The Air Will Change
The following is from the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, a part of the Center for Disease Control. It addresses chemicals (PAHs) formed during the production of asphalt: "How likely are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to cause cancer?
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that some PAHs may reasonably be expected to be carcinogens.Some people who have breathed or touched mixtures of PAHs and other chemicals for long periods of time have developed cancer." The complete "ToxFaqs" can be found online at: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=121&tid=25.
For those of us living in the neighborhood near the proposed asphalt plant this is scary stuff, but it should also serve as a wake up call for anyone who lives, works, or visits Bethel. 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 stay and enjoy our inns, restaurants, golf courses and campgrounds if the first thing that greets them is the stench and haze from 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 will 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.
Should a Planning Board or government agency have the right to issue a permit for what we breathe? We hope you will attend the Planning Board meeting February 9th and express your opposition to this plant because this project could have an adverse effect on many more people than it will help. To sign a petition in opposition of this plant, please contact Gina Douglas at 824-3351.
Carole & Ross Timberlake