KEN WALZ: Send brine waste to Texas

To the editor:

Following is an open letter to the Environmental Protection Agency offer also as a letter to the editor.

To:  Mr. Ross Micham

U.S. EPA Water Div.

77 W. Jackson Blvd.

UIC Branch (WU-16J)

Chicago, Il 60604-3590

Re:   Smith 1-17

Permit No. MI-107-2D-0013

AND  

WB Osborn Oil & Gas Operations

1250 Ne Loop 410 #600

San Antonio, Texas 78209

AND  

THE PUBLIC OF FORK TWP. AND ALL OF MECOSTA AND SURROUNDING COUNTIES

Dear Mr. Micham, execs. at Osborn, and ladies and gentlemen of the area:

Initially I read the Pioneer’s article, “Burying the brine,” 10/24-25 edition.  Then I read Linda Travis’s and Pamela Gilbert’s “Letters to the Editor” of 10/28.  Finally I read the Pioneer’s article, “Spreading the word,” on 10/30, about some more of Ms. Gilbert’s very unique giving personality.

The Travis and Gilbert articles were concise, informative “calls to action.”  A CHEMICAL POISON is coming to Fork Twp.!  Thus EPA, are you with these, concerned citizens?  It worries me here in Green Twp.

 There should  be a public hearing on this, PLEASE! If you cannot guarantee that IT won’t seep into the water aquifers — SOMEWHERE downstream  — then PLEASE  don’t let  it start.

Let me share some factual experiences I’ve had as a personal injury/property damage attorney for 45 years:

(1) A company wanted to buy a vacant building site in downtown Reed City, where for decades there’d been a “machine shop.”   Before the buy was completed, it was discovered that the shop had had “drains” in their floor, where they’d dumped their used cutting (of metal) oils.  Result: beneath the ground was petroleum oil pollution, so bad that it got on the EPA’s Superfund list.  NO Sale!  Still vacant.

The poison “travels” with the unrelenting force of gravity; spreading into a fan-shaped “plume.”

(2) A Chiropractor (Newaygo County) had a home-office next to a gas station.  The greasy, smelly substance coming up through the floor drain (next to his x-ray machine) was petroleum waste!!

He and family were downhill from the source, and the plume got to them.  Big lawsuit, but who needs that?

(3) Sometime it’s hard to pin-point who the polluters are or were.   Businesses change hands, fail, etc.  So, is there a financially viable entity to collect damages from? Like a couple who brought me some underground “maps” showing an underground petro “plume” coming their way.  Anticipation

(4) In Traverse City on the West Bay was a home that had a laundromat and cleaners near.  A plume of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), was invading their subsurface  on its way to nearby Lake Michigan. 

Science must know how to “distill” the true water out of this “brine,” leaving the pollutants to be buried in a pit encased in concrete or something to prevent “migration.”

Or better yet, Osborn Co.:  take it to Texas where the “oil fields” look like Third World urban battlefield scenes, with pumpjacks and burning escaping gas EVERYWHERE!  Keep it there.

EPA:  please have the Texans ship the brine by R.R. tanker cars back to Texas, where they’re used to it.

Ken Walz

Green Twp.

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