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To the Editor:
We have all read about and sympathized with the hundreds of thousands of our neighbors in West Virginia whose water was contaminated by the January chemical spill into the Elk River.  It is hard to imagine what our lives would be like if we could not drink our water, brush our teeth, or even take a bath in our own homes.  And what about our schools and  local businesses which could not operate without safe water? What would we do when we were told our water was “safe,” but we could still smell the tale-tell scent of licorice coming from our taps?  Would we trust the lives of our families to such assurances?

Freedom Industries, the owner of the leaking chemical tank, reacted to the spill in short order.  Less than two weeks from the time the leak was discovered, Freedom declared bankruptcy.  This was probably a good business decision and may indeed save the company and its owner from the countless lawsuits which have already begun.  But the decision to abandon its responsibility to the community it harmed is appalling.  And, sadly, this brings us to a situation here in Carroll County. You see, the same person who owns Freedom Industries, the same person who chose bankruptcy over accountability, is also the founder and president of Rosebud Mining.
 
The issues many of us have had with the proposed underground mine and the well-being of our community are many but the primary focus has always been on the safety of our water.  We cannot live without water, either as individuals or as a community.  As Rosebud awaits approval from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to continue with its plans, it has continued to assure us that it will be accountable if any problems occur.  But when the same person has already chosen saving his company over accepting his moral responsibility to those he has harmed, can we really expect more in Carroll County?

The facts surrounding Freedom Industries and its ties to Rosebud Mining are readily available.  If you find it within your conscience to take a stand, now is the time. Contact both the ODNR Division of Mineral Resources at  2045 Morse Road, Bldg H3, Columbus, OH 43229-6693 (614-265-6633) and your local and state officials.  The safety of our water should never be taken for granted, nor should the promises of a business thats bottom line is its own survival.

Gail Walker
Carrollton, OH

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