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Nov 27, 2022
Everything Greenfield, Massachusetts, and Beyond!

LeeChauvette2010 - Mon, Aug 9, 2010, 9:11 A
Candidate urges local officials to review Biomass project
Lee Chauvette of Athol a Democratic candidate for State Representative for the 2nd Franklin District that includes Greenfield and Gill two towns directly affected by the proposed 47 megawatt biomass plant suggests that Greenfield officials check with the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs to review the processes used in conjunction with the progression of the plant thus far.

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a strict policy entitled the Environmental Justice Policy which mandates enhanced public participation as well as enhanced review of such projects by the Executive Office for communities that fall under this particular program. Greenfield does in fact according to the policy website have a neighborhood that is an Environmental Justice Policy neighborhood. Montague also has a qualified neighborhood. Gill does not.” says Chauvette.

“In Greenfield beginning with the area of I-91 from Conway Street and Sullivan Lane down to Woodlawn Road across the neighborhood over to Hope Street to James Street then to High Street back to Beacon Street and Pierce Street back over to Conway Street forms this Environmental Justice neighborhood. This neighborhood meets the criteria according the policy website due to it’s having a median annual household income at or below 65 percent of the statewide median income for Massachusetts.”

“Section 14 of the policy clearly states that any project that exceeds ENF (Environmental Notification Form) thresholds for Air and it is within 5 miles of a policy neighborhood then enhanced public participation is required during the review. The proposed project is a new source of Air Emissions. Certainly one can ask if the locality and Executive Office offer this enhanced public participation.” states Chauvette.”

“Of more concern and possibly causing an additional review process is that Section 15 of the policy states that projects under going a MEPA review requires enhanced analysis towards an EIR (Environmental Impact Report) if again the project triggers a threshold for an Air project within 5 miles of the policy defined neighborhood. It is certainly worth the time for local officials on behalf of its residents to check to see if the review of project materials by the Executive Office that resulted in no filings of an Environmental Impact Report on this project is aligned with the Environmental Justice Policy”

“The Environmental Justice Program is designed to give residents enhanced participation in projects that may cause harm to their neighborhoods. As an Environmental Manager, I think it would be prudent to look at this issue and review if the biomass plant project has been aligned properly under this policy and if in fact the Executive Office should have moved towards requesting the enhanced analysis for an Environmental Impact Report. I urge local officials to review this issue.” Chauvette added.

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