Home Commentary Opinion EDITORIAL: Open Letter from Rep. Warren Kitzmiller to Friends and Constituents

EDITORIAL: Open Letter from Rep. Warren Kitzmiller to Friends and Constituents

Montpelier’s Water Source is in Danger.  I Need Your Immediate Help.
Dear Friends & Constituents,
100 Years of Full Protection
For over 100 years the water of Berlin Pond, Montpelier’s drinking water source, was fully protected. The filtration plant, built in 1998, was designed to filter water from a fully protected pond. That water treatment plant cannot filter — in fact, it cannot even detect — petroleum!
Full Protection Ended in May 2012
In 2012 our Vermont Supreme Court allowed recreational access to Berlin Pond. That access includes swimming, fishing, hunting, and boating. That access permits gasoline engines on the water or ice. Only on boats is gasoline prohibited.
The Immediate Threat to Our Water
Increased or prolonged human contact with Berlin Pond water will inevitably and seriously diminish the purity of that water even without a petroleum threat. Pollution like this is happening across the world. Berlin Pond is a small, shallow, silty-bottomed body of water that is highly susceptible to pollution caused by human contact.
What You Can Do
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) is reviewing a citizens petition to return Berlin Pond to full protection. A hearing of public testimony is scheduled for Tuesday evening, May 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Berlin Elementary School in Berlin.
We are facing an uphill struggle to secure approval of the citizens petition for full protection of Berlin Pond.  Your attendance at that public hearing will be crucial to the success of the petition.
This is your chance to support the protection of water, unquestionably our most important resource.  We need as many people as possible to sign up and speak if you wish (2-minute limit), but it is essential that we have an overwhelming show of support with numbers.
Vermont Needs to Take the Lead Here
Across the country, there is a fresh water emergency – in parts of Virginia and West Virginia, in drought-stricken western states and where fracking is taking its toll.  In all these situation water supplies are now endangered or soon will be.  Vermont must take the lead in protecting its fresh water.
I have never before made such a plea for your help.  But this is a critical matter.  If Berlin Pond is left “open” – our water supply will be forever degraded. And there’s even a chance our water source could be ruined. This would leave us with no alternative source of water or with the enormous costs of finding an alternative.
It is critical that each of you be present at the public hearing at the Berlin Elementary School on Tuesdsay, May 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  The number of people who support full protection will significantly influence the ANR as they review the petition.  Please bring friends.
Call me at 229-0878 if you have any questions.
Thank you,
Rep. Warren Kitzmiller