OSWPCA: Sunshine / Letter from OSWPCA Wilson's 31Jul2009

Text facsimile

Pavel Wilson, Chairman                        Doris Zumbroski
Elsa Payne, Vice Chairman     John F. Claffey, Jr., Alternate
George Gwizd, Secretary      Eugene M. Evangelisti, Alternate
Nelson Engborg                         Don Lucas, Coordinator
Chuck Wehrly                Robbie Marshall, Info. Specialist
Dr. Robert W. Powitz     


                     TOWN OF OLD SAYBROOK
              WATER POLLUTION CONTROL AUTHORITY
                       302 Main Street
                    Old Saybrook, CT 06475
   (860) 395-2876; FAX (860) 395-1216; WEB: www.oswpca.org

                                            July 31, 2009

Mr. Joel R. Anderson
13 George Drive
Old Say brook, Ct. 06475

Dear Mr. Anderson,

I am in receipt of your letters dated July 2, 2009, July 6, 
2009 and July 30, 2009.

I had composed a response to your two previous letters but 
decided to withhold them pending the Town Meeting on July 
29, 2009, so that I might address your concerns personally, 
and benefit those others in attendance, should you chose to 
speak at that meeting. You missed a valuable opportunity to 
be heard.


Your letter dated 2 July 2009 -

You made reference to a news article in the Harbor News 
authored by Jenna Cho, wherein you commented and requires no 
reply.

Next you requested a definition of, as you say by way of 
letters you wrote to the WPCA dated 6Oct08 and 14May09, "the 
definition of an under sized septic tank that could be 
challenged in court".

The answer to that is that the OSWPCA does not define an 
"undersized septic tank". Please refer to the Connecticut 
General Statutes that gives that authority to the 
Connecticut Health Department. Those regulations are 
available on line for your edification.


Your Letter dated 6 July 2009 -

Alteration of the online maps -

At our first Public Education meeting held on August 18, 
2008, there was a legitimate outcry concerning the outdated 
information we were displaying on maps mounted for viewing 
that night. The information was based on data from 5 to 6 
years previous. When we realized how outdated they had 
become, we formed a map updating taskforce. Since then, we 
spent considerable time and effort to gather and present 
information as current as we could provide.


You went on to state that, "the WPCA seems to be attempting 
to preempt a voter's decision contrary to the one the WPCA 
has apparently already decided upon". I do not understand 
what that means.

But you did go on to say that "The WPCA is leading the 
public to a WPCA-desired conclusion by withholding from the 
public more facts, of which the removal of previous maps 
showing more information is evidence." In fact, if you 
compare the old maps you will see they are not only updated, 
showing the most recent upgrades to septic systems, but the 
majority of the advanced treatment systems for the internal 
lots will now require conventional systems. This is good 
news; the 450 AT systems have been reduced to about 300. The 
Facilities Plan has been on file in the Acton Library for 
well over a year and has documentation of how the Town got 
to where we are and the recommendation to satisfy the Court 
Order. Although the ruling was in 1997, it is as valid today 
as it was the day it was issued.

Lastly, you summarized by saying, "The WPCA has consistently 
suggested group punishment for what are obvious local point- 
sources of pollution, for which local solutions are 
available and could be applied at public expense at much 
lower overall cost than the elaborate scenarios envisioned 
by the WPCA, and not at the expense of the homeowner."

In the past, homeowners in Old Saybrook, that needed to 
replace or upgrade their septic systems, fixed their own 
wastewater problems through an onsite solution. This has not 
changed; homeowners continue to be responsible for what is 
on their property. However, residents in the WWMD will have 
help in the form of grants, loans, and services. They will 
only be required to pay for 50% of their upgrade. Our onsite 
recommendation is a proven technology, is acceptable by all 
the State and Town Commissions, Agencies and Authority, has 
the most reasonable cost and satisfies the Court Order.


Your letter of 30 July 2009 -

The WPCA has held more than a dozen meetings, beginning in 
August 2008, that have included all of the 15 focus areas as 
well as a meeting for that portion of the Town outside the 
proposed WWMD. We showed a video, at every meeting, that 
outlined the program, distributed maps of the particular 
focus area, and held a question and answer session that did 
not conclude until everyone was heard. On June 17th a Public 
Hearing was held on the Facilities Plan during which all 
residents were encouraged to comment. The 21 pages of 
comments were then incorporated into the Facilities Plan.

You seem to be operating on rumors rather than availing 
yourself of the opportunity to have attended these meetings 
to exchange information in public and had your voice heard 
among those citizens that took the time and effort to hear 
the message and challenge the answers for the good of all 
present. That's democracy in action.


The WPCA is an all volunteer, unpaid Town appointed body, 
consisting of 9 members, 5 of which live in the proposed 
WWMD and are all property owners to which the passage of the 
referenda will affect us as equally as it does everyone else 
inside and outside the district.

The Facilities Plan was out in "Draft" form for over a year 
and available for review. The finalized version, that has 
been approved by the DEP, has been out since last month and 
as stated above, is available to view at the Acton Public 
Library, the Selectmen's Office, the Coordinator's Office, 
the Connecticut River Area Health District, and each member 
of the Authority has a copy. Ms. Marshall, our Informational 
Specialist, maintains our up-to-date website where the 
results of meetings are posted within hours of the 
occurrence.

Finally, our website has all of the questions and answers 
that have been presented since we took on the task of the 
Public Education meetings. Please refer to any or all of the 
above to resolve any further issues.

The voices of all concerned will be heard on August 11 2009 
with the vote at the OSHS from 6am to 8pm. We have attempted 
to have an informed public register their vote.

Sincerely,

(signed)

Pavel Wilson
Chairman, OSWPCA

CC:

Michael Pace, 1st Selectman
Mary Jane Engle, Director CRAHD 
Don Lucas, WPCA Coordinator
Robbie Marshall, WPCA Info. Specialist