THE DUMP & MT TOM
Mount Tom is a 1200 foot mountain that is shared by Holyoke and Easthampton, Massachusetts. Parts of the mountain have been conserved by the Trustees of Reservations, US Fish and Wildlife, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, The City of Easthampton, Kestrel Land Trust, and Pascommuck Trust. There is a reservoir on the mountain, Whiting Reservoir, that is a back up Holyoke drinking water supply.
The dump would be located on the site of an inactive quarry. The developers would fill the quarry in. The quarry site borders popular hiking trails and the Mt. Tom State Reservation.
The State holds an Option to acquire the land with the quarry on it from the current landowner. It's a legal agreement dating back to 2002. Unfortunately, the landowner has broken this legally binding contract and is resisting the rightful land transfer to expand the park.
REASONS TO OPPOSE A DUMP ON MOUNT TOM
CLEAN DRINKING WATER
COMMERCIAL TRUCK TRAFFIC
The former quarry site is home to rare plants and has been a nesting site for peregrine falcons. These falcons are protected in the State of Massachusetts. Commercial trucking traffic in an and out of the area and the physical disruption of nesting habitat could threaten these protected species. While dumps are regulated by the State, there are no guarantees the contractor will act in good faith. In 2012, a similar local landfill project ended in environmental violations and $3.25 million in fines.
The proposed dump site is just uphill from one of the city's water supply reservoirs. The Whiting Street Reservoir, one of four of the city's reservoirs, is currently a back up drinking water supply. Keeping this water supply clean is important to the future of our area's growth. Contamination and leaching into surrounding land becomes a problem we all have to pay for. Clean, abundant water supply is attractive to new commercial industries like cannabis and indoor farming. Allowing a landfill to be placed just uphill from the reservoir is too great of a risk for Holyoke.
A dump of this size would add considerable commercial dump truck traffic to residential areas of Route 5, highway off ramps, and hiking locations along Mt Tom access road. These commercial dump trucks would bring increased pollution, noise, and congestion to the surrounding community, diminishing any future eco-tourism economic development plans. They could also create disruptions in the habitat of animals, birds, and plant life on the mountain.
Having an active dump site on the mountain would impede the potential for other economic development opportunities surrounding the area. Businesses that allow for passive recreation, like concert venues, eco tourism, ropes courses, etc would all be impacted negatively by 10-20 years of dump trucks hauling debris and fill onto the mountain. An active dump site could also impact housing values in surrounding residential areas.
HOW TO HELP:
Contact your State and local officials (Holyoke and Easthampton especially) and ask them to ensure that the old quarry site becomes part of the state park rather than a dump.
Spread the word. The more people who know about this project and oppose it, the better.
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