An open letter to Dian C. Taylor, chief executive officer and president, Artesian Water Resources
Dear Ms. Taylor:
There is small, rust-colored well protruding about a foot from the ground near the corner of Broad Run and Newark roads in Landenberg. Though it is not marked by its rightful owner, there is scarcely an individual in that rural town who has not learned in the last year that your company – Delaware-based Artesian Water Resources – is that rightful owner and, further, that last May, your company conducted a three-day aquifer test there to determine potential production value of the well.
If it is determined that Artesian will indeed pump that well, conservative estimates say that it will be expected to withdraw 200 gallons of water a minute -- as much as 288,000 gallons a day – and more than 100 million gallons projected over the course of one year. Artesian officials have insisted that the water would be distributed to southern Chester County, and supply area residents.
The residents of New Garden Township are still waiting to hear the results of that testing and, if the well is deemed to be a sufficient source of water, where that water will be pumped.
Meanwhile, the New Garden Board of Supervisors has opposed the testing, saying it violates township ordinances. State Sen. Andrew Dinniman has opposed the testing. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection gave your company the authorization to conduct the aquifer test anyway.
What did you find, and why won't you tell us?
We at the Chester County Press have covered the news of New Garden Township for a very long time, and we have come to know these residents as stewards of their community, who are passionate about the preservation of their natural resources and their open space. They hold steadfast to the belief that Landenberg and surrounding areas may be the last vestiges of rural life in southern Chester County, and they question any entity that may threaten to compromise that way of life.
On the issue of Artesian's presence in New Garden Township, their opinions are fervent and their numbers are soaring. Lately, many have openly expressed concern that by extracting water from the well in Landenberg in massive quantities, your company will, indeed, threaten to greatly diminish the water levels in wells all over New Garden, London Britain and Franklin townships. A grassroots movement called the Save Our Water Committee, formed last winter by a few concerned residents in opposition to Artesian's presence in their back yard, has surged to the point where they now draw packed audiences to their meetings at the New Garden Township Building.
Have you been through Landenberg lately? Up and down country roads, in developments and in neighborhoods, hundreds of blue and yellow signs demand that your company not infiltrate a water source that many rightfully contend belongs to them.
This newspaper invites you, Ms. Taylor – and not one of your corporate spokespeople who are paid to toe the company line – to visit Landenberg very soon. We invite you to ask New Garden Township to be placed on the agenda at an upcoming Board of Supervisors meeting. The floor could be yours. Your voice would be your own, and you would be allowed to engage in a dialogue with the residents of New Garden Township and beyond. You will be given the freedom to explain exactly what Artesian's plans are for that little well on the corner of Newark and Broad Run.
The cost of speaking there is free. The cost of your company's continued silence in our corner of southern Chester County, however, could be irreparable.