Communities are standing up and getting results!
We have seen some great victories over the past couple of months.
I wanted to take a moment to share, celebrate and recognize the work of community leaders across the northeast.
Oldest incinerator in the country is denied expansion: In Saugus, Massachusetts, community leaders are fighting to close the nation’s oldest and most dangerous incinerator and ash landfill. The plant, operated by the company Wheelabrator, has burned 1,500 tons of trash nearly every day since it was built in 1975, releasing a constant plume of pollution: dioxin, heavy metals, soot, smog and more. It also leaves behind tons of toxic ash, which the company then heaps into piles nearly 50 feet high in an old landfill next to the plant. This year, community leaders secured a commitment from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection that the agency won’t approve a permit to expand the landfill into the wetlands —a significant victory in this years-long campaign.
Taking steps forward in the nationwide ‘forever chemical’ crisis:Communities throughout the country are discovering PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in their neighborhoods. Neighbors in Londonderry, New Hampshire, discovered that their water was contaminated. After organizing, they secured funding from the town to reimburse residents for the cost of water filters they had to install in their homes. Today the group is keeping up their work to win free water testing for all wells, remediation of contaminated water, and reforms to the way town water is managed.
Court approves $34 million settlement in Bennington: Six years after they discovered PFOA, a variant of the PFAS group of chemicals, in their water supply, neighbors in North Bennington, Vermont, have settled a class-action lawsuit with St-Gobain. The chemical company is now required to compensate residents for damages, and also fund a medical monitoring program that keeps track of PFOA-related health issues. We celebrate this victory in North Bennington, while also keeping up the organizing work. St-Gobain must fulfill its promises to clean the water in southern New Hampshire, where the company set up a factory after leaving Vermont.
We know that real lasting change takes root when people get together and take action at the local level. And when community groups know how to make local democracy work for their health and environment, they help families in their communities today and inspire work that can help more communities tomorrow.