Coal ash landfill opposition is misinformed

Published 2:10 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2017

To the Editor:

VistaGreen High Bridge Park is an 804-acre tract of land. Of the 804 acres, a quarter or less will be developed for coal ash containment. The rest, or three quarters of the 804 acre property, will be a designated buffer to protect the surrounding environment and to keep the monofill from view off site.

The opposition is once again misinformed and in error with the false insinuation that the entire 804 acre tract of land will be used as a coal ash monofill.

VistaGreen has no intention of importing coal ash through the port of Norfolk from China, Poland or anywhere else in the world outside the southeastern United States. We only plan to seek contracts with utility companies operating in North Carolina or Virginia that have unlined basins filled with coal ash generated over the past 50 years at power plants, mostly river adjacent. VistaGreen plans to source this coal ash from leaking unlined basins adjacent North Carolina and Virginia rivers, and safely store and recycle the legacy coal ash with the appropriate technology at the proposed High Bridge Park facility.

The opposition’s monetary break down of host fees per year proposed to the county is misunderstood and short sighted. VistaGreen is offering to pay annual host fees to Northampton County. Host fees are not to be paid to each individual citizen directly. Host fees are paid to the county to improve Northampton infrastructure and government services. This will improve the quality of life for Northampton citizens and help revitalize Northampton County’s waning economic situation. It is misleading to analyze the host fee structure as if it were to be paid to each individual citizen directly.

It should also be noted that many of the benefits VistaGreen is offering are not mentioned in the opposition’s “Doing the Math” article. VistaGreen is offering numerous benefits to Northampton County. including a compensation package for property values affected in the event of a sale and new residential water tap fees for concerned residents living within a certain distance of High Bridge Park.

We desire to share as much as possible with Northampton County because we believe in Northampton County as a partner that deserves to thrive as a result of this project. VistaGreen hopes to stabilize the county property tax rate through the 920,000 dollars a year that High Bridge Park will generate as tax revenue for Northampton County. When added to the annual host fee package, that is almost 2 million dollars a year in revenue paid to Northampton County.

VistaGreen also plans to create a multitude of jobs for Northampton citizens in addition to many other economic benefits. For more information concerning planned opportunities for Northampton County resulting from the VistaGreen High Bridge Park project, please visit the VistaGreen website home page and see “community benefits” paragraph,

We recognize a need for economic stimulus and monetary infusion to modernize county infrastructure and services while generating economic momentum for the county and its’ citizens. We would like to engage in a partnership with Northampton County as a 21st century environmental solution provider. We realize that if permitted Northampton County’s success is also VistaGreen’s success. VistaGreen hopes to cultivate an environmental industry that will bring jobs and economic opportunity back to Northampton County so future generations will have a chance to live in Northampton County and prosper.

Clarence Wood Beasley IV

VistaGreen Officer