Anyone who has ever canoed, fished or hiked in the Jordan River Valley knows it is one of the last pristine wild areas in Northern Michigan. The proposed deep-injection wells in Alba could threaten to change that.
Cement kiln dust (CKD), when mixed with water, becomes a toxic, bleach-like soup, releasing large amounts of mercury, arsenic and other contaminants. The State, DEQ, and developers have known for over 20 years that ground water was mixing with CKD from the former Penn-Dixie cement plant and leaching its poisons into Little Traverse Bay. Their solution? Build luxury homes and a golf course over the piles and hope no one would notice. CMS Energy was one of the developing partners.
The toxic leachates entered Little Traverse Bay. East Park was closed. The EPA, in 2005, ordered CMS to isolate, contain or remove the CKD piles to eliminate groundwater contamination. Such containment would necessitate digging up the golf course. CMS says it‘s too expensive. Their solution? Allow the groundwater to become contaminated, then collect a small percentage of it (the rest is still flowing into the bay), transport it to Alba, a community with far fewer economic resources, and once again bury the problem. That‘s 135,000 gallons shipped by tanker trucks on hilly country roads every day for the next 10-20 years -- the potential for transport problems are reason enough to oppose the well.
And what if the leachate doesn‘t stay buried? These wells have an 8% malfunction rate. When a deep-injection well in Romulus, MI failed, the company responsible for its maintenance vanished, leaving the community to clean up the mess.
Do we want to risk poisoning the Jordan River or the drinking water of area residents? Do we want to continue to allow leachate to flow into Little Traverse Bay? The CKD piles should be removed, not dumped in another community, possibly contaminating another watershed. Join with Friends of the Jordan and Star Township in opposing the deep-injection wells and protect our water.
Anne Zukowski Charlevoix
Rising food costs
How crazy our policy makers have become. Food costs as well as other commodities across the spectrum have gone through the roof. Starting in large part with our government‘s effort to appease the global warming crowd and burn corn ethanol in fuel tanks.
The existence of global warming and certainly that which is man-made is highly debatable, but thats another topic. This ludicrous policy, by the law of supply and demand, has raised the cost of basic food staples this country and others need to survive. Without such, malnutrition, starvation, and the political unrest that follows shakes the foundation of governments and the world at large. The recent food riots in Egypt and elsewhere have only begun to surface. We need to reverse this absurd policy immediately.
Energy is readily available if those who want our country to be back in the Stone Age would allow many of the worlds great companies to go get it and put people back to work. Those radical elements of our society that have prevented us from doing so dislike nearly all of our realistic options. They don‘t like oil. The don‘t like coal. They don‘t like the incredibly clean nuclear. They don‘t even like wind farms off the coast of one of their favorite spokesmen, the great senator from Massacheusetts, Mr. Ted Kennedy.
To those who believe in such grave policy, please stop blaming big oil for rising fuel costs. Don‘t blame your local grocer for rising food costs. When the food riots become common and potentially spread throughout much of the world, look into a mirror and reflect as to who is truly to blame. Seven dollar per pound burger is just around the corner.
Brian Spencer TC
The great water rip-off
In just a few weeks, anglers, fans of the outdoors and Michigan families will head to our rivers and streams to enjoy fishing, canoeing and many other fun activities that celebrate Michigans greatest natural heritage... our water.
Our Great Lakes, rivers and streams define who we are as Michiganders. Sadly, thirsty states and countries facing drought and water shortages want to take our fresh water. Bottling corporations and other water takers want to undermine public control of our water. Our elected leaders should join citizens in protecting our water and our cherished way of life.
Unfortunately, some Michigan politicians are currently supporting proposals to allow up to 25 percent of some of our inland rivers and streams to be available for withdrawal, with no oversight! Maybe they dont realize that our lakes, rivers and aquifers are all connected in the Great Lakes system. Or maybe they care more about corporate lobbyists who want to profit from selling our water.
This scheme could devastate some of our most sensitive fisheries and watersheds and must be stopped NOW!
The State Legislature is debating whether to protect Michigans inland waters from withdrawal. Dont allow our inland lakes, rivers and aquifers to be available to the highest bidder. The Great Lakes, Great Michigan coalition has an online petition at www.michiganwaternotforsale.com and if you sign it, the petition will go directly to your legislator. I urge all Michigan citizens to send a message to the Legislature that our water is not for sale.
Gary Buffington Petoskey
On the cover of the 4/21 issue, artist Kim Krumreys name was spelled incorrectly. Apologies to Kim.