A conversation about Issues
I recently sat down to talk about issues we all face today as citizens of Pepperell. The conversation was filmed by Pepperell Community Media and is broken down into three segments:
Part 1: Why I ran for selectman, housing, taxes and how Pepperell is affected by climate change. View part 1 here: https://pepperell.vod.castus.tv/vod/?video=1fb4eee6-165f-4dd6-914f-e34807cda9b1
Part 2: Toxic Dirt, a five-person Board of Selectmen, VFW, Food Hub. View part 2 here:
Part 3: Building community, farming, Pepperell's non-binding citizen petition. View part 3 here: https://pepperell.vod.castus.tv/vod/?video=e3050788-1666-4450-beb0-14df2945e78d
The proposed contaminated soil disposal project on Mr. Dave Burton’s property at 161 Nashua Road poses far too great a risk to public health to be permitted in our town.
Despite decades of significant governmental and public progress in cleaning and protecting our environment, we have yet to find the best answers for the polluted soil disposal challenges we face. The evidence clearly shows that similar disposal projects have raised concerns for the communities that hosted them. The DEP has been unable to enforce their permit regulations. Soil sciences are complex and the movement of contaminants over an aquifer are more challenging to predict. Proposing that it is safe to dilute and leach away pollutants in an aquifer area and adjacent to the protected Nashua River is far too risky for our community. We must protect our drinking water supply.
DEP needs the public and governmental support for improving the criteria for safe contaminated disposal sites in Massachusetts. Every attempt to find better, safer, uses for the property is in Mr. Burton’s and the community’s interests. Dave Burton and his attorneys need to know that we respect his rights as a property owner, recognize Mr. Burton’s many contributions as a local business owner and his frequent helping with town projects, and work toward solutions that both parties can agree will benefit our town.
I fully support the Board of Selectmen’s opposition to this reclamation project and will work for an outcome that all parties will benefit from without risking the safety of our water resources.
I believe our community has the talent and resources to be a municipal leader in solving the current harm and future threat of our changing climate. The ecological clock we face is demanding. With the upcoming Massachusetts State plan to reduce our carbon footprint to zero by 2050 to guide us, our town must participate in a dramatic reduction in fossil fuel energy use and build programs that sequester the carbon we produce.
I will advocate for easing access to solar power systems, both residential, commercial and municipal projects in Pepperell. We can increase our use of electric vehicles powered with Green Energy, bring public transportation to our commuters, compost our organic wastes and utilize our farm properties to sequester carbon in our soils. All of these critical efforts will rely on teamwork, building a common sense of community and a pride in saving our children's futures that we will celebrate in everyday conversations.