Just say no to burning sludge at Point Aconi

Letter to editor from Elaine Fraser
Cape Breton Post
Thursday, July 8, 2003

I am very, very concerned about the recommendations to co-burn the toxic sludge from the Sydney tar ponds in Point Aconi generating station. A recent article in the Cape Breton Post stated that the governments are seeking input from residents living near the Point Aconi plant.

I have attended several meetings in the area. Engineer Walter Van Veen tells us the material is basically burnable fuel, no worse than what you burn in your home or car. What turnip truck does he think we fell off?

We don't have fancy degrees, nor are we engineers, but we do know that we are dealing with Canada's worst toxic sludge.

Pesticide spray from farming practices has been detected in the far north. Toxins from the sludge that don't burn will become air borne and certainly drift all over Cape Breton, and who knows how far.

I am appealing to all Cape Bretoners from Glace Bay to the North Shore and beyond to get involved, ask questions, and let the politicians, the Joint Action Group, Nova Scotia Power, anyone who will listen and those who won't, that our answer is no way - no burning.

The Point Aconi plant can't burn that sludge safely, and we know the site incinerator couldn't. What will happen when work starts to disturb the sludge and transport it? Instead of one toxic site to deal with, we may end up with a number of them.

I for one am not going to sit still and let them spew toxic emissions from the stacks at Point Aconi. My health and the health of my familly are more important than getting rid of the Sydney tar ponds at any expense.

I am not impressed with Parker Donham telling us how to act at a meeting. If he has met with hostility in the past, it was probably something he said or did that provoked it.

So don't provoke us by trying to burn that sludge in Point Aconi.

Elaine Fraser
Alder Point