Oppose Asphalt Plant
The following excerpts appeared in an article in a Winchester (Mass.) Informer blog this past September: "According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, exposure to asphalt fumes can cause
headaches, skin rashes, fatigue, reduced appetite, throat and eye irritation, and coughing." And in the same article: "Even if an asphalt plant meets all air pollution standards, people living nearby are still
exposed to cancer-causing substances that can cause long term damage."
Obviously, for those of us living in the neighborhood where they plan to put this plant it is damn scary. But for all of us who live and work in Bethel, it should be a wake-up call.
The Bethel Chamber Of Commerce has advertised and promoted Bethel as "Maine's Most Beautiful Mountain Village" for over a decade, with business investment growing into the millions in the effort to draw the world to our doorstep couple this investment with countless volunteer hours in support of bringing visitors here, our question is: How long will Bethel be able to use that enticing line of welcome once we have an asphalt plant open up within a mile and a half of town? How many tourists are going to visit our inns, restaurants, golf courses and campgrounds if the first thing that
greets them is the stench and haze of an asphalt plant looming overhead?
And how many jobs will be lost as a result in those businesses once the Bethel "brand" is diminished? If you do just a little research on the health hazards involved with asphalt fumes and asphalt production you might think
again about how important the term "quality of place" should be to us all.
If, however, you don't care about living where the air quality may change as a result of an asphalt plant, and you are comfortable with having this plant in your backyard, then so be it. What may or may not happen if an asphalt plant occupies a piece of ground on the North Road is unclear and both sides of the argument can offer little more than speculation. One thing's for sure, the air will change and no Planning Board or government agency has a permit for what we breathe.
We hope you will attend the Planning Board meeting tentatively scheduled for Feb. 9 and express your opposition to this plant. Please call the
Bethel town office at 824-2669 for the exact time of this important meeting.
Should you be unable to attend, please contact Gina Douglass at 824-3351 and make arrangements with her so you can sign the petition.
Carole and Ross Timberlake