Toxic issues hit close to home

Whether by design, neglect, or accident, the improper use, management, and/or disposal of deadly chemicals results in tragedy. Today, we hear of the tragedy that hundreds have been allegedly poisoned by the government of Syria. “But that’s more than 6,000 miles away,” you say. “Certainly the massacre of hundreds of men, women, and children in Syria by their own government has nothing to do with Alaska.” Oh, really?

Wait a minute ... If the waste material to be dumped by AIMM Technologies in my back yard isn’t dangerous, why not dump it in the sea? If it’s not dangerous, why the special precautions and all the talk of special impermeable membrane liners in the waste pit? Why all the reassurances that there is no real threat? Why are permits needed if there is no danger? Indeed, if this waste is as harmless and benign as the experts have decreed, why not just dump it on our gardens?

Folks, the danger of the waste to be dumped in Nikiski is really rather insignificant compared to the waste that has been dumped here over the past 50 years. Dangerous chemicals have already been found in our drinking water! One might ask “why then will more toxic waste be dumped?” The answer is that no one really takes the threat seriously enough to stop it. AIMM Technologies (a Texas Corporation) figures that since no one has objected in the past, there is no reason not to proceed. Will it take the poisoning of our children to prove that the State Department of Environment Conservation was wrong and that permits should not have been issued? Are we supposed to gamble with the health and lives of our own children? Is the State of Alaska willing to foot the bill for sickness, disease, and cancer that may likely result from the poisoning of our ground water? No, both the State and AIMM will walk away and deny any responsibility. They will say that harmless drilling waste had no impact on Nikiski’s ground water quality, and, even if it were dangerous, there’s so much poison in the water out there that no one will be able to finger us as the culprits.

But such an assumption is not only wrong, it is exceedingly dangerous. The level of carcinogenic (cancer causing) chemicals already in Nikiski’s ground water ought to alarm all those who draw their water from wells north of the refinery.

Because the State of Alaska has refused to protect us from further dumping of proven dangerous chemicals, it is thought that we don’t care. “Go ahead and dump,” they say ... “the folks in Nikiski are already doomed. The water out on the north end is already contaminated, another 10 million gallons of toxic waste will have little affect and even if they test the wells, they’ll never prove that AIMM’s dumping contributed to the danger?”

It may be a stretch to connect the Syrian government’s apparent use of chemical warfare against its own people with the State of Alaska’s willingness to dump poisonous chemicals in Nikiski, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as a grave insult to the protection we the people expect from our government.

AIMM: I know my ground water is poisoned. Your intent to endanger my grandchildren even more is unacceptable!

People of Nikiski: Please don’t let this happen.



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