Thursday, November 25, 2021

Trustees continue to criticize published misinformation

Despite published claims, the new injection wells at Carleton Farms will pose no threat to the water quality of Sumpter Township residents.

The new wells will be used to dispose of leachate at the waste disposal facility. Leachate is groundwater that has percolated through the waste at the site and leached out some of the constituents. Currently, Carleton Farms has the collected leachate trucked off the site and disposed of elsewhere, officials explained during a Sept. 28 study session of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees. 

Representatives from Republic Services, owners of Carleton Farms, appeared before the trustees as a courtesy, they explained, as an effort to be a good neighbor. They noted that the township had no input or control regarding the installation or management of the proposed wells which would be regulated at the federal and state level.

Recently published misinformation claimed that the township board had approved of the wells and were secretly supporting the construction which would pump the leachate into the groundwater in the township and threaten the integrity of the drinking water. Trustees at the Nov. 9 meeting of the board protested the publication of the erroneous information and repeatedly noted that the claims are untrue and without basis.

Trustee Tim Rush said that a published letter to the editor in a local newspaper claimed that the leachate would be pumped into and impact the groundwater and that this was something the board members had approved. He said that this was, once again, erroneous and false information and that “the township has no say in this process. This is done at a federal level.” He added that this new deep well disposal was actually a safety feature as currently the trucked leachate on the township roads proved more of a potential hazard. 

Trustee Matt Oddy agreed noting that the deep wells were not under the control of the township or the board members and that the representatives appeared at a study session to explain the planned construction as a courtesy. 

Trustees, along with Township Supervisor Tim Bowman, strongly criticized what they characterized as the constant misinformation spread by the publication and the amount of time they were forced to spend attempting to correct the erroneous reports.

Oddy explained that there was another allegation printed that the board was acting in secret and that the minutes of a meeting had been “tampered with.” He said it was obviously not true and that the minutes of the meeting in question were accurate. “It is obvious the writer confused the study session with the official meeting,” he said. “The agenda for the meeting is approved at the beginning of the meeting and those items addressed.” 

He added that there was another claim that the board had “broken promises” about the sale of township-owned property, which was, he said, also misleading and inaccurate.

“It is unfortunate that we have to spend so much time to help residents get the right information,” he said. 

Bowman agreed noting that “We spend so much time on this. It is a never-ending battle to get the truth out there.”