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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Plea to the Vacuous

Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2007 08:33:45 -0400

To: citycouncil@cityofmarcoisland.com, bmoss@cityofmarcoisland.com, jon.Iglehart@dep.state.fl.us, skorf@sfwmd.gov, Joan_Colfer@doh.state.fl.us, ken_rech@doh.state.fl.us,
From: marcorez@comcast.net
Subject: Hydrogen Sulfide Gas.
Cc: lwilliams@marconews.com, editor@misuntimes.com

This is an appeal to those of you who hold the majority on our current city council regarding the fast completion of the current sewer districts.

This is also an appeal to the conscience of those four city councilors who are prepared to forge
ahead with the dewatering necessary to complete the STRP, with little or no regard for the health and safety of our citizens.

While I don't expect any response from you, I fully intend to expose you for this callous disregard to the danger of releasing hydrogen sulfide gas into our neighborhoods and other public places.

At approximately 5:15pm on Tuesday, October 2nd I was at the intersection of North Barfield and San Marco Road, where I detected the odor of hydrogen sulfide gas. I am familiar with this odor as I have had recent contact with this gas and can immediately recognize it.

There has been recent construction activity in this area with the commencement of the dewatering of the Granada lift station. A large pipe was brought from the lift station construction site and terminated into the catch basin/outfall/drain in front of the Burger King restaurant. Earlier today the pumping started and I decide to check on the city approved process of discharging the hydrogen sulfide laden groundwater into the storm drain system.

Like many Marco Islanders, I had been assured by the city staff that this process was safe and that all precautions has been taken to prevent the discharge of this dangerous gas. I noticed that some of the drains in the area had been covered to eliminate the escape of this gas. However, I could still smell it.

There was a brisk wind at the time and the odor came and went with the wind gusts. It was proving difficult to locate the source under those conditions. I walked along the sidewalk in front of Burger King and turned south on Barfield, still on the sidewalk, in the direction of the Estates. I was just passing the drive-up area of Burger King when I walked into a gas cloud of Hydrogen Sulfide. I lost my breath and my eyes immediately started to sting, I knew exactly what was happening.
Fortunately I had the presence of mind to note the wind direction. There were little orange marker flags in the swale fluttering in the breeze, so I darted into the wind holding my breath and squinting my eyes. Luckily there was no traffic in the area and I safely got some distance away from the cloud. I could hardly see as my eyes were now watering heavily. This had been by far the worst contact I had experienced with this gas.

After a few minutes my eyes stopped watering and I made some phone calls on my cell phone to various city councilors to alert them of this danger.
After a short time Terri Disciullo arrived and confirmed that she could also smell the gas, and in fact had first detected it while travelling along San Marco Road in her car. Chuck Keister was also at the scene and confirmed that there was hydrogen sulfide gas in the air. He later complained to me that he had gotten a strong headache. We all left the scene shortly afterwards.

Do you remember the photo of Nicholas in his stroller that I showed you at the council meeting?

This occurred within 300 feet of where I took that photo. If this had happened to Nicholas and his mother, would she have been so fortunate to understand the danger they were in and try to escape. If the stroller had run off the sidewalk and overturned in the grass swale, would Nicholas's mother have had the presence of mind to grab him and run? Or would she and Nicholas have succumbed to the lethal fumes as those two unfortunate workers in the manhole?

The four of you who continue to thrust this project forward with no regard for the likes of Nicholas make me wonder if you have any conscience at all.


Just in case you need a reminder................here's Nicholas and his mother, Anna Gionet . Thank you for your attention, if I got it???

Godfrey Davies.


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