This letter is a response to the insinuations in Tom Kay's opinion-advertisement published on Nov. 13 that the medical issues affecting the neighbors of the Western Slope Layers hen operation on Powell Mesa are made up. Mr. Kay wrote that he is unqualified to comment on this, and he's right.
My wife and I live just over 800 feet downwind from the hen laying operation. We have lived there for 25 years. Mr. Kay is not qualified to judge the merits of our medical issues; however, we and our doctors are. We have a white dust and feathers blow our way and into our house from that facility. I went to the emergency room at our hospital with uncontrolled nose bleeding. Earlier this year after working in our garden I developed a rash over my abdomen. I also had trouble breathing about the same time.
Two weeks ago I picked apples from our trees as I have done for most of our 25 years living here. Immediately after this the rash got worse covering my body, with swollen hands and extreme itching on my body. Things worsened over the next few days as I was weak and had difficulty breathing, along with sharp abdominal pains. I have just been released from the hospital after being admitted from my emergency room visit. I am being tested for the cause, but having seen the laboratory report of the county's air monitoring, the issues my wife and I are experiencing are the same as many of the health issues that the fungus, mold and bacteria identified as coming from the Powell Mesa hen laying factory cause. I have filed complaints with the county, but no one has come to investigate. I don't understand why.
I am outraged that people continue to say what we and other neighbors here are experiencing are "purported medical issues." Western Slope Layers can produce 14,000 eggs and earn $1,300 per day while our health is destroyed, while we incur medical expenses and our lives are ruined from the particles, dust and feathers that continue to be pumped into the air from the facility. Don't tell me the building is attractive either and fits in with the neighborhood. Come live 820 feet from its downwind side and breathe the fungus, mold and bacteria that we are subjected to. It won't seem so attractive any more.
This county needs to get its priorities straight and stop supporting the people and businesses that are destroying their neighbors' health just so a small group can earn big profits. Get the chickens out of that egg laying factory now and give us back our neighborhood.
Powell Mesa Road