Mayor Dave needs a corpse to justify air monitoring

A discussion about air quality nearly erupted at the SiltBOTs meeting last night (9/24) but was quickly squelched.

At the end of the meeting during board comments Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Aluise said he felt a recent article in the paper did not present an accurate version of his email comments regarding air quality monitoring. He didn’t elaborate as to what he felt was inaccurate about his statements as presented in the article. However he did recommend the town look into air quality monitoring as they work through the budget process, but he added “This is not the appropriate time for that discussion.”

I assume he means this article:  Silt resident concerned about gas-well flaring

Here are the excerpts from the article that have anything to do with Aluise or the town of Silt:

Town officials do not necessarily agree with Tibbetts, but Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Aluise said he might go along with paying for air quality monitoring to see if things have gotten worse since previous testing.

“I told them that, while I do not experience any health problems that I believe are related to oil and gas activity, I would support using a small amount of our mineral lease and severance money to establish a monitoring system in town,” Aluise wrote in an email to the Post Independent …

… The town of Silt has no environmental health department, but Town Manager Pamela Woods said she was aware of Tibbetts’ complaint.

She had not received any other complaints about the matter, Woods said, and that she intends to keep open the lines of communication with Tibbetts to learn more about the issue.

Aluise said he, too, was aware of Tibbetts’ complaint, but told the Post Independent on Aug. 29, “The town really has no role in controlling the flaring.”

Besides that, he said, he had not noticed anything wrong with the air in Silt.

“I didn’t even know they were flaring until Peggy told me,” he remarked. “I haven’t noticed anything, personally.”

In an email, Aluise elaborated that Peggy and Tod Tibbetts had spoken with him about their conclusions about the area’s air quality.

His goal, he wrote, would be to “determine … whether or not the air quality is worse” than it was in 2005.

Again, I don’t know what Aluise feels is inaccurate about this. My understanding from previous conversations with him was that he was in favor of air quality monitoring. I have had no conversations with anyone from the town board or the staff since the last week of August.

Mayor Dave jumped in on the heels of Aluise’s comments and mentioned that he also read an article in Monday’s paper:  Air monitoring station up and running near Carbondale. In reference to air quality monitoring Mayor Dave said: “For there to be a murder you have to have a corpse. If you’re going to have some type of air monitoring system you have to have reasons for it.”

In other words Mayor Dave doesn’t care about air quality or public health. We can all be sick as dogs but unless we drop dead there’s no cause for alarm – or air quality monitoring. At least we know where he stands.

About the article:  Air monitoring station up and running near Carbondale

I know this was in the works before our air quality declined over the summer. But even when I found out about it last spring I wondered why they would monitor Carbondale and not Silt. I’m not against air quality monitoring in Carbondale. But why not Silt, too? When I asked that question last May, Paul Reaser (GarCo director of environmental health) told me there is an air quality monitoring station south of Silt on Owens Drive, up Dry Hollow called the Bell-Melton (or Melton Ranch) station. However, unlike the shiny, new,  state-of-the-art air monitor in Carbondale, the Bell-Melton station does NOT check “for what are known as the BTEX (pronounced bee-tex) compounds typically associated with petroleum extraction activities — benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes.” And it’s not in Silt. The Bell-Melton station is located several miles south of Silt at a higher elevation than most of the residential population.

For me, the article about Carbondale’s new air quality monitor was grim reminder that when it comes to air quality and public health, Garfield County places a higher priority on the citizens of Carbondale over us folks in Silt.

Since last spring, and especially the past month, I have spent a lot of time talking to town, county, and state officials about the air quality in Silt, and the need for air quality monitoring. It’s looking more and more to me like the public is being abandoned by all of them – the town of Silt, the state of Colorado, and especially Garfield County.

The corpse may very well be the ground Mayor Dave is standing on.

Read this:   Outdoor Air – Industry, Business, and Home: Oil and Natural Gas Production

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2 Comments on “Mayor Dave needs a corpse to justify air monitoring”

  1. richard schwabe Says:

    Maybe if their was a spotted owl or endangered frogs in Garfield County they might be a little more responsive about air quality. They don’t in ANWR on account of the caraboo, but they drill in Garfield County were 56 thousand HUMANS live and breath on top of how many thousand of wells? Were is the quality of life for us humans. It’s an Arron Brokavitch moment. R Schwabe

  2. Beth Strudley Says:

    Dave Moore is a pickled corpse. Eeeewwww.

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