To the editor:

I am writing in response to your article, “Board approves ProQuip application,” from June 20, 2019.

I am a biologist. My property is at the junction of the unnamed tributary and Little River, were the runoff from ProQuip’s stormwater system will enter the Little River.

I am not alone in Plaistow in feeling that this decision was a slap in the face for us residents. The Planning Board should never have approved this type of business at 143 Plaistow Road, and ProQuip should never have been classified as a commercial business. Everything went downhill from there.

Early on in this process, it was, at least for me, difficult to follow what was going on. There was a lot of talk about Sanborn’s Candies and almost no talk about ProQuip. It felt like a misinformation campaign. By the time everyone realized what was going on, the vote had already happened.

Everything that followed was pretty much predetermined. It did not matter what residents said or did, and it felt as though the five hearings were only for show. None of the concerns of the residents was ultimately addressed to any satisfaction.

The result will be that we will be getting runoff in our drinking water, and we will be losing habitat for endangered species, not to mention the visual, noise and odor issues that will accompany this project.

And it does not look like there will be any grounds for Pro Quip’s feet to be held to the fire if their water filtration system operates sub-optimally or fails and all of the drinking water in our wells becomes undrinkable.

I find it legally questionable that last-minute evidence that there are threatened species on the property was ignored. I also find it legally questionable that this plan could be approved where the testing report for the stormwater system does not have any data for dissolved contaminants.

Whoever said that hydrocarbons attach themselves to solids clearly does not know what they are talking about.

If it is not legally questionable, it is at least morally questionable. This looks like an example of dollars prevailing over what is the right thing to do.

The approval was conditional, and we residents can only hope that some of these conditions will prevent the project from moving forward, or at least mitigate what its going to happen.

Attention needs to be given to this scandal, and someone with a lot more resources than me should really try to uncover how such a miscarriage of process could happen in a small town full of engaged residents in the first place.

Isabel Gautreau