What do you want to say? What do you want to happen? Do you want this place better or do you want to repeat the stories of the great mistakes that have been made here, money spent that quite honestly cannot be unspent.
Let's think about this together. Consider your voice will be heard, across the nation. Can we turn the page and start looking at what we want for our future and the future of the communities full of people who will follow us? What do we want? I will tell you what I want.
I want it all better. I want no more lead poisoned children. I want to know that the lead in the dust in the homes we reside within is gone. I want every residential yard tested for lead and I want the amount allowable changed to reflect the change in the lowered blood lead level of concern. I want the chat piles gone, so no more dust will be blown from them into these homes. I want the owners of the chat waste to be compensated for it. I want the water in the Boone Aquifer treated with a state of the art water treatment facility built and the water clean enough to drink after treatment. I want people who are currently still on Boone Aquifer water to have their wells tested frequently to make sure they are not drinking tainted water.
I want continued efforts to ensure the Roubidoux is protected from the Boone. I want Tar Creek, Spring River and the Neosho Rivers dredged down to Twin Bridges and the metals in the sediments removed and continue down the Grand River into the lake until all the metals are removed. I want the watershed soils checked and if not dealt with, the lands marked with warning signs on what plants should not be eaten and where the plants are safe. Of course the work in Oklahoma must be done knowing all the work in Missouri and Kansas has been done too.
The children who have been lead poisoned should receive the extra help that may be required in school and our state should understand they did nothing wrong to deserve the poisoning they have been dealt.
Mothers with lead poisoned children did nothing wrong, and I want each of our mothers to understand they are not responsible. Living in the heart of the largest superfund site in the nation with lead the element of concern did it.
Patients sitting in doctors' offices, hospitals and in dialysis centers did nothing wrong. They are living in the largest superfund site in the nation with lead the element of concern, but the other metals that went to bed with lead, arsenic, manganese and cadmium have health consequences as well. I want this cleaned up and the health of our people on track to be better in the decades to come.
I want the EPA, FERC and the Grand River Dam Authority to work together to make this happen to protect the environment and human health. This can help our communities and the people who will be living here for generations to come. This can help deal with the flooding that occurs and we are threatened with each time the rains come.
Our current EPA administrator has announced a War on Lead and our superfund site should get some attention from that new WAR. So look around you and down your street. The other obvious source of lead poisoning for children are the houses on your block, or the ones you drive by. Older homes built before 1978, there are LOTS of them in Ottawa County and many of them still have lead based paint. Some houses may have been repainted and may be in good shape. But many need to be repainted, remodeled, to keep from poisoning the children who abide in them.
Some houses will be demolished and all care should be taken to be sure that the dust that is generated does not poison nearby children or leave that property with the soil contaminated by that action. The health department researchers in Detroit found kids were most at risk for high lead levels if they lived within 200 feet of the demolitions during May through September. Let's pay attention to all the ways we can protect children, our future.
See you at the NEO Ballroom March 27 starting at 2:00 for a Tar Creek 101, stay and view the art show of Miami and Quapaw High School students. There will be an Open House beginning at 4 p.m. where you can meet people who are working at this site and hear what they are doing. Take time to visit and get more answers until 7 pm.
Learn more. Ask questions and be ready to say what you want. Let's speak up. There may be a microphone clipped on you any day now.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim