In response to the June 28 article about the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals’ denial of the asphalt plant permit in Buckeystown, I was one of the Buckeystown residents who spoke that night.

While it was a great relief to have the board turn down this permit, I’d like to address something that disturbed me that evening. It is not my intent to offend any of the people who spoke against the permit that night, yet it saddened me how many people were recommending that the asphalt plant go somewhere else in the county — just “not in my backyard.”

This mindset saddened me since NO one deserves or needs the environmental contamination from an asphalt plant in their neighborhood, regardless of where they live. Not in Frederick County, not downtown Baltimore, not anywhere. No one deserves or needs the toxic contamination from an oil refinery, chemical processing plant, agro-chemical fertilizer plant, etc. — either up close or downstream. And we ALL live downstream.

At the Board of Appeals meeting on June 27, the company proposing the plant kept deferring to the Maryland Department of the Environment as the go-to for various answers on contaminants and monitoring. Yet time has shown again and again that these regulatory agencies often lack the human resources to do proper monitoring and don’t monitor for ALL the chemical effluent or atmospheric contaminants, if they have policies to monitor them at all. They especially don’t monitor for the synergistic chemical “soup” of new toxins that form when various toxic molecules inevitably mix out in the waste stream, i.e., the air we breathe and our drinking water (or fish or seafood we consume from the “downstream”). This is a closed system, and the contaminants don’t just “go away.” There is no “away.”

For us to have a livable Frederick, we must start “looking upstream” for solutions that phase out the toxins for our road surfacing, transportation, packaging, growing food, etc., to the point that our human systems are HEALING our ecosystems. We need to cease toxifying our local ecosystems and ourselves.

Mare Cromwell


(11) comments

Mare Cromwell

Hi, I'm the woman who wrote the piece that has prompted this series of comments. At little background, I moved out to Frederick parts in late 2011 to heal from lymphoma and work on my 3rd book. In response to those who voiced criticism of what I expressed in that letter, my hope is for all of you and your family members that all of us collectively envision and work toward a future when none of us suffer from cancer from toxins in our collective environment. None of us, our children or our grandchildren. Or their children or grandchildren... We all need to understand that the planet is a closed system, and, yes, I'd love to have a vehicle that is 100% green from cradle to grave, with no toxins emitted or released in the production all the way to when the car needs to retire to a recycling plant, I hope. But our society has not yet found the wisdom and wherewithall to manifest this level of sustainability. I pray that we find it sooner rather than later, for you, me, my family, your family. We all all one community sharing the same environment, the same water, the same air, the same gorgeous valleys, and Catoctin ridge. The question that keeps on coming up for me is how far off in the future are we looking to make the decisions that need to be made now, to provide for a future that will take care of all of us in positive, healthy ways. I write this from a place of love and gratitude that we can even have this level of conversation in this amazing nation of ours. May we all learn how to listen and appreciate the viewpoints of others in respectful ways too. Unfortunately this somewhat anonymous response forum leaves it open for some not so respectful and generous ways. And so it goes... (Don't even get me started on Social Media and how meanness pervades there. Is this what Jesus had in mind for our culture?) Honoring all of you for taking the time to express your views too. And I still leave with the question to all of us -- what are each of us doing to ensure a healthy environmental for all of us, collectively? It's our health that we are talking about... and our children's and grandchildrens... and onward. Our future and our quality of life. There are many people around the planet who can't enjoy all that a beautiful, mostly rural county such as Frederick County, such as those in Vietnam and other lesser developed nations who are being toxified by the burning of plastic bottles and bags that are shipped from the USA to their neighborhoods. They are our neighbors too, in a global economy. Do they deserve that level of ecological injustice? We are all connected and I pray that we start to shift our ways to recognize and honor these sacred connections. Deepest blessings, Mare


News writers and publishers used to call the summer "the silly season." It is a tradition that is still with us.


Once the unbelievers have been converted and the USA becomes the Libertarian paradise it is destined to, we will all be able to set up whatever facilities we want wherever we want. I plan on opening a chain of animal rendering plants and tanneries, but only in the most expensive and exclusive neighborhoods. In this Libertarian paradise, anyone who is not happy will be totally free to move elsewhere. It's gonna be great, and we'll all get rich.


This lady drives on the roads doesn’t she? So nobody needs asphalt? These progressives are beyond extreme these days. A complete lack of dealing in rational ways. I’d like to see them survive without any of the stuff they say they don’t believe in. Perhaps her Prius shouldn’t drive on asphalt not be made of horrible batteries destined to destroy the environment. Even the horse dung if she were to go Amish could lead to catastrophic consequences thanks to methane gases. Oh my, whatever shall we do? These folks are beyond clueless.


Now that we know how you feel, tell us how you feel about an asphalt plant next to you.


Dick, the plant is next to a mine and in the country. Yes there are people nearby but that is what happens when you live in the country. I'm sure some country folks don't like cow sh** smell but hey, that's what you pay for not having an HOA.


I don't have an HOA, don't need one, don't want one.


Well, you in Frederick County, apparently, don't know what's coming your way from Jefferson County, WV. An insulation plant that burns 90 TONS of coal a day, and 1.6 MILLION cubic feet of fracked gas per day will soon be sending its water and air pollution towards Maryland. The name of this heinous company is Rockwool, and citizens here are doing everything possible to keep them from being built.


It was my understanding that there are already one or two others in that area. Is that not correct? If correct, shouldn't they be kept together?


So nobody deserves asphalt?


That would be a shame, Gladys. High school seniors wouldn't be able to paint there parking spots on gravel parking lots.

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