Tuesday, October 27, 2009

There are some upcoming meetings and we need your help with one in particular. Next Monday, Nov 2nd, there will be a public hearing regarding sewer use regs and your participation is absolutely crucial. This may be the last public hearing related to biomasswe need all concerned residents there! Please be prepared to attend and/or testify (see bottom of message for more on the wastewater issue). Here is the proposed addition to the sewer regs:

650-55. Supply of Wastewater.
The mayor, with the prior approval of the Town Council, may enter into a contract for the supply of treated or untreated wastewater, the duration of which shall not exceed twenty (20) years. The person or entity receiving supply of such wastewater shall obtain, at its sole cost, all necessary permits from local, state and federal authorities. Said contract shall set forth the price for supply of such wastewater and all other terms and conditions related to such supply. The price for the sale of such wastewater may include all or a portion of sewer use fees that may have been charged on the return of wastewater to the sewer in lieu of separate changes for such sewer use.

The hearing will be at the Greenfield Middle School at 7 p.m. Again, it is crucial that we make our concerns known either with testimony or in our overwhelming attendance. Other upcoming meetings that you are encouraged to attend (although public testimony will not be accepted):

Tuesday Nov 3 6:30 p.m. Greenfield P.D., Economic Development Committee: Water supply Agreement, Lease of space for Installation of Pump(s) at WPC Plane

Wednesday Nov 4 6:30 p.m. Greenfield P.D.; Ways and Means Committee: Water Supply Agreement, Lease of Space for Installation (see above)

Please also take a moment to voice your concerns before next Monday's meeting to the Appointments and Ordinance Committee telling them that we shouldn't be selling sewer water to anyone:

David Singer, Chair 773-8300
Brickett Allis 773-8875
Christopher Joseph 773-0296
Alfred Siano 773-3485
Thomas McClellan 774-4612

Things to consider for your testimony (as written by one of CCFC's members):

The change to the Sewer Regs should be opposed because it will exempt Wolfe from paying to discharge his industrial wastes into the Greenfield sewer. Thus, all the people of Greenfield will be subsidizing the incinerator with their sewer bills, and he will get a completely free ride. Instead of charging him based on how toxic his discharge is (and it will be very toxic), he will be able to buy sewage water at a guaranteed volume and quality, even if he discharges so much toxicity into the sewer that the town can't clean up his wastes and therefore can't meet it's obligation to provide less contaminated water to his incinerator. The town will then be forced to supply municipal water for cooling the burner.

Instead of the incinerator paying for its discharge and the money going into the sewer fund where it will help defray the costs of the treatment and the fees paid by residents (in the Enterprise Fund), Shields wants to keep all of the money for herself to spend however she wants. Thus, this plan will steal money from the citizens of Greenfield and allow it to be put in a slush fund for the Dept of Public Works. It removes all accountability and instead provides for a cash cow that will be feeding at the public trough.

Wolfe should be charged for every ounce of water that he discharges, just like everyone else. In fact, he should be charged a premium if his toxic waste is at all above the level of contaminants that would be normally found in domestic wastewater. This is standard in the sewer business. It costs more to treat highly concentrated and contaminated industrial wastes. The only way to address this is to make him pay for the discharge.

Look at it this way, the wastewater effluent is contaminated when it leaves the treatment plant. We are concerned that all the drugs and chemicals will be volatilized into the air. Whatever isn't spewed into the air will be sent back to the sewer, plus all the process contaminants that he adds, which will make it a very concentrated waste. Then it gets treated and sent back to him, where he concentrates it again and it gets recycled. This concentrating keeps happening because he is evaporating 80% of the H2O. Eventually the waste that he discharges is so concentrated that it can't be treated by the Wastewater Treatment Plant, it will cause a plant upset. And Matt doesn't pay for any of this, because he pays no discharge fees.

Everyone should oppose this change, in the strongest words. Residents of Greenfield should be especially outraged, as this is a plan to rip-off the sewer ratepayers and rob Peter (citizens) to pay Paul (Wolfe). This kind of crooked accounting should be illegal.
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