Article misrepresents L’Anse plant

To the editor:

I would like to address the headline story in the May 11 edition of the mining gazette. The headline leads one to think that you are going to present some incriminating evidence against the plants mentioned LWEC and CertainTeed. Nothing could be farther from the truth as no facts or evidence was presented only hearsay and the accusations of a former federal government employee.

I must lead by saying that I am an employee of LWEC so I am somewhat familiar with the things mentioned in the article. I do not speak for management or the other employees only myself. I would like to address some of the points in the article.

The public health assessment request to the ATSDR could not be completed due to lack of data (evidence). The only point here is Mr. Loman’s accusations not even a contact with the agency.

As for the anonymous email from the LWEC employee, we all know that anonymous emails aren’t worth the paper they are written on. As for the awful working conditions I think that anyone who has worked in a mine, smelter, paper mill or power plant would admit that at times the conditions can be unpleasant enough to be called “awful.” No LWEC employee has been terminated since our orientation period (prior to operation of the plant). We are a union plant so there is no way someone could be terminated with no reason given or for reporting an unsafe or harmful condition. If this is referring to some of the contractors who occasionally work on site it should be stated as such.

The article states residents “consistently report health problems, including eye irritation, difficulty breathing, moderate to severe headaches and occasional nausea.” Is there evidence linking that to the plant? Asbestos fibers on a window sill blame that on the plant? Creosote – better get rid of wood stoves. The only scrap provided by Certain Teed to LWEC is wooden shipping pallets.

Finally the picture identifies the plant pictured as CertainTeed. Once again way to check your facts, it is in fact the LWEC plant. It is however the CertainTeed sign.

I think if you are going to use a sensational headline like this you could at least check out the story. Presenting only one side of the story and only opinions is not responsible journalism.

Jim Davis