Claremont Should Deny Permit for C&D Waste Transfer Site
To The Editor: People who have worked at construction and demolition sites or at waste transfer stations know that the construction and demolition roll-off container is sometimes the bin of last resort. They know that hazardous materials find a way into construction and demolition waste, falling between the regulatory cracks. Reusable and recyclable materials are mixed with sheetrock and shingles, lead paint, pipes and chimney flashing, adhesives, concrete blocks, old toilets and more. Light switches and thermostats may contain mercury, smoke detectors radioactive material. PFAS compounds are found in waxes, carpeting and furniture, and arsenic in pressure treated wood. It can get messy. To reduce risk of exposure to hazardous materials C&D waste must be sorted and processed properly at work sites, waste transfer stations or C&D processing centers. This is costly. Lebanon is working on amendments to its solid waste ordinance to improve the city’s ability to manage C&D waste. In Claremont a different scenario is unfolding.
Acuity Management, Inc. based in Methuen, MA, has proposed a large waste project that is heading in the wrong direction, back to the old days when cheap disposal meant shifting risk to public health and the environment onto someone else, and as far away as possible. Acuity, dba American Recycling & Disposal, has proposed a C&D project that could bring into Claremont double the amount of waste the old incinerator on Grissom Lane took in daily, and on average containing more toxic material than household rubbish. Someone should ask Acuity and the NH DES whether they have done waste characterization studies of the C&D waste stream for heavy metal contamination and other toxic waste. How much lead would they expect to find in 150,000 tons of C&D/year? DES has already denied the company a permit modification to expand a small scrap metal recycling yard into a major dump-and-ship operation. The City of Claremont should do the same. Show up at the Planning Board meeting, 7pm on Monday, July 22 at the CSB Community Center, 152 South Street, Claremont, NH. John Tuthill Acworth, NH Former member of the House Environment & Agriculture Committee ———
Opposes Application for C&D Waste Operation
To The Editor:
My husband and I own two businesses plus apartments at Claremont Junction. I am opposed to the plan of American Recycling & Disposal to establish a major waste operation very close to our businesses. I encourage area residents to speak up on the very significant impact of this proposed operation at the next Claremont Planning Board meeting on July 22 at 7 pm, at the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center on South Street.
The potential negative impact on residents and businesses is huge. This is a poor plan and is not right for the citizens who live in this area. We do not need to consent to being the dumping ground for the New England region’s construction and demolition debris. More than 200 homes and the Maple Avenue School are nearby. Homes could lose value and quality of life will be affected. Ongoing community efforts to attract visitors will be jeopardized. This operation would take place right where the Amtrak Station is located, an area which has been beautified for train travelers.
More concerns include health threats, especially for children, from lead, asbestos, and other contaminants; greatly increased truck traffic, up to 50 trucks daily; and impacts on an adjacent stream and wetland, home to abundant wildlife.
I have provided a web page at The Valley Green Journal to provide more information and links, including an online petition. Visit www.valleygreenjournal.com.
Jan Lambert Editor, The Valley Green Journal
A BETTER CLAREMONT Citizens’ Group Opposes C&D Operation
A BETTER CLAREMONT (ABC) is a newly formed citizens’ group opposed to siting a major construction and demolition debris facility in Claremont Junction. It’s as easy as “ABC” to see that our community will receive very little benefit and much harm from a major waste operation proposed by American Recycling & Disposal. Located on an open slab on a very small (1.5 acre) site, the company would receive between 300-500 tons of contaminated C&D waste six days a week, trucked in year-round from all over northern New England to be loaded into railroad cars and shipped out for burial. Compare this to the estimated 6 tons a day generated (on average) in the City of Claremont. The potential negative impact on residents and businesses is huge. This is a poor plan and is not right for the citizens who live in this area. We do not need to consent to be the dumping ground for the region’s construction and demolition debris.
Our concerns include: Health threats, especially for children, from lead, asbestos, arsenic, mercury, and other contaminants. Greatly increased truck traffic, up to 50 trucks daily. More than 200 homes and the Maple Avenue School are nearby. Homes could lose value and quality of life will be affected. Ongoing community efforts to attract visitors will be jeopardized. This operation would take place right where the Amtrak Station is located, an area which has been beautified with a shelter for train travelers and flower gardens. Impacts on natural areas: a stream and wetland, a home to abundant wildlife is just feet away from the site. Nearby residents have spotted bear, deer, fox, otters, beavers, turtles, and birds. Wildlife don’t deserve to live with the threat of avoidable contamination. Nor do residents and families living in adjacent neighborhoods or the students, staff and teachers at the elementary school.
