Letter: Call for moratorium

A group of Greenfield citizens is asking the town to put a halt on large biomass projects and waste-to-energy power plants, giving us time to think about what is best for Greenfield going forward. We think this is important because we don’t want the town to have such important issues sorted out by the Zoning Board of Appeals, which may feel pressured to say “yes” to proposals placed in front it, like what seemed to happen with the biomass plant. There are many questions to consider, such as how much wood should be burned overall in the town, how our air quality would be affected, and what are the cumulative impacts on our forested land. While there are new regulations about who can get subsidies for burning biomass, those regulations are not about whether power plants can be built. We are dismayed that the Pioneer Renewable Energy project in Greenfield is still permitted, and as far as we can tell, the developer plans to try to go forward with a plan. With a moratorium, at least we can have more of a say about future projects of this kind.

We included a hold on waste-to-energy because the state is planning to lift a 22-year-old moratorium on trash incinerators and is eyeing allowing energy production from burning trash. We think that the town should be able to carefully consider the implications of trash-to-energy for the town, and the surrounding towns that would be affected by such projects, before Greenfield is approached to site one of these facilities here.

Please attend the public hearing on our petition for this bylaw change. It takes place Thursday, March 7, 7 p.m. The Greenfield Planning Department, 114 Main St., Greenfield.

Please visit www.greenfieldbiomass.info for more information.



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