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John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
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is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 01.29.04
Fool's Hollow, Quebec

JOHN MAHONEY

There's a time bomb in our back yard

COVENTRY, VT | They've created a potentially toxic time bomb in the Lake Memphremagog watershed and now they want to almost double it's size.

On Thursday, at 7 p.m. in theTown Hall here, they'll be looking for faith-based approval to truck in 2500 tons of waste a day.

That's an increase of 1000 tons more of assorted garbage each working day at the Waste USA landfill here, owned and operated by Casella Waste Management Systems of Rutland, Vermont.

They want everyone in the district to take it on faith that the plastic liners will never, ever leak and ooze poison into Lake Memphremagog.

But even the EPA says that plastic doesn't last forever.

And toxic chemicals like benzene will diffuse through three feet of compacted clay in five years.

Up here, the water runs north and most of the lake lies in Quebec. It's the source of drinking water for the more than 125,000 people living in Sherbrooke.

Few, if any, Quebecers have a clue what is happening at the other end of Lake Memphremagog.

However, Coventry's taxpayers, who live about five miles upriver, love the dump.

The town makes more than $500,000 a year from the landfill, plus another $40,000 that Casella puts in a fund to help send local kids to college.

If this major landfill expansion gets state approval, the town stands to pocket more than $1 million a year, which will help keep local taxes down.

This is called sitting in the catbird's seat and, you can add, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

This story will be with us for a while (but not as long as the stuff buried in the landfill). Come back to keep current.

Go to TOXIC TIME BOMB #2

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