My Turn: Real responses are needed now about Lunt property

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

Published: 1/18/2022 2:44:41 PM
Modified: 1/18/2022 2:43:37 PM

As an abutter of the Lunt property, I am very concerned about the health and safety of myself, my neighbors and the residents and staff of the substance abuse treatment program within the Lunt buildings.

In fall 2012, representatives of O’Reilly, Talbot and Okun, tested the air in my basement and put a test well in front of my house. In January 2013, I received a letter stating that the tests had shown that the air in my house was not contaminated. It is my understanding that there were subsequent checks of the wells every four years since 2012. I have not received any information about these tests since 2012, nor have my neighbors.

Were there any changes that we should know about? We simply have no idea.

In the last few months, we have learned several things:

■The tests done within the Lunt building were analyzed on the basis that this is an industrial building, not one housing people 24/7. The industrial designation allows levels of contaminants, particularly TCE, that are much higher than are acceptable for human daily contact.

■There was a plan for contaminant containment to prevent TCE migration that was never implemented.

■The groundwater pumping and treatment system identified in 2012 was not installed and made operational. The groundwater that runs under the Lunt property is no more than 3 feet below my garden where I grow fruits and vegetables. I have no idea if it has been contaminating the tomatoes and apples that I grow all summer long.

These are serious issues for the many families that abut the Lunt property. In addition, I have no idea if I must disclose the contamination of the Lunt property to a potential buyer of my house and if this has any bearing on the value of my home. And since, the issues here are not only quality of life, but also value of property, are abutters able to file for a property tax abatement due to the Lunt contamination?

The residents of this community have asked for an open public process to give us accurate information and the implementation of appropriate remediation so that contamination is reduced to the normal background levels. Thus far, we have had little response from the Greenfield City Hall.

I appreciate the efforts of Councilors Desorgher, Bottomley and Gilmour to assist us in getting our questions answered and proper measures taken. We are not interested in glib statements that everything is fine and we should stop asking questions. Real responses are needed now. 

Susan Worgaftik is a resident of Greenfield.


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