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Letter: Confined feeding farm could harm water

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Becky Whitler


I live in Jackson County and have a tremendous interest in many points of the Gelfius CAFO proposal in Bartholomew County.

In The Republic article, published Jan. 30, Columbus Utilities Director Keith Reeves stated, “The geographics in this case do not place the drinking water in Columbus in any real danger.”

He explained that the municipal water supply is drawn from groundwater, not from the river. “Even if Clifty Creek would become contaminated, it joins East Fork White River a mile and a half downstream from Columbus.”

I was amazed, rather appalled, that there is no concern about the waste going into East Fork White River. This river is not confined to Bartholomew County. Many people from counties downstream get their drinking water from East Fork White River. Wildlife/fish can be killed or endangered.

Just two weeks ago, there was a chemical spill in West Virginia. Just how far did that go in the rivers? Cincinnati had issues, and even Louisville, Ky., was concerned. Plus, over 300,000 West Virginians had no water for over a week. Companies like Toyota shut down; people had to take vacation or no pay.

Even though a manure spill would not be considered as a chemical spill, it is a hazardous waste containing numerous harmful pathogens, including MRSA. An environmental disaster can be a serious problem, not just to people in Bartholomew County but to other counties.

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