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Editorial: I can no longer stand by in silence (by Katy Voet)

This news story was published on December 4, 2011.
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I am not one who relishes standing up in front of a crowd or writing letters to the editor.

Actually, I find it quite intimidating. However, I can no longer stand by in silence.

am writing this letter as a Mother, Grandmother, and Pediatric nurse with over 30 years experience in my field. I therefore feel an enormous responsibility for the welfare of the children in this community.

Here are my concerns: Why is the Mayor and City Council blindly trying to push the CES development through so quickly, without asking for the advise and expertise of the Public Health Dept?

The DNR clearly stated at the last council meeting “these are not health based standards (of testing), these are technology based standards.” He indicated that the health concerns were the responsibility of the Public Health Dept. So why haven’t they, and the Iowa Environmental Council, been consulted? They’re here, why aren’t we asking them?

I find this very alarming!

Industry names like pyrolysis, gasification, plasma arc, and waste-to-energy are defined by The US Environmental Protection Agency as incineration, so there’s no need to quibble over the word! They all release toxins into the air. Toxins which are harmful to human health, especially children whose minds and bodies are still developing. There are studies that show an increased incidence in lung disease, asthma, and cancer from repeated exposure to toxins released from these types of plants.

CES has stated “we want all the tires we can get our hands on.” So really? We’re going to burn tires and garbage just a little over 1 mile from a daycare, a preschool, grade school and highschool, 3 ball diamonds, 2 churches, 2 parks, and two neighborhoods, where the predominant wind direction will blow everything right over our town.

We all know how important good jobs are and I’m am fortunate that I have one of those jobs. I feel certain our economy will turn around, but damage to our health cannot. Surely we, as a city, can do better than this to bring employment to our community. This does not encourage families to move here or stay here. We have worked so hard restoring the last, standing Frank Lloyd Wright Hotel and have spent millions freshening up our downtown. So let’s keep our air fresh too.

Katy Voet
Mason City

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