To the editor:
Locals work to keep drinking water clean
I enjoy your publication and I was specifically interested in the article on Compounds of Emerging Concern (“The next drug problem,” June 2007). Cartersville, Ga., is installing an innovative system in its wastewater facility that will destroy about 70 percent more CECs than a typical aerobic wastewater process. This will be the first application of this technology in a municipal facility. It uses a two-stage system to treat wastewater. Typically, the wastewater is run through an aerobic process, which does a good job of treating the organics but it produces about 0.6 pounds of solids (for disposal) for every pound of BOD. The new process, which we piloted in 2003, treats the entire flow with anaerobic bacteria, and the second stage is aerobic polishing. This will reduce energy consumption by 70 percent, reduce solids production by 70 percent, reduce nutrients, produce methane — which can be used as fuel — produce a cleaner effluent and reduce endocrine disruptors. Anaerobic digestion is usually used to break down the solids created in the aerobic process. This is the first time anaerobes have been used in the wet process. We expect to save 25 percent of the total operating cost of the wastewater treatment plant. It is called the CATABOL process, and you can see more information at www.khudenko.com.
— Jim Stafford, Cartersville, Ga., Water Department
I enjoyed reading the article on CECs in the June 2007 edition of your magazine. It was an enlightening article and covered both an introduction to the problem and information about how to remove the CECs from our waste stream. I do have a question, though: The removal through reverse osmosis or any kind of filtration will produce a concentrated waste. How is the concentrated waste disposed of? What method will safely remove the CECs from the environment? I don’t think that they could be land applied or flushed through normal waste streams.
I would like to read a follow up article that would give information on suggested safe disposal methods. I will look forward to the continued good information on a wide variety of topics found in your magazine.
— Michael Tripp, Treynor, Iowa
Many predator laws stand up in court
While I found your article “Predator protection laws come under fire” (March 2007) interesting, I also found much of it misleading. As one who has been trying for eight months to pass a law restricting where convicted sexual predators may reside or work in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., my research shows the majority of such laws have already passed court muster. Currently, 30 plus states, and hundreds of local communities, have passed such laws, most of them based on the “original” proposal passed by Iowa, which was upheld by the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court (see Doe vs. Miller), and Ohio’s “Distance Marker” legislation, which was similarly upheld as constitutional by federal courts.
In challenges to the Iowa and Ohio laws, the courts have ruled that these laws do not infringe upon a person’s rights in that they are a form of civil regulation and not a form of punishment, they are intended to protect children and are rationally related to that end, and they represent a rational argument that prohibiting sex offenders from places children congregate will advance a community’s interest in protecting children. Two federal courts have upheld city actions to ban individual sex offenders from parks and recreation areas where children congregate.
There have been some isolated cases where a poorly written law was struck down by courts, but that was because the authors failed to do the research required to make their law iron-clad. It is up to us, the legislators, to make sure “they” do not have access to our little children, whose rights far outweigh the rights of someone who preys on the weakest of our society.
— Jim McCarthy, Member of City Council, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Letters may be mailed to 6151 Powers Ferry Road, N.W., Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30339; faxed to (770) 618-0349; or e-mailed to [email protected]. Letters may be edited for purposes of style, clarity and length.