Category Archives: Environmental

3M documents show company hid PFAS dangers

From my daily e-newsletter from the American Association for Justice (attorneys representing injured people) –

AAJ-2

Civil Justice System

Internal 3M documents show company hid PFAS dangers for decades.

The Detroit Free Press (5/9, Matheny, 1.52M) reports that in a “scathing resignation letter,” a former 3M environmental specialist “accused company officials of being ‘unethical’ and more ‘concerned with markets, legal defensibility and image over environmental safety’ when it came to PFAS.” In a 1999 resignation letter, Richard Burdy called PFOS, one of 3M’s chief PFAS products, “the most insidious pollutant since PCB.” Purdy said, “It is probably more damaging than PCB because it does not degrade, whereas PCB does; it is more toxic to wildlife,” adding, “I have worked within the system to learn more about this chemical and to make the company aware of the dangers associated with its continued use…but I have continually met roadblocks, delays, and indecision. For weeks on end, I have received assurances that my samples would be analyzed soon – never to see results. There are always excuses and little is accomplished.” The Detroit Free Press says that the letter “is just one of a large cache of internal 3M memos and documents obtained by the Free Press through public records law from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.”

 

EPA EXPLAINS WHAT PFAS ARE

FPUU wins climate change award

First Parish Meeting House

 

Full article is available here –

https://www.uuworld.org/articles/climate-change-work-honored

 

Two UU congregations honored for climate change work

Iowa and Massachusetts congregations win awards in Interfaith Power & Light’s Cool Congregations Challenge.

ELAINE MCARDLE3/19/2019
. . .
First Parish UU Church of Medfield, Massachusetts, won in the Community Inspiration category for forming a town-wide coalition that launched an educational campaign to encourage drivers to stop idling their cars. The UU Society in Coralville, Iowa, won in the Renewable Role Model category for its new “green” church building.

Savey Women’s Alliance

Email today from Savey Women’s Alliance, whose Medfield chapter is its “Chapter of the Year” – Congratulations!

6 Actionable Ideas To Create Change in Your Community

By Amanda Griffith, Feb 2, 2019 11:39:06 AM

savey woman alliance

 
The Medfield Chapter of Savvy Women’s Alliance, formerly known as Medfield Green, began making changes in their community simply enough. Four women came together with different interests but with the same goal: to change the community around them. From legislation on safer alternatives to banning harmful chemicals, from renewable and recycling efforts to food awareness, these women set out to educate their friends, family, neighbors and beyond on how to create a cleaner, greener Earth and a safer environment in which to live.

“All of our efforts – including programs on organic landscaping, cooking classes, movie nights, book clubs and trips to local stores with various youth groups to advocate for safer food or products – have led to our evolution from Medfield Green to the Medfield Chapter of the Savvy Women’s Alliance, a national non-profit dedicated to all of the issues we care about!”

How did they do it? Helen Dewey, current co-ambassador of the Medfield Chapter (along with Erica Reilly),  shared some of the ways she and her like-minded friends made their mark, and changed many lives along the way. In doing so they have become the Savvy Women’s Alliance 2018 Chapter of the Year.

Read more »

 

Five Retailers Pull Products Containing Paint Strippers

By Jenny Pergola, Feb 2, 2019 11:22:15 AM

paint stripper

 

 

Paint strippers containing the dangerous chemicals methylene chloride and NMP have made a lot of headlines lately – most of them negative. However, thanks in part to the Mind the Store Campaign, there is positive news to report. Effective January 1, 2019, a host of national retailers have agreed to pull products containing these harmful chemicals from their shelves.

Read more »

 

 
Savvy Women’s Alliance   5 Robin Lane    North Easton  MA

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Keep your leaves away from waters

From the Neponset Stormwater Partnership –

Protect your water! Keep leaves away from streams, pavement and storm drains. Learn more https://bit.ly/2xFmu0W

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Mosquito aerial larvicide application 4/19 – 4/27

THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS The State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board NORFOLK COUNTY MOSQUITO CONTROL DISTRICT 144 Production Road, Suite C, Walpole, MA 02081 (781) 762-3681 fax: (781) 769-6436 www.NorfolkCountyMosquito.org ROBINL. CHAPELL NORMANP. JACQUES MAUREENP. MACEACHERN LINDAR. SHEA RICHARDJ, POLLACK, PHD Commissioners DAVID A. LAWSON Director To: Public Safety Departments Date: 04/17 /18 RE: Aerial Application Norfolk County Towns CAROLINE E. HAVILAND Field Operations Manager This is to notify you that the Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project and its contracted helicopter company, JBI Helicopter Services, Inc., will be conducting aerial larvicide applications in your town, beginning Thursday April 19 through Friday, April 27, 2018, between the hours of 6:00 am and 7:30 pm daily. The targets for this application are wetlands in your town that have been determined to breed mosquitoes. We will be using three or four helicopters to treat wetlands in the entire district. There will be one or two helicopters working in your town at a time. On each day that we work in your town we will call the Fire and Police departments first thing that morning. The following is a list of the numbers of the helicopters and a brief description of them to help you confirm their presence if residents call. If it is circled, this is the helicopter we know will be in your town. If not it may be any one of the four. Bell Jet Ranger #N64JB Blue/Yellow/Silver Bell Jet Ranger #N445JB Blue/Yellow/Silver Bell Jet Ranger #N802JB Green/Gold/Rose Bet Jet Ranger #N800JB Blue/Yellow/Silver Thank you for your cooperation. Please pass this notice on to all shifts. Further questions? Call the office at 781-762-3681 or see our website listed above. Norfolk County Mosquito Control District 2018 Medfield Targeted Spring Aerial Wetlands Map features courtesy of: Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs Legend Spring Aerial 201820180418-Norfolk County Mosquito Control-notice from_Page_2