Send comments to the Claremont Planning Board by emailing deForest Bearse at firstname.lastname@example.org and come to the next Planning board meeting on Monday, July 22 at the CSB Community Center, 152 South Street in Claremont. 7pm. For more information email: email@example.com. James M. Contois Claremont, NH
“Why is Claremont a Dumping Ground…?”
“Why is Claremont a dumping ground for bad projects such as this?” asked my friend Helen Frink, Ph.D., of Acworth after Quaker Meeting this week. My answer included two reasons “bad projects” are typically developed in a community with weak city government and financial need for projects that might bring in revenue. Neither apply to Claremont, a city on the rebound. “Bad projects” are usually found in areas struggling with poverty and often built in vulnerable communities. Such a project is the Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste transfer station proposed near Claremont Junction. Claremont is a city recovering from years of economic hardship brought on by the departure of manufacturing many years ago. The waste industry seized that opportunity and filled a void creating a barrier to positive economic development, while inflicting damage on a generation. Now the public will have their say about American Recycling & Disposal’s 500 ton-per-day dump-and-ship operation. This proposal does not fit with the vision for a healthier, safer and more prosperous Claremont. Come to the public hearing before the Claremont Planning Board at the CSB Community Center, 152 South Street in Claremont, Monday, July 22nd at 7 PM. Citizens will have an opportunity to voice concerns about truck traffic, lowered property values, and public health and safety. The proposed waste operation doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of Claremont’s zoning ordinance, nor does it have the necessary state permits. Six days a week up to 500 tons/day of C&D from all over northern New England could be trucked into Claremont Junction, passing through downtown Claremont and city neighborhoods, not to mention surrounding communities like Newport, Charlestown, Newbury, Sunapee, Walpole, and Bellows Falls and Springfield, Vermont. Last year Mayor Charlene Lovett received an award from Gov. Sununu and Senator Dan Feltes for Claremont’s efforts in dealing with childhood lead exposure. The City Council supported reducing the risk of lead poisoning in the city. Demolition waste contains lead and other toxic materials. At over 150,000 tons of C&D a year the amount of lead contamination would be significant. In NH, over 30 tons of lead would be considered permissible for ‘clean’ C&D wood waste according to state regulations. Most of the material American Reycling & Disposal proposes to bring to Claremont would be far over that standard. Lead poisoning of a child is measured in micrograms, not tons. Hopefully our elected officials will be present to express their concerns and to help protect the citizens they serve. Other village and town officials also need to speak up for their citizen’s health and the potential impact of this project on the region. Ultimately however, this is a local issue for Claremonters, and no one needs to speak up more than Claremont residents. With 200 homes, an elementary school, and at least 10 businesses located within a half mile of this proposed waste facility, residents and business owners need to speak up in defense of our neighborhoods and businesses. Without our voices, our ability to fight back is weakened. and these types of “bad projects” will continue to plague our city. The second reason for “bad projects,” the need for revenue, is no reason to bring in a C&D waste transfer facility to Claremont. Again, “Why is Claremont a dumping ground for bad projects such as this?” my friend asks. We do want good businesses and industries in Claremont that can produce revenue and value for our community. This C&D facility is not that kind of business. The financial burden of such a project due to the possible impacts to our health and infrastructure may far outweigh the advantages. Whether or not city officials express their concerns about the return of the waste industry to Claremont, it is my hope that area residents, including concerned parents and business owners, will show up for the meeting on Monday, July 22nd, at 7 PM at Claremont’s Community Center. We need to oppose this waste project before it jeopardizes our health, increases truck traffic and the cost of infrastructure repairs. The out-of-state company involved with promoting a C&D dump-and-ship operation at the Junction has already modified its site plan based on citizen opposition to ideas they originally proposed. There are so many negative impacts this proposal will generate, come and find out more and express your concerns. There is an online petition opposing this facility on The Valley Green Journal’s webpage. Please sign it. For more information and to get involved, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rebecca MacKenzie Claremont, NH
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