City must hire independent reviewer for Lunt cleanup

Published: 6/22/2022 6:32:53 PM
Modified: 6/22/2022 6:32:33 PM

As a new city councilor, I have been working hard to catch up on the issues of our community.

One issue that I’m particularly concerned about is the toxic contamination of the land and building on 401 Liberty St. The site is owned by the city, leased by a company named 401 Liberty St. LLC, and used as a treatment center for people in substance abuse recovery.

According to the state Department of Environmental Protection, the site is contaminated with toxic chemicals, and although 401 Liberty St. originally promised the city that it would clean up the site, they have neglected this responsibility and not cleaned up the contamination.

In fact, at the Public Information Process meeting in February, the principal of 401 Liberty Street — RaipherPellegrino — said he would not do additional testing or take steps to clean up the Lunt site unless the state required him to do so.

Now, the people living at the treatment facility and the surrounding community continue to be exposed to carcinogenic chemicals.

To clean up the site properly, the city must follow the recommendations of a licensed site professional (LSP).

However, the city is currently using the same LSP as 401 Liberty Street (the company leasing and profiting from the site). This is a conflict of interest. No LSP can ethically serve both the city’s residents who are being contaminated and the company who is ignoring the contamination.

I implore Mayor Wedegartner and the city of Greenfield to hire an independent licensed site professional (LSP) to assess and recommend real, substantial next steps to clean up the Lunt property, as soon as possible.

The health and welfare of Greenfield’s residents should be the mayor’s top priority.

Mayor Wedegartner, please hire an independent LSP as soon as possible.

Do not say it is too late. The time to act was yesterday. Today is second best.

As a city council member, I would support a request for funding for a new LSP.

I am grateful for this opportunity to share my thoughts with the community in this public forum, and I welcome my constituents and other community members to respond here.

Katherine Golub

Precinct 1 City Councilor, Greenfield


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