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Kern County suffers due to Los Angeles Sludge

September 9, 2008

I live in the country on 20 acres. I moved here to get away from the crowding and pollution of the city. It was great for about a year until LA started dumping their sludge on farmland about a mile to the east.

When the wind (or even a gentle breeze) is from the east you can't breathe outside without your nose, throat and lungs hurting. Shortly after the dumping began I was diagnosed with asthma. The fumes make your eyes water and burn. I have almost constant sinus congestion and sore throats. My eyes have given up trying to wash the filth out and I now have "dry eye" and am no longer able to wear contacts. The flies have multiplied by leaps and bounds. If you're working outside you can be sure to not only be pestered by them, by literally covered with them if you work up a sweat (not hard to do when the weather is as warm as it is in the Bakersfield, CA area)

My dream of a peaceful life in the country, away from the stench of the city is gone, now the city is more pleasant. I love to spend time in the outdoors growing things, but now have to time my outdoor activities for when the wind is from certain directions.

We used to be able to turn off our air conditioner at night and open up the house but we don't dare go to sleep with windows open anymore for fear the wind direction will change. The smell permeates the house and our clothes and it takes days for it to go away.

There is a lake and recreation area just down the road where a lot of people like to go during the hot weather to cool off. In fact many people from LA come up here to camp. You should see the look on their faces when they ask what the smell is and they are told it is THEIR sewage that is being trucked up here. Something needs to be done about the toxic fumes that are released from the spreading of the sludge.

If LA thinks it's so safe why don't they spread it in their own county? Why truck it over a hundred miles to pollute someone else's backyard? And what happens when this gets down into our groundwater? How many people will have to suffer or die before something is done?

Evonne Schneider, Bakersfield CA