John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
314 Action Endorses John Mack for Newtown Supervisor

314 Action Endorses John Mack for Newtown Supervisor

In a tweet to over 15,000 followers, the grassroots STEM advocacy group 314 Action endorsed several 2019 local election candidates including John Mack for Newtown Township Supervisor.

"One of the best ways to stop the attacks on science is to send more people to Congress and local offices who have spent their careers working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields," says 314 Action. "We need leaders who aren't afraid of data, who won't shy away from the facts and who will base policy on evidence."

As a citizen and someone with degrees in chemistry and biochemistry, I am concerned about chemicals in our environment whether they are contaminants in our water and air or addictive drugs.

I have made it a goal to do all I can to keep the public informed about these and other issues and, especially, to do whatever is possible to fight the current Opioid epidemic. Through my efforts, for example, the Township now offers a 24/7 drop-off program for unused prescription and other drugs (read "My Case for a 24/7 Drug Drop-Off Box" and "Newtown Has a 24/7 Drug Drop Box"). I also voted to hold major producers and distributors of opioids accountable for the current opioid epidemic that has taken the lives of over 400,000 people in recent years (read "Newtown Township Files Suit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors").

I was a strong supporter of the anti-fracking resolution enacted by the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) in March, 2018 (read “Newtown Township Supports a Complete & Permanent Ban on Fracking and Related Activities”). This resolution called upon the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to “enact a complete and permanent ban on natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing and all related activities.” When I learned that the resolution was not included in official comments to the DRBC due to an oversight by the previous Town Manager, I made it a point to summarize the major points of the resolution in person at the June 13, 2018, public meeting of the DRBC.

After the Newtown Artesian Water Company (NAWC) sent a letter to residents in February 2019, that PFAS were detected in Newtown's water supplies, I requested that Mr. Dan Angove, then NAWC Assistant Manager, to come before the BOS to report on the situation. Mr. Angove complied and presented the Q1 2019 test results at the May 8, 2019, Board of Supervisors public meeting (see the video here).

At that presentation, I asked Mr. Angove to explain the results in comparison to the Q4 results focusing on (1) how sampling is done, (2) when was sampling done, (3) were multiple samples collected & combined for the test? (4) what company did the testing, (5) how accurate is the test? I also confirmed that NAWC will be posting test results every quarter (read "Newtown Artesian Water Publishes Q3 2019 PFAS Test Results").

While some politicians without a STEM background claim that the science isn't there yet proving that PFAS are harmful, I compiled a list of studies that demonstrate pretty good evidence that certain PFAS PFAS can cause health effects in people (read "PFAS in Drinking Water: The Science Behind Minimum Risk Levels").

I support Newtown’s Resolution 2016-R-10, opposing the Elcon Toxic Waste incinerator and Resolution 2018-R-10, which goes further and calls upon the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to “enact a complete and permanent ban on natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing.

During the discussion before the BOS on March 13, 2019, I pointed out that the proposed “emission limits” in the recent PA DEP permit application were: nitrogen oxides – 23.4 tons per year; carbon monoxide – 36.6 tons per year; sulfur oxides – 24.2 tons per year; volatile organic compounds – 10.1 tons per year; particulate matter – 10.5 tons per year; for hydrochloric acid – 6.3 tons per year!

Those are the facts!

Posted on 30 Oct 2019, 01:44 - Category: Science

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