Saturday, May 28, 2011

Before and After (Only the Good Die Young)

Thing One & Thing Two

Death Row Hearing

Thing 1

Thing 2

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder if we have our values straight.

Ed said...

Is that pile of dirt the contaminated dirt that is too dirty to be put on the landfill? Ought it not be covered or something?

LarryK4 said...

It's exempt because the original contamination was caused by "agricultural" uses.

Just hold your breath when in close proximity.

Anonymous said...

I cherish trees and even bought a woodlot north of here. But trees sicken, die, or happen to be inconveniently located. There's no way to relocate a large tree, so sometimes you have to cut it down. When you have a chance, wisely choose a young tree and a new spot, and plant another. Then care for it and watch it and you'll be rewarded in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years....

Ed said...

Larry, I don't care if it is exempt or if there are UMass students on top of it -- naked with an unregistered keg of beer.

How contaminated is the soil, is it a public health hazard -- and if so, the town has its own police powers that extend far beyond EPA regs.

HOW toxic is that soil? Has anyone who knows what he/she/it is doing even checked?

LarryK4 said...

Not sure of the toxicity of that particular pile since it has grown dramatically since I tested it a month ago showing contamination, although safe to assume the soil added to it is also from former apple orchard land.

Since the DEP abides by the loophole to make life easier for farmers, it is doubtful the town could use police powers on the private sector contractors.

Interesting that the DEP put a whole slew of safety regulations on the handling of the soil IF it were to be brought to our former landfill, but does not seem to care that it blows in the wind today at a busy public place.

Can you imagine how many customers Atkins will attract over the next 36 hours?

Ed said...

Larry, DEP itself says that the town has authority over dust as a nuisance -- http://www.mass.gov/dep/air/community/nuisfs.pdf and if the dust is toxic, then the Board of Health has much more of an authority.

Second, this is the same thing as lead paint dust from construction -- there are regs relating to housing, but when the dust leaves the site and the public becomes exposed to it, it becomes another story entirely.

Now I am not going to create a hysteria here, and there are measurable amounts of all the toxic metals that are far below the level that they would harm human life -- in fact, trace amounts of many toxic metals (Zinc comes to mind) are essential for human health.

But Amherst needs to do two things -- first find out what is IN the dirt, and then if it is enough, demand that dust abatement be done. After all, if you have to put in retention to prevent silt from washing from a site, ought you not have to put in dust containment toward the same ends?

Further, there is a big difference between farmers in a field and construction workers with dump trucks -- I don't need a permit from the town to plant an apple tree, but I kinda think I might to create a massive pile of dirt...

Anonymous said...

Ed is right on the powers of the local board of health so it could act here. Also, doesn't Atkins want it cleaned up. I shut my car windows when I drive by and the wind is blowing.

Anonymous said...

And Atkins has produce on its outside tables! Yeech.

Ed said...

The untold story in the housing field is that lots of houses with LBP (lead paint) and asbestos would be perfectly OK if people just left the stuff alone.

This is what happened in the '80s -- young couples rehabbing old homes with LBP, sanding it off (bad idea) and living in the home at the same time (even worse idea). The pregnant wife (home with the first child and bored) doing much of the work herself and then they finding that the first child's lead level is through the roof so they test the woman pregnant with the second child and hers is even higher (she was using the sander and not wearing a N-95 or N-100 mask) and it really became quite tragic because it didn't have to happen.

So too here -- someone with political power needs to ask the Board of Health to investigate - if they find it not worth pursuing, GREAT -- but at least folk who know what they are doing will have made an educated decision....