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Open Letter To Assembly Members Shay & Landis
by Shelley Stallings


March 17, 2004

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.

Shelley Stallings
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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