October 25, 2014

GUEST COLUMN: Toxic neighbors

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By Kari Waite

For years, I have read articles and letters in this paper stating proven fact that the North Country Sportsman’s Club has been polluting property in our town; both their own, and their neighbors’ property. I’ve read articles and spoken with concerned citizens. My confusion lies in the fact that if I was to walk onto any piece of property in town and pour just one gallon of motor oil onto their soil, the police could be called, hazardous material clean-up crews could be called, a lawsuit could be filed against me and the cleanup costs would go to me because I made the mess.

But, the North Country Sportsman’s Club can dump tons of toxic lead into the soil and because they are a club that is sponsored by the National Rifle Association, shooting for sport, there are no charges filed? Nothing is in place to force them to clean up their toxic waste? If you go outside anywhere near Old Creamery Road on a Wednesday night or Sunday, you can clearly hear that they are continuing to contribute to the problem. The National Rifle Association is even pushing for the government to pass a law to allow them to pollute the land with lead without having to clean it up altogether. Please visit: http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/o/2167/t/5243/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=10065 for more information.

I have heard from many people in this town that it isn’t their problem because it isn’t affecting them. I ask you to compare it to my reference above of dumping motor oil on your property. Then consider the difference between the two situations: the law is on your side when it comes to motor oil and other toxic substances being dumped. Sadly, for the residents being affected by the North Country Sportsman’s Club’s toxic dump, the law is also on their side, but without any enforcement. Furthermore, laws to allow the creation of these toxic dumps are supposedly being bought and paid for by the National Rifle Association. Please help the members of Lead Free Williston put a stop to their toxic neighbors. And if you know someone who continues to shoot in the club, please ask them to use their conscience. Is it right to dump toxic material on someone else’s property? To me the answer is quite a simple one: NO!

Kari Waite is a Williston resident.

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