Cindy Luppi, the New England director of Clean Water Action, said, “we need to stand up today to find alternatives to expanding the ash fill.”
SOMERSET — As preliminary filings with the federal government have been delayed, area residents are weighing in on prospects of two huge LNG storage tanks being built in town — each nearly the size
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton will issue a decision about whether the agency will require a full environmental impact report on Aug. 5. Clean Water Action New England Director Cynthia Luppi is hopeful that the letters and signatures from people opposing expansion will motivate Beaton to rule in their favor.
“Politics is about strength in numbers and what you see here today is a community united against this ongoing violation of our health and safety,” Luppi said. “We’re hopeful our message will be heard and we’re committed to staying on this mission until Saugus gets relief.”
IT’S CRUNCH TIME when it comes to the Omnibus Energy Bill that is being debated on Beacon Hill. Lawmakers have to decide if they will continue to promote fossil fuel energy consumption or if they will instead help Massachusetts lead the way in building an economy based on clean, sustainable energy sources. They must decide if they will halt subsidies for large gas pipeline projects, even though those projects are unpopular and hurt the clean energy progress the Commonwealth has made.
A major point of concern for Cindy Luppi, New England Director of Clean Water Action and other environmental health advocates are limits the new law imposes on states' abilities to restrict chemicals. Certain existing laws and regulations would be allowed to stand but, going forward, EPA actions would preempt those of states, and states would not be allowed to enact stricter limits than the federal ones.
“States have been the drivers and the leaders of innovative protections for public health in the light of this federal inaction that's gone on for so long,” says Luppi. “States will actually be preempted from acting at a certain point.”
Luppi says we could see a flurry of activity, as states try to get laws in place before the window of opportunity closes. For example, Massachusetts' Senate recently passed a ban on some flame retardants in furniture and children's clothing; the legislation is pending in House of Representatives.