Letter: Nissen, UPRR spill into the Fraser
October 24, 2016
UPRR spill into the Fraser
Please stay informed on the recent dumping into the Fraser River and help keep this in front of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, the Union Pacific Railroad and our legislators. That's the only way we can encourage the positive changes we need to protect our environment. Locals in the Fraser Valley cherish our rivers. We've all seen Trout Unlimited's Save The Fraser stickers on so many cars in Grand County and know that our community, led by TU and others, really is working hard to actually save the Fraser. Just this past Saturday, a team of local Trout Unlimited volunteers picked up litter and trash along the Fraser from Safeway to Rendezvous. Last week TU volunteers worked with the Colorado Division of Wildlife on a fish count in the Fraser. TU participates in the Learning By Doing process to help make the best decisions possible for the health and future of our rivers. Sadly, all that hard work can be overwhelmed by the disappointing actions of one of our corporate citizens. Dumping effluent from the cleaning of the Moffat Tunnel into the Fraser simply is unacceptable. The Union Pacific Railroad must step up and be a good neighbor and solve the problem immediately. They should simply do the right thing and the Colorado Department of Health and the Environment should make sure they do. At TU, we know that the Railroad is working on a plan to remove the heavy metals currently entering the Fraser. That's a positive first step, and their legal obligation, but they need to address the organics and other effluent as well. The recent spill just happened to be discovered. Have there been others? What will they do to prevent a repeat? Corporations are responsible to shareholders, but they also have the responsibility to be good citizens in the communities they touch. Profit must not be the only consideration. As citizens, we have the right to expect a safe, healthy environment but also an obligation to stay informed and push for positive changes. Keep reading the articles in this paper. Monitor the local Trout Unlimited website at http://www.coheadwaters.org as it changes frequently. Write letters. Send emails. Make phone calls. It's up to all of us!
Fraser resident and TU Board Member