Letter: Test your wells



Are streams and lands in Clark County in good health? Ask your north county neighbors about what’s happening as the result of blasting at the Yacolt Mountain Quarry mine. Blasting done with ammonium nitrates causes degradation by deep fracturing of the aquifer, and in some cases, pollution and loss of wells and groundwater. In January 2008, public documents evidenced nitrate contamination exceeded allowable levels in areas around the Yacolt mine. During the last four years, ammonium nitrate has been used and continues to be used to blast rock at the mine.

To my neighbors in Yacolt and the surrounding area, this high-risk site mining can be poisoning you. Tell your area’s County Commissioner Tom Mielke to say “no” to the county department officials who have refused numerous requests to test for nitrates in your water, or close the mine. Look up “blue baby syndrome.” It is caused by high nitrites in water.

If you’re unable to get leaders to say “no” to high-risk mining, advocate for yourself. Have your public or private well water tested and send Mielke and the attorney general a copy of the results. Contact the Department of Ecology SW Washington at 360-690-7171 or Clark County Public Health at 360-397-8000 or the attorney general’s office at 360-753-6200.

Richard Dyrland