Published DateTo the editor,
On March 12th, 2013 Belmont citizens will be asked to vote on Article 2, to: adopt a definition of and regulations for Municipal Solid Waste Transfer Stations and allow Municipal Solid Waste Transfer Stations only in the Industrial Zone.
During the deliberative session held on February 2nd, I related my hesitation with endorsing this article. I also said that I felt further research should be conducted before this change was made. My main concern was with the fact that the aquifer is located beneath most of the Industrial Zone, and fear that it could possibly be contaminated by such an activity taking place over it. In the short amount of time that I have had, I did investigate the appropriateness of such a change. I found no "smoking gun", no documented incidents of accidental contamination caused by any Solid Waste Transfer Stations. On the contrary, what information that was available seemed quite positive, though there are certain companies doing it that may be "questionable."
And yet I am still uneasy with the notion that it is a good idea to allow a Solid Waste Transfer Station within the proximity of such an important and precious resource. Where will it be located? How big will it be? How many communities will be using it? Will there be future requests to expand? Basically approval involves "trust:" trust that those constructing the waste facility do so properly with possible contaminant containment a priority; trust that even more DES inspectors are not cut from the state budget to save money, and that those still in place are able to conduct regular and thorough inspections of such facilities; trust that the people contributing to the waste stream will properly dispose of such articles as the new CFL/mercury light bulbs, spent batteries and other possible contaminants; trust that no unforeseen, unexpected catastrophic accident will occur on site that might contaminate the aquifer below.
I will not urge voters to vote "no" on this article; just give it some thought before you vote "yes." I am personally unable to take this "leap of faith."