The Times News, © 2006

January 24, 2006

Due to concerns of borough residents and several environmentalists, Tamaqua Mayor Christian P. Morrison is addressing the issue of water quality in Still Creek Reservoir.

Morrison has contacted local legislators and the Tamaqua Area Water Authority to offer whatever assistance he can in obtaining state funding to perform adequate and extensive testing. The right to clean air and water is a responsibility that the state is required to provide citizens.

The Mayor is concerned about the recent Pennsylvania Department of Health study results that did not identify any environmental causes for cancer clusters in the area, and rather attributed the high cancer rates to lifestyle behavior causes. Many residents and environmental activists strongly disagreed with these results.

Morrison also agrees that a cause-and-effect study should be done and more up-to-date cancer occurrences should be used in the compilation of any study. The statistics used by the DOH included only those occurrences up to the year 2003 and didn’t use a comparison to national averages.

Morrison thinks the first step in the right direction is to test the water and ensure without a doubt that it is safe to drink. He is not confident that the previous testing done was conclusive and that more extensive testing should be done.

Morrrison will address the matter this week with borough council and said he is committed to protecting the health and safety of borough residents.