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THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE
– Friday, April 21, 2017
Page 17
theprojecttogetapproved,”Con-
nolly saidof the applicationfiled
with theDEP to fill in two valleys
at the landfill site with ash gen-
erated by the plant. The compa-
ny notified the town’s Board of
Healthof thefiling,Connollysaid.
Town awaits AG ruling
The project would add five
years of life and about 520,000
tons of ash and cover soil to the
ash landfill – which has been
the subject of vocal opposition
by townofficials – including the
Boardof Selectmen,TownMeet-
ing members and the Board of
Health, since Wheelabrator an-
nounced its plans to pursue the
project early last year.
In addition to proceeding
with the project, Connolly said,
he hopes to improve the com-
pany’s communications with
the town. “Obviously, we’d like
to be able to have a dialogue
with town officials about how
tomaintainandenhanceWhee-
labrator’s long-termvalue to the
town,”Connolly said.
Earlier this year, Town Meet-
ingmembers gave overwhelm-
ing support to three zoning by-
laws thatwouldcurbexpansion
of Wheelabrator Technologies,
Inc.’s ash landfill at its trash-to-
energy plant on Route 107 and
toughen local regulationson fu-
ture ash landfills that could be
located in town.
The major change in the pro-
posals passed at a Special Town
Meeting would limit the maxi-
mumpermissible height of exist-
ing landfills or ash landfills to 50
feetabovethemeansealevel.An-
other key change would prohib-
it new landfill or new ash landfill
beingestablishedinoradjacentto
an Area of Critical Environmental
Concern (ACEC) and would also
baranexistinglandfillorashland-
fill frombeingexpanded inor ad-
jacent to anACEC.
But the articles are under re-
viewby the state Attorney Gen-
eral’s Office, which is expect-
ed to rule sometime within a
month on whether the new by-
laws are legal.
“Those zoning amendments
aren’t relevant to this process,”
Connolly said of the pending
ruling by the attorney gener-
al’s office.
Meanwhile, stateRep.RoseLee
Vincent said she believes the an-
ticipated ruling by the attorney
general is relevant to the case.
“The AG is reviewing the legality
of articles passed by the Special
Town Meeting. And I have a re-
quest tomeet with the Attorney
General’s Office regarding this,”
said Vincent (D-Revere), whose
district includes Precinct 10 in
Saugus, where the Wheelabra-
tor incinerator is based.
“We’reallwaiting for theattor-
ney general’s decision to come
down. The town has the right
to amend their own zoning. It’s
not anything they haven’t done
in the past with regard to zon-
ing,”she said.
Vincent, who is vice chair of
the Joint Legislative Commit-
tee on Environment, Natural
Resources and Agriculture, has
beenanaggressiveopponentof
Wheelabrator’s plans to expand
the ash landfill.
“I’mnot surprisedthatWheela-
brator will be asking the DEP to
fill inthevalleysbecausetheirca-
pacityshouldhavebeenreached
a long time ago,”Vincent said.
“If they’re granted that permit
to fill in the valleys, hopefully the
DEP will mandate that they then
startlookingattheclosureplanso
that in five years theywill be pre-
pared for closure… I’msure they
will get approval so their second
plandoesnothavetohappen. I’m
confidentthattheDEPisgoingto
allowthemthepermittofill inthe
valleys,”she said.
No Environmental Impact
Report required
Wheelabrator’s filing of the
two applications comes eight
months after the Executive Of-
fice of Environmental Affairs
ruled the company wouldn’t
be required to have an Environ-
mental Impact Report (EIR). The
agency’s Assistant Secretary,
Deirdre Buckley, also advised in
the 14-page certificate issued
lastAugustunder theMassachu-
setts Environmental Policy Act
(MEPA) that she didn’t believe a
reviewby the Board of Health is
necessary. She noted that ama-
jority of comments received re-
quested that she requireWhee-
labrator to “obtain a modifica-
tion to the existing Site Assign-
ment from the Board of Health
to provide additional opportu-
nity for public reviewand input.”
Buckleyhasnoauthority toor-
derareviewbytheSaugusBoard
of Health, which has already re-
questedWheelabrator to file an
application for a modification of
its site assignment. Meanwhile,
the board has threatened a law-
suit to force Wheelabrator to
comply with its request.
Buckley could have required
Wheelabrator to undergo an
EIR that would entail additional
review by MEPA, but after a re-
viewof the ENF andpublic com-
ments submitted on it over a
seven-week period, in addition
to “careful deliberation,” Buckley
concludedthatpreparationofan
EIR isn’t necessary. She also sug-
gested that therewas still anop-
portunity for more public com-
ment and a thorough review by
DEP,whichwouldissuepermits if
itdecidesWheelabrator’spropos-
al has satisfiedall environmental
and public health concerns.
“Based on the information in
the ENF, consultation with State
Agencies and a review of com-
ment letters, I find that no further
MEPA review is required,”Buckley
wroteofthedecisionshereached.
“MassDEP has sufficient reg-
ulatory authority and can condi-
tionpermitsasnecessarytoavoid,
minimizeandmitigateprojectim-
pacts.Theprojectmayproceedto
permitting,”thereportconcluded.
WHEELABRATOR
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H
ere are a few tidbits that
you might want to know
about this week in Saugus.
A night of flowers at
Town Hall
The second floor auditorium
at Saugus Town Hall will be a
lovelyplacetobeonWednesday
night (April 26) when the Sau-
gusGardenClubholds its annu-
al openmeetingand fundraiser.
Bill Graham, of Beautiful
Things, Ltd., Salem, will be the
guest speaker. Prior to the pre-
sentation, club members will
create floral centerpieces to be
auctioned. Tickets are $5 at the
door andcanalsobepurchased
from Garden Club members.
