BNSF: Move it or lose aquifer

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Open letter to Kootenai County Commissioners:

Allow us to express extreme disappointment regarding your handling of the Burlington-Northern fueling depot issue. There is a critical difference between us and abuse of our environment. Have all levels of Idaho government been captured by industrial, commercial and financial powers?

Siting the BNSF fueling depot near one of Idaho's largest earthquake faults and atop the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer represents the perfect way of transforming a disaster into total catastrophe.

Siting the fueling depot at its present location was strictly a political and financial decision. Common sense, human decency and respect for our environment played no role. The logistical and operational needs of BNSF can be met by locating the depot above the solid basalt flow west of Spokane. There, leaks and spills can be dealt with without causing severe environmental damage.

Worry not about the condition of the above ground aspects of the fueling depot. The critical part of that facility is buried out of sight. Every day that passes brings us closer to the "mean-time-to-failure" of the buried protective materials.

Spitting in the face of the physical laws of the universe is a fool's game. Mother Nature does not do bailouts, nor does she forgive stupidity.

Apparently nothing has changed in the last 100 years. As Cornelius Vanderbilt of railroad fame made clear, "The public be damned." The fueling depot issue demonstrates the power of industrial-financial interests to privatize profits and socialize the costs of their disasters. Yes, "The public be damned."

You are courting disaster and aid and abet those willing to put their pursuit of private profit ahead of our citizens' welfare. When the disaster occurs, we will hear the universal excuse: We Never Saw It Coming. A subsequent investigation will show that Mistakes Were Made. But of course the guilty parties will not be held accountable. The universal mea culpa will state It's a Wakeup Call, and as that phrase dies on the wind, our politicians and the money powers will return to kissing Aaron's Golden Calf on the arse.

JULES GINDRAUX

Hayden

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