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LETTER TO THE EDITOR Former Selectwoman Encourages Board To Keep Current Town Counsel

first_imgDear Wilmington Residents,FACT: There are significant risks associated with Olin Superfund Site and the looming New England Transrail (NET) in south Wilmington.FACT: The Olin site is responsible for shutting down the Maple Meadow Brook Aquifer back in 2003.FACT: There are millions, millions, of gallons of contamination in the groundwater associated with the site and has over 100 chemicals of concern.FACT: It is one of the worst sites in the state!FACT: NET is a proposed transrail facility by Olin at the site that is poised to have NO (emphasis added) over sight from the town because they are exempt as a rail carrier.FACT: Olin is seeking an exemption from top level EPA staff to not have to clean up their mess, something that is called a technical waiver. This could soon happen, anytime.FACT: The town has one of the best environmental attorneys in the state that has represented the town well on these issues.FACT: The BOS knows all this.The Wilmington Environmental Restoration Committee (WERC), to which I am VP, is a non-profit set up to oversee the Olin site through a technical assistant grant from the EPA. We also received a grant to help in the review of the NET proposal. We recently went through a similar situation as the town’s current law firm did where our consultants’ company was bought out and split. We did everything in our power to keep the people we had working on the site because the prospects for getting someone up to speed on the complexities of the Olin site would clearly hurt our ability to properly review the site and pending comments on deliverables. It would take years like it took years for the EPA and our current consultants to get up to speed.I voiced these concerns to the BOS at the hearing for town counsel. I said for the past 20 years many citizens have worked 1000’s of hours behind the scenes. We don’t get pay nor recognition and want neither. What we do want is support. Don’t cut our legs from underneath us and leave us with counsel that is uninformed and not up to speed with the nuances of these issues. Unfortunately, once I left a selectman disputed me and said it would only take a few days for new counsel to get up to speed with Olin and NET. That comment just shows the lack of understanding and knowledge about these issues and the multiple layers of regulation and complexities. Makes me wonder what knowledge of the site he posses to say such a thing. I could see taking this risk of replacement if there were issues with the firm. But none have been presented. Otherwise, why then? Politics? This position has been the subject of political significance before and could be playing a role behind the scenes once again.Dan Duetch the environmental attorney for the current firm has done well for the town. Not one Selectman disputed this or the associated attorneys’ credentials. He was an important cog in the wheel to stop NET from putting in a trash transfer station and identifying that the town was at risk with out having a tolling agreement with Olin to protect our rights. Something overlooked by the prior counsel. Any issues brought up at the meeting with counsel ended being the town’s will, not counsel’s. If there are issues find ways to work them out, maybe a temporary agreement? But do not throw the baby out with the bath water or try to fix what is not broken. Too much is at stake and depends on having the best legal representation and that is what residents deserve. I hope the Selectman respect the work WERC is doing on behalf of the town and they do the right thing and not leave us in a more vulnerable position than we already are in regarding Olin and NET.Suzanne SullivanLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Former Selectwoman, Environmental Activist Slams Selectmen For Town Counsel VoteIn “Letter To The Editor”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Judy O’Connell Discusses State Rep Pay, Environmental IssuesIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Town To Decide This Fall Whether To Run Water Line To Residents With Contaminated WellsIn “Government”last_img

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