Beware of the shiny, gold coin

Published 10:57 am Tuesday, September 26, 2017

To the Editor:

As citizens of Northampton County, we love our county, its residents and its agricultural heritage.

We are a poor Tier One county. We have been one for a long time, and will likely remain so for several years to come. That doesn`t mean that we are content being Tier One, but it does mean that we, as citizens, know how to survive in our county until we find a way to turn our county around.

There`s a gold coin being flashed around our county. It`s being flashed before our citizens, commissioners, business owners and church leaders by people who have no connection: emotional, family or history, to us. They don`t love our county, its people, or its land.

Their gold coin is blazingly shiny and disturbingly bright. It is so bright, in fact, that it can even be blinding. It can seem like the answer to all of our struggling county`s financial concerns and look like the catalyst for a bright and productive solution for our poor county.

But, their gold coin has a dark and destructive side. The dark side is what many communities across the Eastern US are experiencing and fighting to rectify today. If we allow the VistaGreen “Park” to be placed in our county then our environment and the health of our residents will soon begin to show the signs of the “dark side” of that gold coin as well.

I sat in a meeting two months ago and listened to people describe the horrors of tainted water and air. They recounted the cancers, breathing problems and other illnesses that people in their community were suffering as a result of the coal ash industry in their communities. My heart broke.

We don`t want our beautiful county to suffer the same fate as theirs.

These “lined” landfills have proven to always eventually leak. The leachate, thus far, has proven to always seep into the groundwater and eventually migrate into the surrounding waterways. It is just a matter of time.

Our county is in a unique position. Unlike the counties that had coal ash dumped on them without their knowledge or consent, we have opportunity to protect our environment, residents, and agricultural economy from this threatening nightmare by NOT granting them the special use permit required for them to proceed.

We want to become a “beacon” that other poor counties fighting this industry can look to as a sign of hope for themselves saying, “If poor little Tier One Northampton County can fight and beat this coal ash industry then so can we!”

We do NOT want Northampton County`s legacy to become that of “The Third Largest Coal Ash Dumping Ground In The Eastern US”.

You can see evidence of the dark side of the gold “coal ash” coin yourself by going to Youtube and watching the video “NORTHAMPTON COUNTY CITIZENS AGAINST COAL ASH PRESENTATION: COAL ASH AND YOU” by Deborah and Ken Ferruccio. Please take the time to watch and learn from this insightful video.

Wanda Flythe