way to bring down the last venue that Elvis played. Geez, even the lights were still on. Why would you keep mentioning the landfill if your intention is not to scare people?
The DEP website also mentions the six reasons people complain. In Rescue company we all know what they are. In the mining industry everyone has had at least one conversation with someone who thinks miners are a disgrace and certainly politically incorrect in doing their job. I have always listened (yes, I can and I do), and then I would mention when they come walking over the Indian trail, and stop going to township meetings to complain about the condition of the roads in their politically incorrect vehicles, I may reconsider my attitude. We then reach an understanding.
I feel that mineral extraction is a very valid use of land. The DEP also recognizes this. Without mining there is no need to have DEP. For the most part, the personnel at DEP are very helpful and do a good job at enforcing regulations. As you can appreciate, most laws, of any kind, are written in blood. There is also the human tendency to take a good idea, and completely regulate out any common-sense. That is why I chuckle when someone says," the failure is the DEP." No, the failure is in good ideas run amuck. These new laws come about when emotional people become the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I know there are so many regulations, ordinances, and signs that completely contradict themselves that only the lawyers, who write these laws, can interpret them. I cannot however, sit back and listen, or read these emotional outbursts and not present another side of the coin. It would truly be unconscionable for me to be part of a deal where more bureaucracy is loaded on an already over-burdened society, or industry, and not be a squeaky wheel myself.
There is a saying that if it is not grown, it must be mined. (I should add, with the exception of plastics.) Mining is a necessary part of life, that only those who do not live in a house, on a road, or don't own jewelry could possibly be the only ones who would not be a bit hypocritical in criticizing the very industry which affords them their grandeur.
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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