"Citizen engagement is critical in navigating the opportunities and challenges that face any municipality over time"---Mayor Charlene Lovett
Citizens have formed a new organization called "A Better Claremont" (ABC). We are envisioning a positive future for Claremont as a vibrant healthy community.
PUBLIC HEARINGS WERE HELD IN 2019 BY THE CLAREMONT PLANNING BOARD, AND THE APPLICANTS FAILED TO ADEQUATELY ADDRESS CONCERNS.
NEXT HEARING IS 7 PM. MONDAY MARCH 2, 2020, HELD BY THE CLAREMONT ZONING BOARD,
AT THE CLAREMONT CITY HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS,
OPERA HOUSE SQUARE, CLAREMONT NH.
It is very important that many citizens of Claremont and the surrounding area attend. Come and be heard, or just come!
The Valley Green Journal is donating this space to a grassroots citizens' group, we are calling A BETTER CLAREMONT (ABC). It's as easy as "ABC" to see that our community will receive very little benefit and much harm from a construction and demolition (C&D) disposal facility proposed by Recycling Services, Inc. This proposed year-round facility, located on a very small (1.5 acre) site, would process between 300-500 tons of contaminated C&D waste DAILY, trucked in from all over New England, loaded into railroad cars, and shipped out west for disposal. Compare this to the estimated 6 tons daily presently generated by the City of Claremont. The potential negative impact on residents and businesses is huge. This is a poor plan and is not right for the citizens who live in this area. WE DO NOT NEED TO CONSENT TO BEING THE DUMPING GROUND FOR NEW ENGLAND.
Here is a partial list of the biggest concerns already noted by residents:
1. Health threats, especially for children, from LEAD, ASBESTOS, MERCURY, ARSENIC, and other contaminants.
2. Greatly increased truck traffic, from 30-50 trucks daily.
3. More than 200 homes and the Maple Avenue School are nearby. Homes could lose value and quality of life will be affected.
4. Ongoing community efforts to attract visitors will be jeopardized. This operation would take place right where the Amtrak Station is located, which has been beautified with a shelter for train travelers and flower gardens.
5. Impacts on natural areas: A stream and wetland, home to abundant wildlife, is just feet away from the site. Nearby residents have spotted bear, deer, fox, otters, beavers, turtles, and birds. Wildlife deserve not to live with contamination.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org .
Write the Claremont Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) at email@example.com.
LEAD IS PRESENT IN MUCH DEMOLITION DEBRIS, FROM BUILDINGS PAINTED PREVIOUS TO 1978.
IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, "CLEAN" C&D LEAD LIMIT IS 2.5 TONS OF LEAD PER 10,000 TONS OF DEBRIS.
With a projected total of 156,000 tons of debris to pass through the Claremont facility, this would mean 30 tons of lead coming to Claremont. And that is just the "clean" material.How much of this lead will end up in our children?
Claremont Mayor Charlene Lovett has been instrumental in raising awareness of lead poisoning in children. In September 2018 the city was recognized by the New England office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to address the problem of lead exposure in children. The merit award for children’s health acknowledged the work by Mayor Charlene Lovett to pass legislation signed last February by Gov. Chris Sununu mandating lead screening for all 1- and 2-year-olds and lower the blood lead level in children that triggers state intervention.
So why is the city even considering an operation that would increase the lead hazards, by concentrating C&D waste from all over onto a small lot in a heavily populated area?
Mayor Lovett also has written, in her "Mayoral Notes" in the Eagle Times, that "The local housing market is experiencing a huge increase in real estate transfers." So why allow a decision that has residents very worried that their property values will go down if this facility moves in?
THE PROPOSED C&D FACILITY WOULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE CLAREMONT JCT AMTRAK STATION.
Volunteers have worked very hard to promote Claremont as a destination for tourists traveling by rail. Claremont Cycle Depot, located in the former train station, hosts bicycle tours, and many customers including children try out new bikes outdoors. A facility processing tons of debris daily nearby, with up to 50 additional trucks per day, will not promote Claremont as a place for outdoor recreation!
TRUCK TRAFFIC IS ALREADY HEAVY ON MAPLE AVE. where many nearby residents live. Here is a video of trucks roaring by the Maple Avenue School. A resident wrote, "These trucks shook my house when passing by!"
Citizens attending meetings in 2019 about how to improve downtown Claremont, expressed much concern about the large amount of truck traffic congesting the streets.
Do Claremont neighborhoods need MORE TRUCKS?
Just how safe is truck traffic in New Hampshire? The following is taken from an article article published in June 2019 in the Union Leader about the NH state police stopping trucks for safety inspections:
A New Hampshire State Police annual enforcement crackdown took one of every five commercial trucks inspected last week immediately out of service for more than 1,200 violations — ranging from faulty brakes to lumber supports tied on with electrical cords. There were 30, or about 6 percent of drivers, taken off the road for violations including possessing drugs, operating after suspension or violating restrictions on driving hours.
Here are some of the more extreme violations of safety standards that troopers found:
• Shaky load: The inspection of a 2002 Ford box truck in Windham uncovered a broken leaf spring in the suspension supported by 4-by-4 inch lumber tied onto the truck with electrical cords and zip ties. The lumber was rubbing against a tire that was flat, officials said. The same truck had inoperative turn signals, a bad parking brake, rotted sections of the frame and 10 of 14 supports for the cargo box that were defective or missing.
• Oily brakes: In Rochester, Trooper David Skelly stopped a 2002 International truck and the brakes were contaminated with oil from a leaky wheel hub. A nut connecting steering components on the truck was missing a cotter pin and had been replaced by a bent nail, officials said.
• Busted springs: A 1990 International truck that Trooper Kevin Raymond stopped in Raymond had broken leaf springs on the steering axle and the brake pads were so worn that the brakes were smoking. In addition, three of four brakes were out of adjustment.
• Arm rubbing tire: Staff Sgt. William Burke stopped a 2000 Mack tractor-trailer foundation and discovered the Pitman arm which connects the steering box to other steering components was rubbing against the left front tire when the wheel was turned to the right. This inspection also uncovered rust holes in the trailer’s supports and a roll-off container that was not properly secured.
• Oversized load ban: A traffic tie-up resulted in Sullivan when Trooper Thomas Cote learned the driver of an oversize load had driven through a prohibited construction zone in town, failing to follow the designated route for that load’s permit. The traffic jam occurred when the truck had to be turned around, officials said.