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Letter: Going off course

I’d like to comment on the March 7 joint public hearing before the Greenfield Planning Board and the Economic Development Committee of the Town Council that met to consider a temporary moratorium on biomass and waste-to-energy facilities that would emit higher than 1 million BTUs per hour. At present, Pioneer Renewable Energy has a special permit to build a biomass plant in Greenfield that would exceed the amount established by the moratorium. I believe that PRE was the stimulus for this moratorium.

It’s unfortunate that The Recorder did not cover this hearing because this issue has been of such important concern to the citizens of Greenfield and surrounding areas.

When Planning Board Chairwoman Roxanne Wedegartner asked shortly before 9 p.m. why other aspects had not been included, i.e. other wood-burning heating sources such as fireplaces and pellet stoves, I was nonplussed. Those who wrote and presented the moratorium were pretty specific (the moratorium is only concerned with large-scale burning, not in-home, small installations) so I wondered if she and possibly others on the Planning Board were purposely trying to misunderstand the point of the petition. The authors of the moratorium presented their case and were looking for “yes” or “no.” Certainly everyone I heard speak was in favor of passing the moratorium; even the representative from Sandri, who asked only that some of the wording be changed.

If Ms. Wedegartner or anyone else wants to make a presentation on other aspects, let them do so by all means! However, when something as serious as a moratorium is submitted to a public hearing, inroads into other topics should be set aside to wait their time.



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