I have a strong commitment to our environment. Whether it is protecting the quality of our air or water, or the overall preservation of critical parts of our natural heritage, I am proud of my record and of my plans to improve Mineral Springs' environmental responsibility.

The best way for a municipality to protect your environment is through zoning and other land use ordinances. Here are a few areas where we can help:

Groundwater Quality

If your household water supply comes from a well, the quality and safety of your drinking water depends completely on the quality of the region's groundwater. And the best way to protect groundwater quality is to protect the quality of surface water (creeks and rivers). I believe in maintaining strict creek buffer requirements. The natural growth of vegetation, including trees, along the banks of creeks is the most effective filter for eliminating hazardous elements from the creeks. Lawn chemicals, oils from roads, driveways, and parking lots, and agricultural pesticides and fertilizers can effectively be filtered out of surface runoff by simply requiring undisturbed buffers along creeks. The roots of mature trees, in particular, trap impurities and also prevent the erosion of soil and sediment into the waterways. In certain areas, wetlands reinforce the purification function. Although most wetlands are federally protected because of this important function, they are still destroyed all to often and I believe that local governments should see to it that federal wetland laws are followed.

We must also be very careful to protect the bedrock along our creek beds. In many cases, sewer line installation and other construction near creeks requires blasting through the rocky creek corridors. This blasting often fractures the bedrock many feet deeper into the ground, resulting in a porous layer that allows contaminated surface water to flow directly into the deeper groundwater without being filtered and cleansed by the rock and soils that previously existed. Also, spring-fed creeks may actually dry up if the springs are above the bedrock and the bedrock is fractured. Our municipal government must take steps to prevent this sort of disruptive excavation and construction from taking place.

Air Quality

We can do much to protect our air quality simply by protecting and preserving our tree canopy. This may be accomplished by means of tree protection ordinances, and by requiring the planting of trees in public places such as along streets. Another way to protect mature trees is for the town to purchase land where large stands of mature trees already exist, either through general fund revenues or via state environmental and recreational grants. Also, requiring more interconnecting streets as our neighborhoods and retail areas are developed shortens or even eliminates some car trips, directly reducing the release of toxic elements into our air.