Pharos-Tribune

Columns

September 25, 2013

KITCHELL: Air quality issue up to us this time

Too many times recently, I’ve been told of people I know who have been diagnosed with fatal forms of cancer.

That word strikes fear in all of us, and when it is associated with someone we know, we’re simply left to pray for them, hope for them and wonder if enough is being done to give people who have it hope.

Collectively as a country, we’ve done things governmentally to reduce our cancer risks. From the Surgeon General’s warnings for decades on cigarette packs to mammograms covered by insurance to new proposed federal guidelines that will bolster limits on the amount of emissions going into the skies above us, the trend of prevention is encouraging. Even in Indiana, smoking is banned in most public places.

But at a time when progress is being made to prevent harmful substances from threatening our health, the possibility looms in Logansport and Cass County that greater emissions will soon be filling our skies. I’m talking about the emissions that will be coming from a proposed power plant in Logansport. It’s the reason why a physician from southern Indiana came to Logansport this week to meet with local doctors about the opposition to a waste-to-energy facility in Indiana that has doctors there concerned about its impact on the health of their patients.

Earlier this year, a Canadian proponent of the power plant proposed by the city of Logansport wrote a Public Forum letter to the Pharos-Tribune, assuring us in part that the plant would have to comply with local, state and federal environmental guidelines. That part of his letter in particular was unusually curious if not alarming because Logansport and Cass County have no air quality regulations. His assurance offered only a false sense of security tantamount to saying that the law of gravity is backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, the U.S. Marines, the Federal Reserve and the Supreme Court. It may sound impressive, but it means nothing because there is no connection.

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