Who’s next after Margarettsville?

Published 12:10 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2017

To the Editor:

Martin Niemoller, a Protestant pastor, an outspoken public foe of Adolph Hitler was best remembered for the following quotation:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

  1. Fred Lee, PhD, and Anne Jones-Lee, PhD (G. Fred Lee and Associates, El Macero, CA (2015), private consultants, outspoken public foes of the Coal Ash industry, impressed me with the following quotations:

“The typical approach followed in developing a new landfill for an urban area is to attempt to locate the new landfill in a rural area where there is limited population and limited financial resources to conduct a comprehensive review of reasonably anticipated impacts of the proposed landfill on public health and environmental quality.”


“It is common for urban landfill developers to claim that their proposed landfills will be protective of public health and the environment and that those in rural areas should not oppose the development of the proposed landfill. However, if the landfills are truly protective of those within their spheres of influence, it should be possible to site them within the urban areas in which the wastes are primarily generated.”


“It has been the authors` experience that few individuals welcome the siting of a landfill adjacent to their property or areas of activity, especially when they become aware of reasonably anticipated adverse impacts of today`s permitted landfills to the health, groundwater resources and interests of those within the sphere of influence of the landfill…”

We are “ rural” and “with limited resources”. VistaGreen indicates they are going to be “protective” of the public health and environment of our county. (Yet, they have no plans to place their coal ash storage facilities within their own counties.) They think we are not “aware” of coal ash`s “adverse impacts”.

The citizens of Northampton County are well aware of the “reasonably anticipated adverse impacts” of their coal ash on our “health, groundwater resources and interests” in our county. If we allow VistaGreen`s landfill to be placed in our county, what other dirty industry will follow?

Think about it. First, Margarettsville. Then Conway/Milwaukee? Pleasant Hill? Rich Square/Woodland? Garysburg? Potecasi? Severn/Pendleton? Any community with rural land and a railroad track is at risk.

In the spirit of Martin Niemoller: First they came for Margarettsville, and I did not speak out because I did not live in Margarettsville. Then they came to my community……

We need to keep VistaGreen and their proposed coal ash dump site out of our county and our communities.

Northampton County Citizens Against Coal Ash will meet Friday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Conway Middle School. The public is encouraged to attend.

Wanda Flythe