In a February 23rd letter to the editor of this paper, Atkinson resident Susan Carroll presented her opposing opinions on a number of articles in the Atkinson Town Warrant. Two particular areas of concern deserve a response.
The first pertains to two warrant articles (25 and 26) that seeks permanent resolution to an EPA-certified “Dioxane 1,4 Contamination Site” in a section of Atkinson that contains seventy-three dwellings and families. Dioxane1,4 is a carcinogenic substance that readily mixes with water. Unfortunately, that is the specific problem, Dioxane1,4 is in the well water of most of those homes. A study by the National Cancer Institute of rats and mice exposed to Dioxane1,4 in their drinking water reported increased incidences of liver carcinomas and adenomas, and nasal cavity squamous cell carcinomas.
The EPA agreed to run lines from a private water company to some but not all of these homes. Not all homes in the area have tested positive for Dioxane; however, it is not possible to discern the spread of this carcinogenic, Dioxane1,4 plume in the future.
The result of this carcinogenic nightmare is that some Atkinsonians cannot drink their well water and cannot sell their homes if they wanted to; therefore, the de facto property value of these homes is zero. Faced with such circumstances, the residents of the area are petitioning the rest of Atkinson’s residents for help, since the EPA is disinclined to pay for a complete remediation of the hazard.
America’s past is filled with stories of community self-determination and self-reliance. Citizens of communities have joined together to rebuild destroyed homes, barns, levees, roads and bridges. In short, real communities stick together for mutual aid and comfort. This is one of those times. The absence of federal and state help to completely rectify a deplorable condition causes this burden to fall on all Atkinsonians. No one likes higher property taxes, but none of us can benefit from the permanent effects of abandoned homes on the local tax rate.