A night of refreshments, raffle
tickets, door prizes and the auc-
tion of floral designs will begin
at 6:30p.m.Doorsopenat 6p.m.
Now in its 72nd year, the Sau-
gus Garden Club has several
events planned for the first half
of the year. If you love flowers,
adore your town and want to
meet some new friends, check
out some of these events:
Saturday, April 29, the
state Department of Conser-
vation and Recreation (DCR)
holds DCR Park Serve Day.
The club participates at Break-
heart Reservation with the
spring cleanup of the butter-
fly garden.
Field Trip in June, date to
be announced. A car pool trip
is planned to Harvard Univer-
sity’s Museum of Natural His-
tory, where members can tour
the newly-reopened glass
flower museum.
Saturday, June 17, the club
holds its annual plant sale on
the lawn of the Roby School
during the Saugus Historical
Society’s Strawberry Festival.
Play ball!
The Saugus American Little
League will open another sea-
son tomorrow (Saturday, April
22) with its “Opening Day” pa-
rade and ceremony at 8:30 a.m.
In the event of inclement or un-
safeweather conditions, league
officials say they will cancel the
parade portion of Opening Day
and still hold the ceremony in-
doors at the Veterans Memo-
rial Elementary School, at 39
Heard Ave.
Play (soft)ball!
The Saugus Softball Little
League is getting ready for a
new season. The league has
scheduled its annual opening
day parade for Sunday April 30,
beginning at noon.
Saugus Softball Little League
President Chris Jones said
league officials will follow the
normal parade route from Sau-
gus High School to its field ad-
jacent to the Belmonte Middle
School. The parade will start at
1 Pierce Memorial Dr., proceed
upHighlandAvenue, cross over
VineStreet toDenver Street and
end at 25 Dow St., the Belmon-
te Middle School. Police will as-
THE SOUNDS
OF SAUGUS
By Mark Vogler
sist the procession with a marked unit.
Grabowski’s fighting words
Veteran School Committee Member Arthur Grabowski vowed
he’ll keep fighting to get more money for Saugus Public Schools.
“I don’t want to take the bone that’s been thrown to us, roll over
andsay‘ThankYou,’”Grabowski toldcolleagues atTuesday’s School
Committee meeting.
Right after he threw down the gauntlet and declared war, Sau-
gusPublicSchoolsSuperintendentDr.DavidDeRuosi, Jr., reassured
committeemembers that hewas bracing for theworst.“If we only
get $300,000 [extra funds], I have given you a plan to survive that.
My worst case scenario is on paper right now,”DeRuosi said, wav-
ing the plan at committee members.
Several of Grabowski’s colleagues were critical of his approach.
“I don’t want to use this open discussion to add fuel to the fire…
I don’t want to use it as a soap box,” School Committee Member
Elizabeth Marchese said.
Grabowski saidhepreferredto“galvanize thesepeople [thepub-
lic] to go to your Town Meetingmembers.”
School CommitteeChairman JeannieMeredithobjected to that
approach. “You’re using the kids and parents to fight our fight,”
Meredith said.
“I don’twant the anger. I don’twant themobandall of a sudden,
it becomes classless,”Marchese interjected.
To that, Grabowski complained, “The Town Meeting Members,
they have no clue what their powers are.”
“Taste For Education” coming up
The Saugus Business Education Collaborative (SBEC) – the peo-
ple who brought you the Unsung Hero Awards – is planning for
the group’s signature event, the 25th Annual Taste For Education
Fundraiser to benefit Saugus Public Schools.
This year’s event is set from 6 to 9 p.m., Monday, May 1, at the
DanversportYacht Club (161Elliot St., Danvers). Itwill featureup to
20 restaurants. So, if you go, bring your appetite and check book
to help out the town schools.
Peoplewhowant to go can buy their tickets for $45 apiece at all
Saugus Public Schools or at the School Administration offices in
the Roby Building, at 23 Main St. Call Kim Lovett at 781-426-2113
for details on tickets.
For additional information on the event, email everybody’s fa-
vorite Master of Ceremonies, John Smolinsky, at
john.smolinsky@
comcast.net
. John is also president of the SBEC Board of Directors.
Toobad that the fund-raisingevent happens tobe scheduledon
the same night that the Annual Town Meeting is set to convene.
A rabies reminder
This just in from the Town Clerk’s office: The town has sched-
uled a Rabies Vaccination Clin-
ic on May 3, from 4 to 6 p.m., at
the rear of 515 Main St. (Saugus
CanineControl, near theDepart-
ment of Public Works building)
Rabiesvaccinationswill cost $10
apiece. State lawrequiresall dog
owners to license their dogs.
In search of Purple
Hearts for Memorial Day
SaugusVeteransCouncilCom-
mander Steve Castinetti said he
still couldusesomehelp in iden-
tifying local Purple Heart Med-
al recipients. The council hopes
to honor these deserving veter-
ans as grand marshals to lead
this year’s parade, which is set
for Saturday, May 27 – two days
before the national holiday.
So, Castinetti is extending an
open invitation to Purple Heart
recipients living in Saugus and
belonging to veterans organi-
zations chartered in Saugus to
be co-grandmarshals – an hon-
or thathas traditionallybeenbe-
stowedononeperson.“Ourmis-
sion is to identify asmany as we
can sowe can send eachone an
invitation to be co-grand mar-
shals in the parade. I think there
are significantly more than six.
And we want to honor them,”
he said.
Those who accept the honor
will ride in an open convertible
donatedbyYorkFordof Saugus,
which has been a frequent con-
tributor to the annual Memo-
rial Day Parade. More convert-
iblesmaybeneeded this year to
transport a record-settingnum-
ber of grand marshals. Anyone
who knows of a local veteran
who received the Purple Heart
SOUNDS
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