Nightmare on Norwood Street 

  • Buildings that were once the Lunt Silversmiths manufacturing plant off Federal Street in Greenfield. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 7/1/2022 6:55:35 PM
Modified: 7/1/2022 6:53:01 PM

“It’s what we don’t see that can hurt us” has been part of my seething concern as a youth, now as a nurse, mother and grandmother. My story weaves into a more complex one that has been brewing under the streets and soil of our homes in northwestern part of the Greenfield city footprint.

I returned to my first love New England and where I raised my children in early 2019 to be a support and help to my family living in Greenfield. Perhaps I was a bit naive about Massachusetts and specifically Greenfield where I have a mortgage on two modest homes. I wanted to believe that western Massachusetts understood the pressures and nuances of a world being battered by climate change and like me collectively desired actions that protects our Connecticut River, its host of rivers, and our precious trees.

On the small streets of Norwood and Kenwood that cradle the old Lunt silversmithing facility, now a well-needed drug rehab center, a silent, odorless, invisible forever chemical has been leeching into our groundwater, most likely into the Green River, and also dispersing as a gas under the soil and into our homes, ballfields, and the treatment facility. This chemical is called Trichloroethylene, or TCE, among probable others. Exposure is linked to a myriad of symptoms and illnesses including some cancers.

Where I suspected quick action and a show of concern I am finding a cool shrug of the shoulders from those in leadership, thank you Mayor Roxanne Wedegartner. It has been 10 years plus this has been poorly addressed and mishandled. Now it appears it may be years more for state Department of Environmental Protection oversight into these failures to fully delineate the extent of the problem to have an impact. My desire to help my daughter and grandchildren has become a nightmare. All my retirement and revenue from selling my previous home is in these two homes in the “idyllic” town of Greenfield. Baseball anyone?

Dorothea Melnicoff



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