Done begging govt to do its job

To the Editor:

Just when the elderly citizens at Green Hill Manor in L’Anse no longer needed use prescription inhalers to breath, the Department of Environmental Quality informed us that Convergen Energy, the new owner of the L’Anse Warden Electric Biomass Facility intends to burn 100 million pounds of manufactured fuel pellets per year. According to the owners website these fuel pellets contain plastics. This news came in the wake of a report from the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR), who evaluated soil samples from areas near the facility. According to a review by the Center for Health and Environmental Justice, ATSDR found that ten of twenty dioxin samples in soil exceeded its Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide levels (See Table 4, ATSDR Report, p. 14) and that nine of 20 Benzo(a)pyrene Toxic Equivalent samples in soil exceeded its Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide (See Table 3, ATSDR Report, p. 13).

After four long years during which citizens filed dozens of complaints, submitted petitions, created a website showing the pollution from the facility on a daily basis, and a documentary movie about the dangers of biomass was produced – making L’Anse the poster, finally – MDEQ managed to take an enforcement action and pulverized railroad tie material no longer rain down those near that facility. After all that, we find out that these people who live and work and are schooled, and cared for and the child development center near the facility are on the brink of exposure to dangerous levels of one of the worse substances in the world – dioxin.

I’m done begging regulatory agencies to do their jobs. I have absolutely no faith that the new governor will do anything about it. If you live or work or send your children near the L’Anse Warden Electric Biomass facility answer these questions: (1) does the owner of the facility owe a particular duty to you not to pollute the environment you live, work, or have your children schooled or cared for in? (2) has/is the owner of the facility breached/breaching that duty? (3) did the breach of that duty cause an injury to you or to your children? and; (4) did you or your children suffer damages as a result?

If you answer yes to each and every one of those questions – you have what is called a toxic tort case. Good luck!

Jeffery Loman