May 12, 2017

Concerns, grievances with state environmental policy and climate change aired at Mashpee forum

By ADAM FORZIATI, News Center | May 9, 2017 |

MASHPEE – The community showed up last night in strong support of tackling issues related to climate change during a forum on the topic.

It was the kickoff event of a statewide tour conducted by the State Senate committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. Taunton State Senator Marc Pacheco invited Cape and Islands State SenatorJulian Cyr to co-host the hearing.

Both lawmakers took notes on the comments from residents in the hopes of creating matching policy. Comments primarily focused on pushing research into alternative energy, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, the region’s relative unpreparedness for a natural disaster, and potential Eversource Energy rate hikes.

Multiple speakers said while they are proponents of alternative energy sourcing, their lives are severely and negatively impacted by wind turbines which they believe are too close to residences. Two commentators reported illness, inability to sleep and other life-changing impacts from nearby turbines.

“The biggest problem was a lack of adequate, pre-construction siting studies,” Falmouth resident Glen Roland said. “I’d say for any future turbines, that be carefully looked at.”

A resident of Plymouth noted that his wife once had to catch the television monitor as it fell off a dresser due to the vibrations caused by poorly-zoned turbines.

Mashpee resident Charles Orloff noted that Massachusetts will soon become the only state in the union not to have a dedicated climatologist, a fact he said should be embarrassing for the state that others look to for climate science leadership.

The safety and “green-ness” of nuclear energy was called into question by North Falmouth resident Lilia Franton in a similar sentiment to that of multiple other speakers.

“We can’t emphasize the importance of clean energy unless it is properly defined,” she said. “It’s important that there be included in explanations of clean energy that nuclear is not clean, not green, and not safe.”

State Senate President Pro Tempore Pacheco said that the 6-foot sea level rise predicted by 2100 would split Cape Cod in half, affecting hundreds of businesses and even more residences.

He said that over 100 bills have already been filed this year related to fighting greenhouse gas emissions.

Other stops on the state tour include Sudbury, Taunton, Malden and Weymouth in May. In June, hearings will be held in the Berkshires, Springfield, North Shore and Boston.

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