Open Letter To Assembly Members
Shay & Landis
by Shelley Stallings
March 17, 2004
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
To: Jack Shay and David Landis of the Ketchikan Borough Assembly
I heard your comments about the former KPC administration building
on the radio this morning. While I too am in favor of moving
the Alaska Marine Highway System Administration from Juneau to
Ketchikan, I would urge you not to be so cavalier in your response
to the serious health concerns of the ferry system employees.
They have legitimate concerns about their health if they are
forced to work at the former pulp mill site. The pulp mill site
has not been "cleaned up", only covered up. Louisiana
Pacific has a highly blemished record both here in Ketchikan
and in the lower 48 for breaking the law as far as pollution,
worker safety and community health is concerned.
If you doubt my take on this, take some time to research how
many pollution violations Louisiana Pacific has been charged
with in the last 25 years. The EPA clean up of the Ketchikan
pulp mill site was a total whitewash. Louisiana Pacific should
have born the cost of cleaning up the mess they made, now it
looks like we local taxpayers are paying dearly for the mistakes
made by the borough assembly, Alaska DEC and EPA.
Talk to local doctors and health care professionals about their
opinions on the unusually high rates of cancer among residents
within a 5 mile radius of the pulp mill.
I fear that both the State of Alaska and the Ketchikan Gateway
Borough will be looking at multiple lawsuits if ferry system
employees are forced to work in what is possibly an unhealthy
workplace. Many of these people don't want to move down here
in the first place, their lives will be severely disrupted, therefore
I expect them to be very vocal and pro-active about the problems
at the pulp mill site.
The borough has or will soon pour $30 million dollars down the
drain at Ward Cove, more public money will be lost if these concerns
aren't addressed properly. I know many people in Ketchikan think
it is time for a true & complete accounting of all the money
the borough assembly has spent buying, maintaining and fighting
legal battles over the pulp mill / veneer mill site.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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