Proposed Casper Aquifer Protection Plan Changes Spark Concern
Changes proposed for the Casper Aquifer Protection Plan have sparked concern among some Laramie residents and the City Environmental Advisory Committee.
Environmental Advisory Committee Chair John Evans said the changes, proposed by the City Community Development Department, seeks to alter the recommended prohibited activities table in the protection plan that has to deal with hazardous toxic substances related to vehicle repair.
The changes would allow the Spradley-Barr dealership in Laramie to move to an area situated above the aquifer on East Grand Avenue.
Evans said the Environmental Advisory Committee voted to oppose the changes to the table at their last meeting earlier this month, citing multiple concerns.
“They say they’ll have protections in place, but there really is no guarantee that a spill won’t occur that will pollute the aquifer,” Evans said. “It is Laramie’s main water source.”
Evans said the EAC committee also considered the aquifer in Cheyenne which has become polluted due to the Air Force base dumping toxic waste into the aquifer, as well as the fact that the city is in the process of trying to implement the CAPP and that changes to the table would be a counter-productive.
“We are currently trying to implement this. This is a step backwards,” Evans said.
The EAC also took into account the fact that a number of concerned citizens had signed a petition against the changes to the table.
Teri Lund, a Laramie resident, said she started the petition after attending a City Council meeting in late November, 2016 and became concerned about the effects the proposed changes would have on the Casper Aquifer. Lund said the online petition, along with paper petitions in various locations in downtown Laramie, has garnered about 600 signatures total.
Lund said the petition has nothing against the Spradley-Barr dealership.
“We acknowledge that they have to move locations, that’s something they have to do,” Lund said. “We just hope they will consider other locations.”
Evans said the City Planning Commission will discuss the matter during their next meeting on March 27., Evans said.
“The Planning Commission had been appraised of our position on the matter. We will have to wait and see which way they go with it,” Evans said.
Evans said the proposal has been submitted to the Laramie City Council, but they have not yet discussed it.