Moving "new dirt" at ye old landfill
The Amherst Department of Public Works commenced work on regrading the old landfill off Belchertown Road, a project required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as part of capping closure agreement signed in the late 1980s.
A landfill typically settles after organic material decomposes causing the clay cap to sag and allowing rainwater to collect in stagnant pools. This phase of the regrading should only take a week and the 52 acre tract will start looking as level as a Cape Cod beach.
Of course a level playing field is also conducive to the installation of solar panels, a controversial project strongly opposed by neighbors in the adjacent Amherst Woods housing development who filed suit against the town last year using NIMBY lawyer Michael Pill.
Amherst was one of about 20 communities who took state money for capping with the provision the closed landfill never be used for anything except passive recreation. A recent bill in the state legislature would nix that condition by making solar farms an acceptable--if not encouraged--use.
Last year Amherst Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly to allow Town Manager John Musante to negotiate a long term agreement with BlueWave Capital, a company founded by John DeVillars, former Secretary of Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Today would have been a good day to generate electricity.
Twins: mountain of dirt in shadow of Holyoke Range