Boards are considering a major decision

Dear Editor,

We have been told on numerous occasions to produce more facts on why the landfill expansion is a terrible idea for this community; well we have forwarded a document to the zoning board and commissioners filled with facts about landfill issues. The document is too large to print in the paper, but here is the link to go online and look for yourself – http://chej.org/wp-content/uploads/LandfillFailures20191.pdf or Google ‘Landfill failures.’ The document is filled with facts of why the landfill expansion at the current location over/near an aquifer is a terrible idea. This is just one of the many studies we have come across online.

If you are sitting there thinking you do not live next to it, so this doesn’t affect me, you are wrong. You cannot contain the contaminated water or the contaminated air. The aquifer is linked to families’ wells and the cities’ water supply. It affects the whole community. With the location on the edge of town, the air quality affects the whole community as well.

Other facts that may be important for this decision –

• Who was here first? The people of this community were here first and that is who should be protected.

• Over 75% of the trash going into the landfill is being hauled in from other counties.

• Experts state you should live 3.5 miles from a landfill due to the dangerous air quality from gas admissions. How many family homes does this affect? There are how many neighborhoods within that distance? The range extends well past Mill Ridge, Fairview, Edgewood, Lee, not to mention the country homes and in town homes.

• Where did the map of the aquifer come from? A minute search online and it pops up. Every map showing aquifers with whatever agency – government and private, it is on there.

• The American Medical Association (AMA) opposes the expansion or the placement of new landfills over aquifers due to the health risk for the public.

• EVERY study we have read on this subject has experts stating it is not a matter of IF a landfill will leak leachate (a plume of cancer causing agents produced from the landfill) it is a matter of WHEN. Over time the boarders and lines put in place will deteriorate, crack, leak and contaminate the water supply – FACT.

• The aquifers are connected to families’ wells and the Cities’ water supply.

• Once an aquifer is contaminated it will cost the community millions to fix. This includes the steps involved to clean up the aquifer, remove the source, finding and supplying a new water supply for the community.

• Also, a contaminated aquifer will take decades to recover, IF the source of the contamination is removed. How do you remove a landfill? See the next fact….

• The ONLY way to STOP the contamination into this communities’ water sources is to move the landfill to a new location, miles away from any aquifer.

• There is growing alarm from health advocates and members of Congress that federal and state regulators have not acted aggressively enough to protect the public. Therefore, we need to do research to see if this is safe for our community members, not trust IDEM. They are not up to speed with these ‘forever chemicals.’ Forever chemicals are PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals) and studies have linked PFAS to cancers, thyroid problems, high cholesterol, birth defects and pregnancy complications. They are called forever chemicals because they don’t easily breakdown in the environment or the human body. These are in the leachate leaking from the landfill. IDEM also does not live in this community.

• It is not the communities concern about what it will cost Best Way to relocate. You cannot put a price on this communities’ health and future.

• We may not see the repercussions of this decision in some of our lifetimes, but a decision with such hazardous consequences needs to be thought through for all future generations, not just the here and now.

• The most important fact of all – it is our job to protect our children and future generations of this community and we have to start with protecting one of our most precious resources – water.

Decatur County has one of the highest cancer rates in the State, well above the national rate. Shouldn’t we be concerned about this and trying to solve the problem, not add to it? We have all known a family member or friend that has battled cancer. It is a sad struggle for the patient and their loved ones. By even considering this location, the board and commissioners are telling our children, grandchildren, friends, community members, that they are okay with poisoning our water, poisoning our air and increasing our risk of cancer. How as a human being is that okay? The decision is simple – do you want to increase your loved ones’ risk of cancer or not? Yes, there could be several issues adding to the problem, but we have to start somewhere and relocating the landfill is a great way to start.

There are thousands of acres in this county. Why this location where we are putting the whole entire community at risk? They have to step up their game as leaders and think about the people and future of this community. We also have to step up our game as community members and let our leaders know how we feel about this important matter. Contact the members of the zoning board – Andy Scholle, Bill Dieckman, Jay Hatton, Jay Schoettmer, Jeff Hermesch, Kevin Fleetwood, Paul Stone, Ryan Kennelly, Todd Mauer, Tom Hunter and the county commissioners – Rick Nobbe, Jerome Buening and Mark Koors. This decision will impact our community forever.

This decision is on the next agenda for the Area Plan Commission, Wednesday, November 6 at 7pm on the first floor of the Decatur County Courthouse in suite 106. Please attend and help us protect our resources.

We need to take a stand and lead by example and protect this community, now and for future generations.

Chris and Brenda Chapman, Decatur County

Faith leaders praise U.S. Senator Braun

Dear Editor,

On Wednesday, Indiana Senator Mike Braun, a Republican, and Delaware Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat, announced that they will form the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the United States Senate. As Indiana Faith Leaders, we want to recognize Senator Braun for stepping up at this historic moment to call for Climate Action.

Responding to climate change is our moral responsibility and civic duty. We are heartened to hear that our Senator is taking a lead on one of the most important challenges of our time.

