2018-08-02 / Letters

Concern over drinking water is red herring

To the editor:

According to Wikipedia; “A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue.”

A classic example of a red herring can be found in a statement published in the Journal Tribune by Saco River Commission Executive Director Dalyn Houser justifying their requested delay of the Saco Island redevelopment project by noting that the Saco River is a drinking water source. Why is this statement a red herring? Because the Saco Island project sits on the saltwater side of the river so not a drop of that water is used for drinking.

I consider myself an environmentally conscious person and I believe the Saco Island redevelopment project may be the best way to contain the toxic waste located on this island from continuing to leach into the Saco River. Let’s face it; neither the state nor federal governments will ever justify the tens of millions of dollars needed to remove all the toxic coal ash and other chemicals dumped on that island for almost two centuries. I walked that property last year during a public presentation and was disturbed by the present uncontrolled flows of water above and below ground that was most likely leaching toxins into the river. I was also disturbed by the presence of dilapidated tarps and loads of trash left behind from transients who had taken up residence in the wooded areas of the island. Unless the corridor commission can secure the millions needed to cleanup that island, they should engage in a meaningful dialogue with developers to ensure they properly cap the surface of the island then control and monitor the waters flowing through it. This I believe is the best thing we can do to improve the water quality of the Saco River in that area.

Ted Sirois Saco

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