New sewer plant, cleaner stream
In his letters, Bert Lustig seems to think the status quo is better than the advanced technological approach to sewage treatment proposed by the Freeman Companies for the Coolfont property in Cold Run Valley.
There is presently a sewage treatment plant that has been servicing the Coolfont neighborhood for almost three decades. If someone really cared for the quality of the land and water and looked into it, they would discover that replacing the old, ineffective plant with a new one of the highest quality would produce a significant decrease in pollution.
The new system will make it possible to put less effluent into Sir Johns Run. Replacing an old system with a new efficient one reduces pollution. That’s what the State of West Virginia and the federal Environmental Protection Agency say. It’s just not true that the new treatment plant will “pollute” the stream. It will help clean up the water discharged into the stream.
It’s also inaccurate to suggest Sir Johns Run has the potential to be a trout stream. The rock bottom of the stream absorbs radiant energy from the sun and heats up the water so much that it will not support trout. That’s what the Department of Natural Resources determined two decades ago.
Implying that Sir Johns Run is special, being the “highest” classification stream in the county, is misleading. Sir Johns is a beautiful stream that must be protected, but when proposals were floated to establish a higher Tier 2.5 level of protection, four streams in Morgan County were proposed. Sir Johns Run wasn’t one of them. Sir Johns is under Tier 2 protection — the common, default level of protection for most streams.
Lustig suggests spending an extra $2 million to pump treated effluent to a drainfield on Cacapon Mountain. Knauf Foods in Berkeley County tried that on similar soil structure. It didn’t work and they shut it down.
Most interesting is the suggestion that it’s not enough for the proposed system to be state-of-the-art, meet and exceed every regulation, and make Sir Johns Run cleaner than it is now. Freeman should be held to a higher standard, Lustig says. Whose standard? His?
If one is unhappy with the regulations, the solution is clear: work to get them changed. But don’t try to tell someone it isn’t enough for them to try to do better than the regulations require. That’s not fair.