To the editor:

Mat-Su Borough officials recently announced their plans to build a Sewage Treatment Facility at the Central Landfill. The Borough intends to fund this project by “user fees”. What this means is that every homeowner in the valley that is on a septic system (approximately 90,000) will see our rates rise dramatically to pay for a facility that will cost tens of millions of dollars to build, maintain, and operate. There will be no federal, state, or local matching funds, this will be paid for “out of pocket” directly by valley homeowners.

For the past thirty plus years septage has been hauled to Anchorage and processed by Anchorage Wastewater Utility and treated to EPA and DEC standards before being discharged. This practice has worked successfully in the past as it is today. Several septic pumping business have pressured the Borough to provide this service for them locally so that drivers no longer have to drive to Anchorage. This would allow pumpers to increase the number of service calls daily thereby increasing their daily revenue.

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The Borough’s site selection choice at the Central Landfill is “landlocked” and has no place to discharge the approximately 16.6 million gallons of treated septage wastewater that will need to be processed annually. There are over eleven-hundred property/homeowners that live within a half mile of this site. Immediately down gradient of the area are a dozen recreational lakes in the Kepler-Bradley Lake State Recreation Area that could be impacted by groundwater toxins. The impact on the health and the quality of life of residents and wildlife that reside within two miles or closer to a wastewater treatment plant has been well documented over the years in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health as well as numerous other scientific publications, journals, and studies. The adverse health effects on homeowners living adjacent too, or within close proximity to a municipal landfill has extensively been studied and documented. To consider placing two such facilities together in a residential neighborhood is unconscionable.

The irony in the Borough’s plan is that valley homeowners will be on the hook for the total cost of building a sewage treatment plant when it’s not needed. The Borough has a history of being involved in unneeded boondoggle projects in the past that are still costing property tax payers today. Don’t let this be another one!

Howard Hinden,

Palmer

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