Editor, Times-Union:
We’re number one! We’re number one! Yes, Indiana has been ranked number one again. First it was meth labs, then infant mortality, now we’re tops in the nation in water pollution. I have to wonder if perhaps there is a correlation between the last two.
The report was written by the Hoosier Environmental Council and dealt mostly with the disposal of wastes left over from burning coal. Coming as a surprise to no one is the fact almost no inspections are conducted.
Missing from the report was agricultural waste. With the veal farm operation 300 feet from my patio, I was curious as to what happens to animal waste. Apparently it is allowed to seep into ground water where water contamination becomes a real possibility. These babies are fed an all-liquid diet which of course results in liquid waste. Because of the conditions in which they are raised, they are susceptible to disease and fed antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control has linked the use of antibiotics in animals’ food to disease in humans. This mess is approximately 350 feet from my well. And guess what? Again no regulation.
Also unbeknownst to me is the fact that Indiana allows animal composting, which means the dead animal is allowed to lie on top of the ground and rot. Regulations do exist, but as with nearly every piddling regulation in Indiana, who the hell is going to enforce it? Does someone stand guard over the remains to shoo away birds, animals and insects to keep them from spreading disease? Of course not.
We have two large grain operations out here, one across the road, and the other a stone’s throw to the northwest that use large amounts of chemicals that seep into the ground water. I believe it is no coincidence that we have had six cases of cancer in this mile stretch of road.
In a quick reply to Mr. Gerard’s News Views column Saturday about the undocumented children coming into the country: There is an old saying “what goes around, comes around,” some may call it Karma. Five hundred years ago Europeans invaded North America, bringing diseases with them. In the ensuing years, they stole land and resources that didn’t belong to them and nearly completed genocide of the native people. Perhaps we are merely getting what we deserve. All great empires fail, this one will be no exception. It started 30 years ago and both parties have been complicit.
Oh well, I guess I’ll go have a tall, refreshing glass of arsenic, selenium, lead, mercury, chromium and animal waste.
Janet Collins
Etna Green, via email