Climate change affects everyone, especially those who have the least resources. Here in Indiana, we have seen and will continue to see negative consequences: increased flooding affecting crops and water quality; additional insect-borne illnesses; extreme heat waves affecting the health of our children, the elderly, and all those who work outside; and strained social services and government resources. We are also seeing extreme temperature fluctuations causing burdensome impacts on our roads and infrastructure. The impact of climate change will necessitate the movement of people displaced from other communities.

While our daily lives have been affected, the impact on future generations is in magnitudes more severe. The level of severity depends on our degree of response today. Business as usual is not an option.

Thankfully, we are making progress. Last year, Indiana saw more coal-fired capacity go offline than any other year, while more solar capacity was added than ever before. The advanced energy economy is growing by leaps and bounds here in Indiana, employing 90,600 people, five times more Hoosiers than fossil fuels. Building new renewable resources in Indiana is cheaper than using existing coal-fired power plants. We can move towards 100% renewable power generation by 2030.

That’s why we are calling on all Hoosiers—regardless of faith, philosophy, or point-of-view—to join us in lauding Senator Braun for forming the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. We hope that this caucus will work to implement real policy changes with haste to protect our families, congregations, and communities and mitigate as much as possible the negative impacts of climate change before it is too late. We call on Senator Todd Young to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the Senate and for other members of the Indiana delegation to join the House equivalent Climate Solutions Caucus. We call on members of the Indiana General Assembly to work towards the same goals here at home.

For our children, grandchildren, friends and family, as well as those vulnerable around the globe and down the stream of time, we support this important collaboration by Senator Braun and the Climate Solutions Caucus!

Signed,

INDIANA CLERGY AND FAITH LEADERS

Reverend Wyatt Watkins, Cumberland FBC, Eastside Creation Care Network, Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light

Pastor Darryl Emowry, Angola, IN

Reverend Dennis Shock, Indianapolis, IN

Reverend Kimberly Koczan-Flory, Spiritual Director of Wisdom’s Well in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Dori Chandler, Public Policy Director Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light

Ray Wilson, Indianapolis, IN

Dr. Robert Whitaker, Bloomington, IN

Pastor Michael Erwin, Evansville, IN

Reverend Dr. Patricia Tull, Henryville, IN

Rabbi Brian Besser, Bloomington, IN

Reverend Richard Clough, Indianapolis, IN

Pastor Mick Finch, Community Presbyterian Church, Jeffersonville, IN

Nancy S Dickinson, Indianapolis, IN

Reverend Bruce Russell-Jane, Carmel, IN

Rabbi Scott Fox, Indianapolis, IN

Rabbi Michael Harvey, West Lafayette, IN

Rabbi Lew Weiss, Indianapolis, IN

David L. Garshaw, Monroe County, IN

Rabbi Aaron Spiegel, Indianapolis, IN

Reverend Robert Heimach, Indianapolis, IN

Reverend Daniel Meyers, Indianapolis, IN

Reverend Dr. John A. Young, Muncie, IN

Reverend Heath Jones, Northwood Christian Church, Indianapolis, IN

Reverend Jerry Zehr, Carmel, IN

Rabbi Dennis C. Sasso, Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, Indianapolis, IN

Reverend Diane Zehr, Carmel Christian Church, Carmel, IN

Vicar Will Bevins, Indianapolis, IN

Rabbi Justin Kerber, BCC, Indianapolis, IN

Pastor Brad Ruggles, NSPIRE Church, Westfield, IN

Sagar Garg, President Wisdom of the Vedas, Fishers, IN

Reverend Dennis Shock, Carmel, IN

Dr. Cassie Majetic, South Bend, IN

Muzaffar Ahmad, Treasurer Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Fishers, IN

Reverend Dr. Timothy C. Murphy, Senior Pastor Plymouth Congregational Church, Fort Wayne, IN

Annette Johnson, Pike Township, IN

Reverend Rebecca Lockwood, Carmel, IN

Father Charles Allen, GraceUnlimited, Indianapolis, IN

Saiyid M. Shah, Ph.D. Tri-State Creation Care, Newburgh, IN

Mohammad Bashar Mourad, President, Islamic Society of Evansville, Newburgh, IN

Reverend Doctor Sarah Lund, First Congregational Church, Indianapolis, IN

Reverend Brian Flory, Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren, Fort Wayne, IN

Reverend Steven M Conger, Meridian Street United Methodist, Indianapolis, IN

Cantor Melissa Cohen, Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, Indianapolis, IN

Cantor Aviva Marer, Indianapolis, IN

Jamie Hinson-Rieger, Director of Ministry, Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

Dr. Paul Myhre, Crawfordsville, IN

Reverend Ann L Pitman, Fort Wayne, IN

Rev. Douglas Kaufman, Benton Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN

Cantor Janice Roger, Indianapolis, IN

Reverend Janna Meyers, St. John United Church of Christ, Indianapolis, IN

Betty Brandt, St Luke’s United Methodist Church, Indianapolis, IN

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