EPA Agrees to Our Request to Postpone MA MS4 General Permit

The application of the Federal M4S stormwater regulations to Medfield are being postponed a year, per the email below that Mike sent along today.  Medfield joined with Franklin and other towns to seek this redress.

 

Great News! EPA agrees to our request to postpone the
MA MS4 General Permit.
View this email in your browser
About the Coalition

The Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship (MCWRS) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting watershed-based policies and regulations that effectively manage and conserve water resources.

MCWRS is unique in its focus on protecting municipalities’ interests in an ever changing regulatory environment. We promote using scientifically based and fiscally responsible approaches to realize environmental and community goals.

Members include municipalities; public agencies that transport and treat drinking water, wastewater and stormwater; quasi-government agencies; and private organizations whose members are committed to the principles of stewardship and sustainability in protecting the environment and public health. Invite your colleagues to visit the Coalition website for membership information.

CONNECT WITH US:

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MCWRS Blog
Dear Michael,
We have exciting news to share. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to our request to postpone the implementation of the Massachusetts Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) General Permit. The request, jointly filed with the Town of Franklin and City of Lowell, delays the permit implementation that was scheduled for July 1, 2017, by one year to July 1, 2018. It also postpones the September 28, 2017 due date for communities’ Notices of Intent. Feel free to download and share our press release on this important announcement. You may also review EPA’s announcement of the postponement.

When EPA issued the final MS4 General Permit in April 2016, MCWRS and Franklin jointly filed an appeal of the permit in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. The City of Lowell, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the Conservation Law Foundation also filed appeals in Boston. These appeals were transferred to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and consolidated with an appeal first filed in the D.C. Circuit by the Center for Regulatory Reasonableness. The consolidated appeals will be heard in the D.C. Court.

The appeals continue to move forward, but the postponement will provide communities with immediate relief from the cost of complying with the permit until the matter is resolved. Philip Guerin, President of MCWRS, stated, “The postponement is very important to our member communities and municipalities across Massachusetts. It will give them a break from excessive spending on stormwater management until the Court rules on some highly contentious permit language. During the postponement, most cities and towns will continue to implement reasonable and effective practices to improve stormwater quality and decrease stormwater quantity, just as they have been doing for many years.”

The MS4 permit regulates municipal stormwater discharges under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. At issue in the appeal is the standard EPA seeks to apply to discharges from municipal storm sewers, which collect rainfall from streets, buildings, and developed areas. MCWRS, Franklin, and numerous municipalities supporting the appeal contend that certain permit conditions exceed EPA’s authority under the CWA. They go far beyond what Congress ever intended EPA might do to regulate municipal stormwater discharges. The MS4 permit applies to over 260 Massachusetts communities. The costs for communities to meet these new water quality standards vary widely, with independent estimates ranging from $260,000 to $750,000 annually for some medium-sized municipalities.

The draft MA MS4 General Permit generated over 1,300 individual comments by more than 150 entities, many of them municipalities impacted by the permit. EPA made some revisions in the final permit, but did not adequately address key issues raised by many municipal interests. The only process to address contentious matters contained in a final NPDES permit is through the courts. The use of the courts to challenge EPA actions is a step frequently employed by environmental advocacy groups in Massachusetts and across the country. This action by MCWRS, the Town of Franklin, and City of Lowell is very much in keeping with that practice.

We thank our contributors and contributing members for their support of the Coalition’s appeal of the MA MS4 General Permit.

Copyright © 2017 Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship, All rights reserved.

Green Community recognition 4/12

The Medfield Energy Committee was tenacious, working hard over many years to position Medfield to become a Green Community, by satisfying the five required criteria, most recently by crafting a five year plan for a further 20% reduction by the town government’s energy use – that was filed and accepted by DOER over the winter.  The DOER invitation to the Green Community designation event appears below.  The five year plan was a “further” reduction, because the Medfield Energy Committee already had affected over a 30% energy use reduction since MEC first started its work.

It turns out that saving the planet also helps to save the town money.

And, don’t forget that qualifying as a Green Community also gets the town a $148,000 DOER grant, as well as access to future ongoing competitive DOER grants. So doing the right thing also earns the town money.

Westwood used one of the DOER competitive grants ($250,000) to buy and convert all its streetlights to LED fixtures.

Our own streetlight purchase ($1) and LED conversion (in round numbers, about $100,000) is a warrant article at our upcoming town meeting.  In general terms the town would spend about $100,000 to buy and convert to LED’s, get a now available, time limited $30,000 DOER grant to do so, and save about $30,000/year in future reduced electricity charges, for a pay back of the cost to convert in less than three years.

20170412-DOER-GC Event Invitation Medfield