The state would refuse the expansion of the Saugus ash dump

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would not authorize the expansion of the Wheelabrator Saugus ash dump as is currently proposed according to a letter from Commissioner Martin Suuberg. The letter cited the location of the landfill and adjacent solid waste incinerator in the middle of an area of ​​critical environmental concern (a fragile salt marsh) detailing DEP’s opposition to the current expansion plan. Members of the Alliance for Health and the Environment (AHE) were hoping that this means the landfill will close soon.

“State officials would be absolutely right to deny the expansion of this already massive and polluting landfill,” said Kirstie Pecci, director of the Zero Waste project at CLF. “No new landfill or landfill extension is allowed in an area of ​​critical environmental concern. The Saugus Ash landfill is in the middle of one of these areas, so it is not allowed to extend vertically. End of the story.”

“This is the most dangerous landfill in Massachusetts, and it has sickened neighboring communities and destroyed Rumney Marsh for decades,” said Cindy Luppi, director of Clean Water Action for New England. “The only long-term solution is to shut this facility down for good, and we’ll keep fighting to make sure that happens. “

“I am very excited about this important step forward for environmental justice in the Town of Saugus and the Town of Revere,” said State Representative Jessica Giannino. “We have waited all my life for this progress. “

“Environmental justice means nothing to the people of the North Shore as long as the Wheelabrator Saugus Ash landfill continues to operate in an ACEC,” said State Representative Jeff Turco. “Commissioner Suuberg’s letter makes it clear that the long-awaited closure of the Saugus Ash landfill is on the horizon.”

“SAVE (Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment) is delighted with the letter from the Commissioner of MassDEP Suuberg,” said Stephanie Shalkoski, co-chair of SAVE. “DEP clearly shares our long-standing concern that any plans to increase the height of the ash dump would endanger Rumney Marsh’s ACEC.”

Revere resident Loretta LaCentra said, “As a resident who understands the negative environmental and human health impact this facility and its ash dump has had on local communities, this letter gives me hope. that we will have discussions on the closure plan soon. . “

In the past, DEP has enabled Wheelabrator to increase the capacity of the facility by burying an additional 560,000 tonnes of ash in the stormwater valleys of the landfill. CLF and AHE joined the community to challenge this decision. At that time, DEP said he would not allow vertical or ground expansion of the landfill.

Members of the Health and Environment Alliance are available for further comment.

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