Landfill beneficial: Not in this lifetime

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I am writing today to express my whole hearted support for the proposed landfill in Conecuh County. It is only rarely that we get to hear of such an exemplary plan to bring jobs and industry into our rural communities. We all should stand shoulder to shoulder and proclaim our support. Why should we not?

Never mind that our grandchildren will have to bear the cost of having the groundwater tainted with leached contaminants from the waste. Certainly, a small number of jobs for a decade or so are more than ample justification for a permanent poisoning of our drinking water.

Furthermore, why should we lose any sleep that the gentleman who packaged this stellar deal together will be dead and gone and their grandchildren will be taking their profits from the landfill to pay tuition at Brown and Swarthmore while we have a mountain of trash. Fret not! The EPA will designate this a super-fund site and possibly if there is funding available in the next 50 years it will get addressed. Just ask our fellow Alabamians in Anniston about the rapidity of the EPA on cleaning Super Fund sites. Also ask the good folks in Anniston about the impact a Super Fund site has on their health or their property values. Do the words death and valueless mean anything?

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I hate to resurrect any sort of class warfare or pseudo-Marxist ideology, but this is nothing more than colonialism. They are exploiting us for our vulnerability…our economic vulnerability. Why are they not building this outside Fairhope or Destin, Fla.? Because those citizens would erupt in protest to the likes that would make President Hosni Mubarak flee with only one day of protest much less 20 days! These outsiders have decided to exploit us because they believe they can name our price. We are willing to sell ourselves for a price…just think the corner of Government and Broad at 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

If you must allow these bourgeoisie exploiters to rape us then at least let’s get the best deal possible. Let us require that this company fund an “environmental clean-up fund” to remain fully funded until a period no less than 50 years after the landfills closure. Then and only then will their grandchildren or great-children get to fund their Ivy-League tuition or beach front vacation homes on our backs. I suggest we retain an environmental firm to conduct research and look at past “super-fund” site cleanup cost. Let us then require this fund be funded, up-front, that way we don’t wind up trying to extricate funds from some bankrupted “shell” company.

Be assured that these city slickers have a contingent of attorneys who have covered their posteriors in every possible contingency. They will not be stuck with the clean-up bill…ever. If they did not think they could make their money and leave us holding the bag, literally, they would never even have gone this far pursuing such a wrongheaded venture. One day we WILL regret having gotten in bed with this outfit.

Finally, if having a landfill as a business in our community is such a great thing why don’t the communities that desire to send us their trash have their own? In my mind, allowing such a business into your community is cutting off of your nose to spite your face. Jobs will be created and revenue generated, but at what cost? It is my personal belief that the “true” cost is too high. If the jobs and revenue were sufficient to cover the cost of having a landfill as a neighbor the towns that are going to send us their trash would have one in their town. Since they don’t and most likely would not allow a landfill, the answer to the question is fairly simple: don’t allow other people to dump on us.


Alex L. Jones