September 8, 2008
Dear Senator Boxer,
My name is Anne Warren. I reside in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, along with my husband, three children, and my elderly mother. We moved to this area in the summer of 2002.
Outwardly, Greencastle is, by all appearances, a picture perfect, Norman Rockwell town. Having lived in an overly developed area, we were quite taken with all of the undeveloped farm land surrounding this quaint little community. We purchased a lot that abuts a working farm, and made plans to build our “Dream Home” on it. While our current home was being built, we rented another home in the area, which also abutted farm land.
Our family had no prior health issues when we moved here. Shortly thereafter however, we unwittingly began a journey through countless health crises that to this day continue to plague us. It has been frustrating, exhausting, and quite frankly, terrifying. Until a few months ago, we couldn’t understand why we were all so very sick. We didn’t understand the heavy nosebleeds, the seizures, the shortness of breath, the esophageal, pharyngeal, and gastrointestinal diseases that developed. Nor did we understand the recurrent lesions, hair loss, lung nodules, uterine mass, coughing up blood, and rectal bleeding. Countless doctors could only treat symptoms, yet they didn’t know the cause then nor now. But I think that we finally do.
It has come to our attention that our development is within a little more than one mile of a Class “B” sludge farm. We apparently, it is speculated, have a number of farms such as this all over our community. We currently live on what was once a part of the working farm that our lot now abuts to. We are on well water. Our well is at a depth that provides us with drinking, cooking, and bathing water straight from the Conococheague Creek- which is filthy from sludge runoff. All of the residents in our development and in many others, are also on well water. There are many sick people in our area. The cancer rate here is staggering. [As an aside, Ms. Boxer, you must also know that our community is within two miles of a toxic dump, known as Mountain View Reclamation Landfill. It is getting ready to expand. It had received the trash from the “Khian Sea” back in 2002, and it continues to receive trash from other states. Homes have been built right next door to it. It is an ever-present danger.]
As I become more educated about sludge, I become more angered. How in the world could these people who produce this lethal mixture of human waste and heavy metals, be given the green light to use others as human guinea pigs? How dare they lie to these farmers by telling them that sludge is safe? If it so safe, then why are they giving it away, rather than selling it? Why aren’t communities made aware of the fact that they may be drinking water, eating produce, and breathing air that is tainted with this poison? How in God’s name is this legal? The lack of any regard for human life is stunning. I wonder if those who produce this sludge and those who legalized its use, live with their loved ones in the vicinity of a sludge farm or dumping site. They should be made to live in the midst of this toxic soup that they have created. This issue goes all the way up the food chain. It starts with an administration that is environmentally irresponsible. Our law- makers must be proactive; being reactive comes too late for those who are already sickened or dead.
You, Senator Boxer and other lawmakers, must stop the spreading of sludge. You have got to put an end, once and for all, to the deception being perpetrated upon communities around the country, that have been told that this slop is safe. It is time to do the right thing, and to educate this country on a grand scale about environmental awareness. People in this country must know what the quality of the air, water, and soil is in their towns
It is time for people to know the truth. There is greater power in numbers, and the more who join together to create change, the greater the quality of our lives will be. Please help us to this end.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Anne J. Warren