Monday, November 16, 2009

Letter to the Conservation Commission

Dear members of the Conservation Commission,

We need your help,

Many property owners abutting the river and elsewhere in town are concerned about the Army Corps of Engineers proposal to remove the Ben Smith Dam in Maynard. As you know this will affect hundreds of acres of wetland in Stow and Maynard. While we understand that wetlands protection is not the only mandate of the Conservation Commission, we are very concerned about this impact. We are also concerned about the impact to agriculture recreation and open space.

"Today many Conservation Commissions spend the bulk of their time hearing and conditioning wetlands cases. While this responsibility is vital, it often leaves inadequate time for open space protection and other matters. " - Mass. Assoc. of Cons. Coms.

The resource value created by the Ben Smith Dam goes far beyond the wetlands issue.

We the people are very concerned that when a property owner wishes to build a shed, remediation and landscaping plans that are "invasive" to our lives and privacy are required. However when large government agencies plan to modify hundreds of acres of wetlands, that they don't even own, as a limited project, the Conservation Commission is strangely silent.

What is the Conservation Commission doing to make sure that the Army Corp of Engineers and the DEP for that matter are not allowed to come into our town and mandate the loss of water for agriculture and fire protection along with the loss of 100 acres of wetlands, and a multi-year disturbance of hundreds more acres? This disturbance will likely cause contaminated sediment to be dislodged and transported down stream effecting plants animals and people. Irrigation and drinking water sources will be disrupted by changes in water level or by dislodged contaminates (Billerica?). We will loose the recreational value of the area for most if not all of the year. Canoeing kayaking and fishing will be greatly impacted. The Historic Mill Complex and its associated structures, like the dam and the impoundment, are resources that must also be protected. And what really bothers us is that - all this is so other towns can save a few bucks and continue to pollute our river. We have paid for Title V septic systems sometimes more than once. We have been forced to put in new wells to accommodate increasingly complex septic systems that take up more space in our yards -- why shouldn't the WWTFs in these other towns have to do the same?

We the People would like the Conservation Commission to represent the will of the people in our town and stop this from happening.

Make sure the Army Corp of Engineers is clear that we will not go forward with this plan. And that those objections are recorded within their report.

Let the DEP know we will not allow other towns to continue to pollute the Assabet River. These WWTFs must be made to hold their phosphorous discharges to 0.1mg/l all year long.

If the Conservation Commission is unable or unwilling to do so we will take our issues directly to the selectmen.

Thank you,

The People who live here.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. The mystery is why isn't there
    more feedback or discussion on a subject of this magnitude?