LETTER – Do not let history repeat itself

Published 4:03 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

To the Editor:

A landfill is proposed for Cumberland County, Virginia. This is a catastrophe Virginia cannot afford.

A similar landfill in Jasper County, South Carolina quickly mounded to ninety feet, covering four acres. In 2015, spontaneous combustion set the toxic site on fire. Unable to be extinguished by firefighters, the fire raged for months. Waves of arid, toxic smoke caused the evacuation of 31 residents in August 2019. Hazardous substances were released into the environment, causing pollutants to contaminate the air, water and soil. Disease-causing bacteria reached thousands of times higher than acceptable levels. In the fall of 2019, the fire was finally out. The massive cleanup began.

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By January 2020, the State of South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control removed 115,138 tons of waste. The cost to the state was over 5 million dollars. This travesty of irresponsible stewardship must not be repeated in Virginia.

Ellen Roberts

Stephen Kotowicz