Community Action Works
Community Action Works

Town Bans Toxic Sludge, Protecting Drinking Water and Environment

Mary Jones, Community Action Works community organizer, facilitates an organizing meeting with leaders of the Granby Belchertown Concerned Citizens.

Neighbors in Granby, Massachusetts, were shocked to find out about a plan to dump toxic sludge in their town. A local gun club with a history of illegal pollution violations was required to reforest their property as part of a remediation plan. But their plan included soil mixed with toxic sludge from wastewater treatment plants and septic systems sold by Casella Waste Systems, a company with its own history of environmental violations. Far from solving the problem, this plan would have brought more toxins that could leak down through the soil and contaminate the aquifers residents rely on for well water.

So Elaine Lafleur, Richard Lamoureux and Colleen Lapointe formed the Granby Belchertown Concerned Citizens, got organized, and built public pressure that caused Casella to back out of the plan. And residents didn’t stop there. This year, they got the Granby Board of Health to enact a town-wide ban on sludge to make sure this toxic soil stays out of their town for good.

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