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Let’s end expansion of ash landfill

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Dear editor of the Saugus Advocate,

  As a resident of Lynn, Massachusetts, I live close to the WIN Waste incinerator and unlined ash dump. MA DEP has consistently said that since the landfill is located in an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, expansion would violate this designation under state law. Still, Win Waste has been trying to negotiate a Host Community Agreement with the town of Saugus which would allow for 20 to 25 more years of expansion in exchange for free or reduced tipping costs. They are not hiding what this really is, an attempt to lobby the state to change the ACEC law.

  This area cannot handle 20 more years of expansion of this ash dump. Firstly, it is the only unlined landfill in the state. In other words, whereas all other landfills have multiple layers of plastic and clay liners, this ash dump uses none of these modern technologies. Neighbors have complained for decades about ash getting on their homes, cars and windows. I recently learned that more than 50 neighbors near the facility have signed on to a class action lawsuit alleging that the company spews noxious odors, particulates, and dust onto their homes. Furthermore, Olin college of engineering installed air monitors in Gibson Park in Revere across from the facility and found that not only is pollution coming over from the incinerator, but ash is blowing over from the uncovered ash pile in the middle of the wetland. This ash is filled with cadmium, lead, dioxin and other toxic elements.

  This information is especially troubling given that the ash dump and surrounding communities are located in a flood zone. As recently as December, we saw flooding in many parts of our communities. Having an uncovered and unlined ash pile in the middle of marshes in a highly populated area is a terrible thing, but it has the potential to be something much worse. Let’s put a stop to any further expansion.


Eliot Smith

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