The Sept. 30 editorial “Crusading against a church” described concern about “environmental risk to a nearby reservoir” (Rocky Gorge) as being specious and phony. However, environmental concerns about the reservoir, which serves as the drinking water supply for more than a half-million citizens, are not misplaced. In his ruling on the Reaching Hearts case, U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus did not find the environmental concerns to be invalid. Rather, he found that Prince George’s County officials failed to present compelling evidence supporting these concerns in court.
While we do not condone anti-church statements reportedly made by some opponents of the project, we remain concerned about the potential environmental impacts of sewer systems and large impervious surfaces in the Patuxent River watershed. Hurricane Irene was recently blamed for multiple failures of sewers in the Baltimore area that released millions of gallons of untreated sewage. We are grateful that such failures did not occur in the Patuxent watershed, but this shows what could happen if we let down our guard on the impact of new development.
J.F. Putman, Burtonsville
The writer is treasurer of the Patuxent Watershed Protective Association.