Vail Daily letter: Do we really need this?
Ryan Summerlin May 2, 2014
Doris Dewton recently penned a letter to the editor regarding the proposed bond issues A and B (sewage system upgrades) wherein she admonished, “Like it or not, our sewage treatment plants must be upgraded to meet stringent new federal regulations governing the quality of water that is returned to the Colorado River after treatment in our plants.”
The “why” of it all is to meet “stringent new federal regulations,” not because, in reality, the existing facilities are adequately addressing these safety and qualitative issues of our little enclave. The district voters are called upon to “intelligently” cast their affirmative votes in favor of the bond issuance. Little regard or concern in our egalitarian society is given to the questions, “Is this upgrade and expenditure really necessary?” Have any tests been recently conducted to reveal contamination of the Eagle and Colorado rivers at Dotsero? What empirical data in our particular area has been compiled to justify the capital improvements authorized by the Clean Water Act of 1972 , and in turn tasked to governmental agencies such as the EPA to enforce?
These applicable “regulations” issued by the EPA only have the force of law, if: One, they are within the authoritative purview of the enacting statute, and, two, if they are in deed based or founded upon something other than bogus science, cooked empirical studies, or arbitrary fabrications or assumptions of an EPA bureaucrat to further promote the current administration’s social agenda, e.g., one size fits all, redistribution of wealth and assets, confiscation of private property rights through increased and needless taxation. Would it not be prudent for the property owner who is called upon to support these “stringent new regulations” to ask: One, are the water and sanitation facilities of the district really substandard, and if so how are they? Two, if the district system is in fact adequate, nonpolluting and in compliance with the pre-existing regulations and standards, then are the taxpayers of the district in essence subsidizing the systems of other areas (counties and/or states) of lesser affluence?
To be fair to the district voters, the ballot issues on A and B should patently aver and include: One, that there a have been no studies or tests conducted of the district infra-structure that would evidence quality or contamination in the Eagle and Colorado rivers. Two, the new EPA rules apply to all systems, whether some are adequate, more than adequate or sub-standard and polluting. Three, that the empirical studies and data relating to the Eagle district may be reviewed at the EPA website link. And, rour, the names and contact info of the EPA authors of the new “stringent regulations” may be also be found at the EPA site.
To take these new rules and regulations at “face value” without confirmation would be buying into the current administration’s agenda or the biased and unsubstantiated opinion of some bureaucrat at the EPA offices, rather than into reality, frugality and common sense.
An educated and deliberated vote is a vote well cast. “If you like your clean water and district sewage system, you can keep it,” period! Remember, this is the same author whose minions and czars have promulgated the new “stringent rules and regulations” and that touted the attributes of the Affordable Care Act. A vote cast, founded upon someone’s broad-based and agenda driven opinion, can be economically devastating and confiscatory, and makes dupes of us all — the power to tax involves the power to destroy (Chief Justice John Marshall). Based upon the promises past made, the stated ballot questions raise more questions than the votes they promote.
Editor’s note: Samples of discharge at the Vail, Avon and Edwards plants show phosphorus levels above the 1 milligram per liter maximum that is now mandated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, according to the district. Samples are as high as 6.8 milligrams per liter. The new limits apply with the district’s 2017 permit renewal. Likewise, inorganic nitrogen limits are currently above the 15 milligrams per liter annual median that is mandated by the new rules. Current limits are 38 milligrams per liter in Avon and Edwards, while Vail has no limit. The improved treatment facilities will reduce nitrogen by about 60 percent and phosphorus by about 50 to 80 percent, according to the district.