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A reader's point of view


English, Ind.

Comments after the public meeting — not hearing, meeting — there is a difference — of Wednesday, Jan. 13, at Crawford County 4-H Community Park. The meeting, not hearing, was held by the IDEM for the citizens of Crawford County. First, what does IDEM mean. It stands for Indiana Department of Environmental Management (We Protect Hoosiers and Our Environment). That's what it says on the letterhead.

Well, here is what I received from the meeting. The IDEM gentleman who fielded the comments and questions covered a lot of territory. I will just try to summarize. He said he is a "public servant." I think the public is "us." He receives an application from a company; in this case, Liberty Green Renewables. With words like Liberty and Green and Renewables, it can't be all bad, now can it? Anyway, if the application is completed properly and meets all the correct parameters, then he approves the application.

You are starting to ask yourself, why the public meeting and all the write-in comments and requests. Why, indeed? Concerned citizens sometimes influence elected officials, but I'm afraid not someone who just checks the boxes and signs the forms, your public servant. Don't hold your breath looking for an application denial.

Now, where do we go from here? Final permit decisions are based on rules and laws governing the permitting process, not your comments and concerns. Sorry, folks. IDEM suggests contacting your local officials. Have we been there and done that, or did I miss something?

Finally, why a biomass plant in Crawford County? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. The pleasant surprise is the large turnout of concerned citizens, not just from the Milltown area but the entire county.

Keep your pen to paper and be heard.

Harry B. Harden
January 20, 2010


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