Friday, April 4, 2008

Protect health and safety of residents

Letter to the Editor
from The Sun, April 4-10, 2008

Dear Editor,

I recently took a tour of a waste transfer facility in Suffield, CT with Scott Lemay, the proponent of a proposed waste transfer station at 686 Main St. I was happy to learn more about the details of the matter and see a transfer station in action. While I still have many concerns about the health impacts of such a facility on our community and the neighbors nearest to the site, I believe that with due diligence we can implement the proper, reasonable protections that would make the project worthwhile for all parties.

Mr. Lemay was remiss in submitting his MEPA proposal without first seeking input from community members or the ward councilor, Diosdado Lopez. The opposition to the project has forced Lemay to recognize that Holyoke is an Environmental Justice community with high concentrations of poverty and minority populations that deserves a process in which we are involved, informed, and able to conduct a candid conversation with the proponent. On our trip, Mr. Lemay mentioned several times that he is now eager to talk with community stakeholders and work to negotiate the scale and scope of his project to better suit the city’s needs.

I urge my colleagues, the opponents and other stakeholders to take up Mr. Lemay on his offer to engage in an open, meaningful dialogue that will impact this project. The city must do its part to protect the health and safety of all our residents and that responsibility should not be taken lightly. With citizen participation however, we can ensure a transparent process and a public-private partnership with long-term benefits for the entire Holyoke community.

If you would like to be involved in this process, please contact me at 413-535-2492 or visit me on the web at: www.votelisi.com.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Lisi
Holyoke City Councilor, At-Large

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