Friday, March 12, 1999
Carlisle Comments: Thanks for a job well done
It is not always easy being a good citizen. This is especially true when faced with a task that will cost you money, disrupt your home and landscaping, needs a lot of planning, and is not required of everyone. Such was the task placed upon the many homeowners of underground oil storage tanks when the Carlisle Board of Health established a local Petroleum Storage Regulation requiring removal or upgrade of all underground tanks by 12/31/98.
The Good Citizenship Award therefore should go to the 324 households in Carlisle who voluntarily complied with the regulation by upgrading or removing their underground tanks during recent years. This represented a formidable task for most homeowners, but an extremely necessary one for the future well-being of our community.
Every household in the Town of Carlisle is dependent on groundwater and wells for their water supply. We are all aware of the significant expenses and problems associated with petroleum contaminated groundwater in the center of town. In past years, a similar risk existed throughout our community in the form of over three hundred underground tanks used primarily for home heating oil. Luckily, the Town of Carlisle has been at the forefront in the remediation of this significant risk to drinking water, The members of the 1986 board of health were farsighted and proactive enough to create the original regulation, which imposed a moratorium on new installations pending further study and required the registration, testing and monitoring of all existing tanks. The members of the 1986 board were Bobby Lyman, Pat Cutter, Faye Collins, and Gabor Miskolczy. The regulation was later refined by the 1991 board to incorporate a specific removal schedule and to allow new installations utilizing improved, more advanced technology. The members of the 1991 board were Gabor Miskolczy, Jane Anderson, and Peter Snyder.
As the time for compliance approached, the 1998 board consisting of Steve Opolski, Skip Saunders, and Jim Slattery identified the need to revise the regulation since much of the content of the local regulation was now covered by the state code. The board also wanted to clarify how modernization of tank systems could be accomplished. To assist with this task, the board organized a subcommittee consisting of Ernie Huber, Tony Mariano Sr., and Lois Surgenor. After many hours of research, editing, public meetings and hearings, the subcommittee developed a more streamlined, better-organized regulation, which has been in effect since July 1.
Having a sound regulation in place, however, still required implementation to be successful. To this end the board sought the assistance of Carlisle's fire chief Bob Koning. Since the promulgation of the regulation back in 1986, Chief Koning has witnessed the removal of every underground tank in Carlisle. With the assistance of Natalie Ives, the selectmen's secretary, and the board's agent Linda Fantasia, Koning issued removal permits and tracked the tank disposal cards. Without his expertise and willingness to take on this duty, there would have been no implementation.
To all of the above people, the board of health and the Carlisle community extend a grateful "thank you" for a job well done.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito