“Only when the last tree has died...
And the last river has been poisoned...
And the last fish has been caught...
Will we realize that we cannot eat money.”
                  ...quoted by: A nineteenth century Cree Indian.
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Citizens: The Kickemuit River Council (KRC) wishes to thank the citizens who came to the meeting about the pollution in the freshwater Kickemuit River. This pollution has an effect on the aquatic life, the saltwater Kickemuit River, and your drinking water. The DEM (R.I. Dept. of Environmental Management) and MA DEP( MA Department of Environment Protection) comment period ends on Jan. 29, 2006. KRC was hoping that you might send an e-mail comment before 1-29-06 to Elizabeth Scott, DEM, at Elizabeth.Scott@dem.ri.gov with a copy to Dr. Russell Isaac, MA DEP, at Russell.Isaac@state.ma.us copy also Cindy Hannus, DEM, at cindy.hannus@dem.ri.gov and copy Jeffrey Gould, MA DEP, at Jeffrey.Gould@state.ma.us.
If you do not have the time to include any of the following suggestions, send one e-mail, with the others copied, asking for their help in cleaning up the freshwater Kickemuit River. Ask to be on the record as wanting this . Remember there is a 36 inch storm drain running 16,000 fecal, another 5400 and a tributary running 49,000 fecal. KRC went the other day to inspect them and without these DEM tests, you wouldn't know. This study is invaluable for us. (Remember 14 fecal is the top number for eating shellfish raw. The saltwater Kickemuit in dry weather runs 2, 4 or 6)
1. Thank DEM and Director Michael Sullivan for conducting this expensive and time-consuming study. Without this study, the depth of the pollution would not be known. The drinking water of 3 Rhode Island Towns--Barrington, Bristol, and Warren will be improved IF, action follows this study.
2. Ask DEM and MA DEP to share your concern with the Governors and Federal Legislators so that funding for Swansea to put in a sewer system is a top priority. If this is not possible, funding for Swansea to have each home separate their sewage water from their "gray water" (showers, washing machine, etc. ) and have each home obtain a sealed stainless steel tank that holds the sewage that is pumped regularly and taken to a sewage plant. This would allow as much "clean" freshwater to return to the aquifer. Water is precious. All septic systems near polluted drains should be inspected--not just at the time of property transfers.
3. Ask MA DEP to strengthen and increase its care in granting permits for housing developments in the watershed of the Kickemuit River. The Bristol County Water Company wants MA DEP to enforce its 400 ft. drinking water buffer necessary for MA citizens' drinking water to include R.I. citizens' drinking water. Ask them also to insist developers include in their applications how far the development is from the Kickemuit River and any stream that might go to the river.
4. MADEP should help Swansea by insisting all housing be made to follow state of the art technology to lessen run-off to the river, e.g. permeable roads and driveways, no garbage disposals, etc. If the land in the watershed will not pass the perc test, a group septic system should not be allowed.
5. MA DEP should help any MA farms on the watershed receive funds to correct anything on the farm that might impact the water.
6. DEM and DEP should address the problem of waterfowl that foul the river. Border Collies and coyote or fox decoys might help as they have on the fields in Barrington.
7. Ask DEM and DEP to help with an educational component, so that the citizens will not throw trash, will pick up pet waste, and care for their septic systems.
Our newspapers are so helpful with knowlege for us.
If you do not have a computer, you may send written comments to Kickemuit River TMDL Study c/o Elizabeth Scott, R.I. DEM , Office of Water Resouces, 235 Promenade St. Prov., R.I. 02908 before 1-29-06. Remember the freshwater "Kickemuit River cannot speak for itself, it needs loud voices from those who know it, love it, and want to save it." (P.J. 1969)
Please be one of those voices, NOW. Your drinking water, the fish, and the saltwater Kickemuit River need you to speak.