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Letter to the Editor: Rebecca Raymer

Dear Editor:

Last week Owl’s Head filed their Notice of Intent to construct a landfill in Butler County. I want to make sure everyone understands just what their intent is.

It is their intent to use our beautiful county as a dumping ground for their industrial waste. They intend on dumping, over the lifespan of the landfill, 1,000,000 tons of waste into our County. They intend on paying the County a minimal tipping fee, of $0.50 to possibly a $1.00 per ton, where they currently have to pay somewhere around $34.00 per ton. So, they intend to expand their bottom line substantially, at the County’s expense.

I’m mad and you should be too!

I understand that currently the way aluminum recycling companies operate, this waste is generated and it has to go somewhere. It is interesting to note that in Europe, this type of waste is not allowed in landfills and is further processed to be used in other applications. Unfortunately that is not done here, and these types of landfills are still needed. The issue is that there are only 9 residual waste landfills in the state of KY. In a state of 120 counties, why should Butler county house 2? We shouldn’t! Not to mention we also have the old solid waste dump site, that is still in the active closing stages. Real Alloy’s landfill, the old landfill (dump) site, and the proposed landfill site, are all clustered together in one location of our County. All within 1 mile of the high school, and about 2.5 miles from our water intake in the river.

IF this landfill was necessary, the state should look at the locations of them throughout the state and ensure they are not unequally distributed. Notice I said, IF this landfill was necessary. It’s not! Owl’s Head’s needs are currently being met by other landfill sites. One of them being the Real Alloy landfill site. Unfortunately we already receive some of their waste, so some people have asked, “ Then why does it matter?” It matters because, by constructing another landfill, you are doubling your risk of a landfill leak. You are exposing more land to potential pollution, and the location of the proposed site feeds a stream that goes directly to our Green River. This stream enters the river and flows a couple hundred feet right to our water intake. I have seen this with my own eyes, it’s frightening to think about what could potentially be entering our water supply!

There are safety precautions that are taken in the construction of these landfills, such as liners and leachate collection systems. If this waste is as safe as David Bradford, owner of Owl’s Head, tells us it is, then why are precautions necessary?

According to the Oxford dictionary, a precaution is; “A measure taken in advance to prevent something dangerous, unpleasant, or inconvenient from happening.”

What happens if those precautions fail? Landfills don’t last forever. They are man made structures that will not stand the test of time. There are documented cases of landfill failures, and there have been past statements by the EPA, that all landfills will eventually leak. There is no good reason for this landfill locating here, and there is absolutely no benefit for Butler County. For no reason, other than their bottom line, is Owl’s Head looking to construct this landfill.

Butler County should not have to pay the price for their increased profit margin.

Maybe, this landfill wouldn’t fail in our lifetime.

Maybe, it wouldn't pollute our drinking water.

Maybe, it wouldn’t cause any health problems.

I’m not okay with maybe!

If this landfill didn’t cause problems in our lifetime, chances are it would in your children’s or grandchildren’s lifetime. If someone was threatening your child, how many of you would be ready to fight? This potential landfill is a threat, join us and fight!

Come out this Saturday, September 28th, 6:00pm at the Butler County High School, to our fundraiser. Join us for a great night of food and music. There will be bouncy houses for the kids, cake walk, and a great auction.

Join the fight! Let’s stop this landfill together!

Rebecca Raymer

Vice President, Butler County Stop the Landfill LLC

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