After many months of meetings, Moms for Clean Air, Save Shollenberger and supporters are awaiting Tues. vote by the Board of Supes on whether or not Dutra will be allowed a General Plan exemption and will be given the go ahead to build an asphalt plant right up next to nesting areas for migratory birds and directly across the River from Shollenberger Park bird sanctuary and walkers.

Will the Supes get our message that Petaluma doesn’t WANT this plant in this place? Will they vote unanimously to protect Sonoma County’s gateway from asphalt particle pollution, noise pollution and a 70′ smokestack proposed by Dutra Asphalt?  I’m sure hoping they will!  Sonoma County has 3 operating plants and ajoining Shollenberger Park is (you probably know if you’re reading this) our most walked park – a critical bird sanctuary for rare and migratory birds – and potentially a huge birder/tourist draw at a time when all economy needs a boost!  And Dutra’s record is not that of a good neighbor. For more info., go to http://www.SaveShollenberger.com

Following is the letter I wrote to each member of the Supes. Unfortunately, as Petaluma360.com moved to WordPress OS, this blog was lost until now.  Here we go:

Honorable Sonoma County Supervisors Valerie Brown, Mike Kerns, Shirlee Zane, Efren Carillo and Paul Kelley,

First, I thank each of you for your attention to the details regarding the request from Dutra Asphalt to build a plant on county land just beyond the city limits of Petaluma.

As you know, Petaluma has invested a great deal of time and money into creating the wetlands park known as Shollenberger, will open the extended wetlands to walkers and birders within a month, and the whole community stands to benefit from expected travelers to the area in search of this exceptional birding site and river walk. I strongly agree with Petaluma Mayor, Pamela Torliatt that this gateway to our county is beautiful and peaceful and expect you will want to leave that as your legacy for perhaps centuries – a place welcoming us home as well as welcoming visitors.

I urge you to vote unanimously to protect this area by refusing Dutra’s request for a General Plan amendment to build their company plant at this site. As you know, there are currently 3 asphalt plants serving our county – operating at around 50% capacity – so our county really doesn’t need additional asphalt; Dutra has a poor track record as a neighbor – and if Dutra MUST build an additional plant, it would be best to place it away from an area such as Shollenberger, frequented by a great number of children and people susceptable to air borne particles due to asthma or a tendency toward asthma.

Although the science is not all in on particulate matter, indications are similar to that for cigarette smoke – if you irritate your lungs in an ongoing way, those irritations have a tendency to become sites for cancers. And incidence of asthma itself has risen about 10 fold over my lifetime – due to greater pollution in the air with some elementary school teachers telling us up to 1/3rd of their children suffer from asthma. Not so years agoWhy take such a risk at this very important bird sanctuary, Petaluma’s most used walking park? Doing so requires an amendment – and was voted down unanimously by Petaluma City Council. Why should the wish of one company override the wishes of all the elected representatives of Petaluma?Makes no sense to me.

Please vote July 21st to block the application of Dutra Asphalt to further erode the quiet and clear air and the wonderful and broad variety of bird life assembled here, very likely the greatest bird show any of us will ever see! Let’s not make those rare migratory birds – who don’t settle near noise and pollution – fly away along with the very beneficial overnight Audubon tours we’re expecting to come our way.
Thank you for your time and care.
Connie Madden