This concerns the fertilizer controversy about animal waste from a slaughter house in Sugar Valley. I would like to set a few things straight that would be of great importance, as to why this violates the rights of the dozens of people who live at ground zero, where this animal waste is discarded over a vast area of river bottom level farmland in Antes Forte. This waste is only part of the liquefied waste from cattle, the other ingredients can be left up to the imagination. For Rep. Garth Everett to state that it’s a part of agriculture, it has always been and it probably will be, is far from the truth.
A farmer on his farm used cow manure on his fields from his farm. The amount was limited. That farmer wasn’t issued a permit from a nutrient management plan approved by the DEP and the Lycoming County Conservation District. What’s with this 21 million gallons of animal waste? Is it restricted to a week, a month or a year? There isn’t a person working for the DEP or the Lycoming County Conservation District that has the slightest idea what harm 21 million gallons of liquefied animal waste can do to a restricted flat section of drainage area adjacent to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and the dozens of families who make this area their home. Why is it illegal to build an outhouse on ones property or for use at a cabin in the mountains? Don’t kid yourself, it is because it might contaminate a well or a nearby stream. It isn’t any wonder bass in the Susquehanna River have lesions. The river runs alongside fields that drain into the river by following drainage ditches.
Those who make up the different entities that approve and back permits such as this one, are paid well, the landowners profit, a business profits, those doing the spreading profit, and for dozens of residents whose grandparents made a living off this very land, must live a life of hell, because of the foul odor in the air, and not knowing if the well water in their back yard is safe enough to drink or even take a bath in. I visit and know everyone who lives in this area. Friends, relatives and I have fished the river since the 1940’s and I have hunted every foot of this farmland, except the Airport Runway itself.
Weldon C. Cohick Jr.