Addresses issues raised in Fred Weber suit
Letter to the editor
To the editor:
I would like to respond to the June 10 article in the Call regarding the latest Fred Weber lawsuit.
I hope the attorneys for Weber could take some time off from their busy schedule to respond to the following observations: The number of trucks using the Old Baumgartner site was estimated by Weber at 100 trucks and as many as 33 tractor trailers.
The numbers used for the quarry site are 70 trucks and 20 to 25 tractor trailers. Yet both sites would process 500 tons of garbage daily.
How were these numbers achieved?
Also, at the Committee of the Whole meeting held Nov. 18, 2003, Weber's attorney, Albert Michenfelder Jr., questioned Glen O'Bryan, an engineer of the Genesis Solid Waste Group, as to the ability to measure sound levels at the Old Baumgartner site. He replied, "... The operation doesn't exist and the features haven't been constructed, therefore there's no way to measure something that doesn't exist.''
In Weber's petition to the St. Louis County Planning Commission for the quarry site, Weber included a study of noise levels that concluded that quarry operations can reach a level of 54dB, just 1 dB below St. Louis County standards.
Yet, "the study concludes that this proposed station ... would not result in any significant noise impact to surrounding residences.''
The Planning Commission used a study produced by Weber to determine the impact the proposed facility would have on area traffic. There is no indication that a traffic count was done or that the future impact of current construction projects in the vicinity was considered. Also, the petition only mentions Baumgartner Road.
The proposed service area covers most of the Arnold area. Trucks would be funneled across the bridge to the intersection of Lemay Ferry and Baumgartner, the location of the community college where 2,000 to 3,000 students attend.
This is not only a safety issue, but a health issue. Ozone levels in this area exceed the federal Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Act standards. The Planning Commission didn't discuss air quality in evaluating Weber's petition.
To address issues in Weber's lawsuit:
• The moratorium applies to any company seeking to build a trash-transfer station in south county after the effective date of the moratorium, Oct. 2, 2003. Weber complained that this resulted in giving its competitors preferential treatment. However, because Weber reapplied on Oct. 1, the day before the moratorium took effect; this in fact gave them a six-month lead on their competition.
• Where does Weber see a taking occurring? The quarry is zoned as a quarry. The land at Old Baumgartner was purchased after the Missouri Department of Natural Resources denied Weber's application.
• Where did "the-not-in-my-back-yard-battle,'' remark come from? I have copies of articles and letters to the editor that show the people of south county stand as one. Building a trash-transfer station at an inappropriate location should not be justifiable by any means.
• The Fred Weber folks and (Chairman) Mr. (Doug) Morgan of the Planning Commission have been quick to mention that overflowing landfills necessitate trash- transfer stations.
Transfer stations move trash, not reduce trash. We need the comprehensive waste plan the moratorium would provide.
Subdivisions could vote on single providers, PAYT (pay as you throw) and curbside recycling.
Subdivisions could provide dumpsters for recyclables that could pay for themselves and even provide a profit. Incentives could be provided to haulers willing to switch to trucks that use natural gas.
Recently, the County Council voted to fit school buses with clean air technology and to start a school program on asthma awareness. Likewise, they have listened to Fred Weber and the residents of Oakville and put the health and safety of the residents before the interests of Weber.