Response to editorial article

Recently in the February 13 The Vindicator, an editorial “Early talks on environmental issue good for all”) FOMR’s position on the GigaPower LLC (GM-LG Chemicals joint venture) plant siting was mistakenly characterized as opposing the plant. In fact, FOMR’s board does not oppose the plant or the proposed wetlands mitigation plan.
GM’s Environmental Group Manager, James Hartnett, reached out to FOMR about the wetlands issues, and we did have a meeting with his team and FOMR board members and wetlands advocates. No reporters were present (not excluded). Some of us also went through the US Army Corps of Engineers 404 application. For discussion, some present did ask why this greenfield site was chosen. Most of us had already figured that out. The GM team reviewed the reasoning and why alternative sites were rejected. We also reviewed the mitigation plan, and discussed “green infrastructure” options. It was a professional and productive discussion.
Also, while this site contains considerable wetlands (as defined), it is quite evident that these are secondary developments due to drainage cutoff and site disturbance. It’s high ground (such as that is locally). This is in contrast to stream-side wetlands.
We have requested a correction from the editorial staff.
Within FOMR, we do have a range of opinions on various environmental matters, but we are decidedly not against development per se, just not in high quality wetlands and floodplains when that is unnecessary.
We invite all media and other interested parties to our meetings and to feel free to reach out. We do appreciate the Tribune-Chronicle and Vindicator for some very good river-related reporting. These are exciting times, with the dams coming out and interest in the river front.Stuart Smith, hydrogeologist, FOMR Board Chair (or just the Board if you’re on)