Unbearable stink from cleanup site

By Anne Ross
Cape Breton Post
Tues., Oct. 19, 2010

I do not understand from a cleanup that is now taking place at the tar ponds/coke ovens site that a stench so bad would be allowed to continue to be released into the air, a stench so bad that it would tear the lungs, eyes, nose and stomach from you.

There should be someone standing at all points coming into our municipality handing out gas masks. We have the highest cancer rate in the country, yet this stench, a toxic brew of carcinogens, is being allowed to be released off the site into the same air we all breathe.

We are told to eat healthy, donít smoke or drink, loose weight and get regular checkups to prevent cancer. The one thing we cannot change is that we are all breathing the air coming off the site, especially the children whose lungs and bodies are not yet fully developed.

I do not believe that something could not be done to eliminate this stench before our cancer rates soar even higher. Do the people in charge realize how serious this is?

I believe that the provincial and federal governments didnít thoroughly do their homework on this million-dollar project, they only saw dollar signs, not human lives.

Most days are unbearable unless you live on the outskirts of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. But if you live and work in town and areas surrounding the site, it is unbearable.

I even had cruise ship visitors ask what the unbearable stench was. I almost choked when I saw a ribbon-cutting ceremony taking place about 200 feet from the tar ponds site. A great place for children, they tell us, to play sports with one of the best fields you can imagine, tennis courts and a walking track. All I can say is run in the opposite direction, away from the toxic monster before it will take your breathe away, or even your life.

Anne Ross