Letter: A toxic waste dump site in your back yard

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Out of approximately 120 neighbors, only 13 received notice from the New Mexico Environmental Department that the Taos Ski Valley requested a discharge permit application to dump up to 2,500 cubic yards of hydrocarbon (petroleum-based) contaminated soil along U.S. Highway 64 approximately 1.4 miles northwest of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. This toxic dump site is across the highway from the Earthships, in close proximity to nearby houses, and uphill from the Rio Grande River.

Nearly all of us collect water from our roofs and are concerned about air-born contaminates, dangerous toxic runoff into the Rio Grande River, and groundwater pollution in our local community well.

Even before these original permit notices were sent out, the TSV was given permission by the NMED to dump 560 cubic yards of this toxic soil; so our neighborhood was not even given a choice in this matter. Our question is: Could this toxic dump site be located in an area that would not impact so many people and the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument?

– Melody Sayre, a retired chef,  & Ron Stock,  a local short-story poet & storyteller

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