Page 2 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – FriDAy, MAy 17, 2024 MEETING | FROM PAGE 1 call vote. “Our Number One Priority as elected officials is the health and well-being of our residents,” she said. The purpose of the committee is to identify timeframes for final closure, post closure, maintenance and monitoring, post closure economic re-use possibilities and other related issues that may be identified, according to the article that was approved. Two selectmen appointed by the chair of the Board of Selectmen, two Town Meeting members from Precinct 10 (where the WIN plant is located) appointed by the town moderator, and the town manager or his designee would make up the special committee. There is also a provision for the town moderator to invite WIN Waste to have a company representative participate as a nonvoting member of the committee. “I was pleased with the fact that not a single Town Meeting Member voted against this article,” said Precinct 10 Town Meeting Member Peter Manoogian, who authored Article 25. “The formation of this committee for the stated purpose of closure of the ash landfill, sends a strong message that Saugus wants to see closure of the landfill and explore other uses that will neither burden the public health or the environment,” Manoogian said in a statement after the meeting. “The work of this committee will be serious and non-adversarial. It is therefore my hope that WIN will have a company representative with authority participate in the meetings, someone that is not a PR person, a hired political consultant, or a local fixer. Town Meeting has offered them a seat at the table. Let’s hope they will fill that seat responsibly.” 425r Broadway, Saugus Located adjacent to Kohls Plaza Route 1 South in Saugus at the intersection of Walnut Street We are on MBTA Bus Route 429 781-231-1111 We are a Skating Rink with Bowling Alleys, Arcade and two TV’s where the ball games are always on! PUBLIC SKATING SCHEDULE 12-7 p.m. Sunday Monday Tuesday $9.00 Price includes Roller Skates Rollerblades/inline skates $3.00 additional cost Private Parties 7:30-11 p.m. Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday $10.00 Price includes Roller Skates Adult Night 18+ Only Private Parties Private Parties 4-8 p.m. $10.00 8:30-11 p.m. $11. 18+ Adults Only After 7 PM 12-9 p.m. $9.00 Everyone must pay admission after 6 p.m. Sorry No Checks - ATM on site Roller skate rentals included in all prices Inline Skate Rentals $3.00 additional BIRTHDAY & PRIVATE PARTIES AVAILABLE www.roller-world.com WIN Waste still seeks landfill expansion It’s not clear whether WIN Waste will accept an invitation to participate as a nonvoting member at the committee’s future meetings. Mary Urban, Sr. Director of Communications & Community for WIN Waste, wouldn’t answer the question as to whether WIN plans to participate in the meetings. “WIN Waste Innovations worked with town leaders, community members and the Landfill Committee for more than 18 months to carefully craft a Host Community Agreement that was approved by a vote of the Board of Selectmen more than a year ago and includes a closure date for the monofill,” Urban said in a brief statement to The Saugus Advocate this week. “We are eager for the HCA, which is designed to give the town at least $20 million and significant environmental benefits, to be signed and start the rigorous permitting process,” she said. Precinct 6 Town Meeting Member William S. Brown was the lone member who declined to support the measure – by abstaining from the vote. Brown, who previously told The Saugus Advocate that he supports an extension of the ash landfill as part of an HCA, said he could not support the creation of a closure committee. “It’s not town property,” Brown said of the landfill. “How do we make plans for other people’s property? It’s not ours to make plans for. I can’t support this. That’s why I abstained from the vote,” he said. Brown was also the lone member who did not support Article 18, which amended the town bylaws to create Solid Waste Facility Environmental Performance Standards. “Article 18 is unnecessary,” Brown said. “We already have the federal and state regulations for the WIN facility. It’s like having the Saugus EPA now. We should be working to repair our relations with WIN Waste. This article can only have adverse effects on any negotiations with WIN Waste. We should be working with these people. There should be an open dialogue, instead of continuing our adversarial relations,” he said. Article 18 passed by a margin of 44-1. The article was initially drafted in 2014 and passed by the Annual Town Meeting. But the state Attorney General’s Office determined that provisions in the article were more restrictive than what state law allowed. State law provides a fine of $300 per violation, while the town bylaw as previously introduced allowed a fine of $1,000 per violation. Monday night’s vote essentially corrected the flaw identified in the 2014 version of the article. Board of Selectmen Chair Debra Panetta called it “a very important article.” “We need to pass this to give the Board of Health some teeth to protect us,” she said. WIN Waste faces tough challenges There are some major obstacles that WIN Waste would have to overcome to make adoption of the proposed HCA and expansion of the ash landfill possible. The HCA, which selectmen supported a year ago on a 3-2 vote as a precautionary measure in case the state weakens environmental regulations, has no legal basis. The agreement would have to be negotiated by the town manager and wouldn’t take effect unless the state allowed the company to expand its ash landfill. The last two state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioners have said that no expansion of the ash landfill would be allowed under the current state environmental regulations. If the state loosens the regulations at the ash landfill and the town manager negotiates an agreement with WIN Vote draws favorable public reaction The Alliance for Health and Environment, which represents several organizations and residents throughout Saugus and the region, issued a press release commending the Town Meeting for its vote. “We applaud Saugus Town Meeting for the creation of this Closure Committee. In addition, we hope that WIN Waste will participate as a non-voting member in order to work for the best interest of the health and environment of Saugus and surrounding communities,” the alliance said. Loretta LaCentra of Revere stated, “The City of Revere has long been impacted environmentally and health-wise by this unlined, dangerous incinerator ash landfill. I applaud and thank the Saugus Town meeting members who voted unanimously to form a landfill closure committee. I look forward to the development of this committee as they work towards an orderly and timely closure of the Saugus WIN Waste ash landfill.” Waste, Saugus would receive $20 million over the next 20 years, while WIN Waste could continue use of the ash landfill, according to the nonbinding HCA supported by a majority of the selectmen. Last month, WIN Waste began trucking ash to a company disposal site in Shrewsbury in an effort to prolong the life of the ash landfill. The company announced that six trucks a day were leaving the plant, traveling from Route 107 South to Route 60 East, to Route 1A South to Route 90 West. WIN Waste officials told the Board of Health that the trucks would transport about 4,500 tons of ash offsite per month, adding life to a landfill that one company official said last year is expected to reach its capacity by the end of 2025. Selectman Michael Serino told Town Meeting members “Saugus, you can do better” than expanding the landfill for another two decades. “Continued dumping of toxic ash is not in the best interests of our public or environmental health,” Serino said. He noted that instead of accepting $20 million from WIN as part of an HCA, the town could receive a potential $1.2 million a year from a solar farm being located at the ash landfill site. An industrial park is another possible option. Meanwhile, WIN could continue trucking its ash to a properly lined landfill in Shrewsbury “with zero impact on Saugus,” Manoogian said.

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