Outreach group hopes to educate community
Daily Record News Group
The choice of people to sit on the Fremont County Independent Outreach
Committee rests solely with Angela Bellantoni of Environmental Alternatives
Both Bellantoni, facilitator of the committee, and Pat Mutz, mill
manager of the Cotter Corp., have confirmed that.
has a contract with the Cotter Corp. to organize the committee.
She said the committee will decide whether to make the terms of
her contract public.
Bellantoni, in a telephone interview Tuesday, said, "I have
set the quota at 15. We can modify and adjust membership so it represents
the community as a whole. Everybody who has submitted a questionnaire
has been invited to attend. There is strong opposition to Cotter
in this group. The door is wide open.
a good question about whether there will be a chairperson. We've
only met twice," she said, adding that a charter has been adopted
and issues have been prioritized. She said she wants the committee
to "become more and more public. They just right now
need to get their feet on the ground."
She talked about her role and what she envisions as the role of
the committee. "I would never have done this if I was under
the thumb of the Cotter Corp. because I don't believe that is in
the best interests of the community," she said.
Bellantoni also said she originally approached mill officials about
serving as an outside scientific source. "The outreach group
was their idea." "I can be an extra set of eyes on that
data so it is not just state and Cotter eyes on this information,"
(Cotter officials) understand this is a hands-off situation. They
have to have an incredible amount of trust in whatever happens.
will go forward in whatever path the committee wants to take. I
will go to outside sources. I may go back to Cotter and ask questions.
Cotter has agreed to this. The plus is that I am here and community
knows who I am," she added.
Bellantoni stressed her teaching background and said group members
will go back to the entities they represent once they have a firm
understanding of the science, the permit process and the facility.
She said a lot of confusion has resulted from the misuse of terms.
"What is a waste? What is a mixed soil? These terms are very
specific. If that is understood then people will have a whole different
perspective," Bellantoni said.
an educator for 15 years I believe I can teach the topic. Environmental
Alternatives does permitting all over," she said.
don't seem to understand that Cotter actually has limitations like
waste versus material and hazardous material versus mixed material.
science and the regulatory world this means a world of difference.
group's obligation is to become well versed in this industry."