Protect the Partrick Wetlands
and our Community

WPCA Regs are Clear and Broad
Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

All eyes will be on the Water Pollution Control Authority (your selectmen) at their February 11th meeting. Will they stand tall and protect the health, well being and resources of our town or will they stumble and fall as the conservation commission did before them?

The question is whether a large and intrusive private sewer extension should be allowed to service the proposed 22 homes of ARS Partners' clustered development on the Partrick Wetlands. The blasting and excavation needed to install this unwanted proposal could stir up unknown amounts of contaminants and despoil the land, the ground water, the aquifer beneath it and in turn our drinking water.

The WPCA regulations are the heart of the matter. Ira Bloom, the town attorney, says environmental impacts, including polluting of our water supply don't apply here. Yet the regulations specifically speak of public health, state waters and public nuisance. Are the citizens of Westport to believe the Water Pollution Control Authority is not supposed to control or have jurisdiction over water pollution? Are we supposed to sit back and allow another Westport governmental body to let slide the risks, the fears and desires of the residents?

The fate of Westport's health, environment and open space should not be determined like this, especially not on one individual's interpretation of the regulations. Why is the narrow view right? Shouldn't a broader and more encompassing interpretation be the standard for something so potentially harmful and destructive? Shouldn't this interpretation be based on all the words, intent and spirit of the regulations and that of the broader State statutes which these rules were derived from? Mr. Bloom, please take another look. I think you will find the answer in the text as well as in the faces of your fellow citizens.

Diane Farrell, Carl Leaman and John Izzo you can be our heros on February 11th by simply realizing what everyone else already knows, that this development is just not worth it. It is not worth the risk to our health, not worth the risk to the environment and not worth the risk of Town liability. Allowing this sewer could create a disaster and that is something none of us want. Be our heros, please deny the sewer.

Matthew Mandell
Director, Partrick Wetlands Preservation Fund