Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Exactly the Wrong Place

The Arlington Dump could hardly have been sited in a worse location.  Here is why:

  • The dump is built on a mountain.  This puts all lower elevation exposures at at risk for  contamination by underground or surface water runoff. If contaminated effluent gets into the faulted bedrock fracture zone it could go anywhere.  It could even even find its way to the South side of the mountain face, and potentially impact valley water supplies.
  • The dump is built at the apex of three separate and adjoined watersheds.  This location exposes a huge geographic area, all the way from St. Croix to Port Lorne, to the threat of contaminated surface water runoff.
  • The dump is built wholly within the confines of a traditional wetland.  The wetland has been drained to accommodate creation of the Arlington Dump.  We are supposed to be protecting wetlands, aren’t we? Why do we continue making the same mistakes that our forefathers made a century ago?  We are slow learners. NSE is even slower than the rest of us.
  • The wetland is powered by a broad, moving,  shallow aquifer that creates a “perched” water table across the entire site.  This river of moving water flows right through all the disposal excavations, and carries contaminated effluent into the watersheds.
  • The wetland and aquifer together filter, store, and dispense what used to be a clean and dependable supply of drinking water to all the residents of St. Croix Cove.  Citizens of the cove now filter well water and drink bottled water.
  • The site is located near major recreational facilities.  Rumsey lake is a popular angling and boating destination for thousands of visitors.  Hampton lighthouse and beach attract lots and lots of visitors.  Now these visitors are serenaded by the sounds of roaring excavators and clanging tailgates or encountering tandem trucks on once-peaceful roads.  Many will never return because of the potential exposure to toxic asbestos dust.
  • Biking tourists from Fundy Park will not be thrilled to discover the dump.  It is unlikely that they will return to Annapolis County. No nature lover wants to camp near a toxic waste dump.
  • Visitors to the popular Poole Brook Falls may not wish to swim in the mountain pools or fish the tasty brookies when they realize that Arlington waste water is deliberately shunted into the Poole Brook drainage system.  There may not be any fish anyway; large amounts of runoff silt from the clearcut wetland at the dump may smother the brook trout eggs.
  • There is no benefit for the citizens of Annapolis County in this dump project.  There is only liability. The liability exists in the present and will extend far into the future.  This dump could create a problem that future generations of Annapolis County residents will be unable to fix, no matter what the cost.
James McCurdy


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