Today's hot topic, on everyone's mind and keyboards, is the latest coverage of the Chestnut Hill Biofuel proposed plant. I came into this backwards today, reading the responses on Facebook before reading the article in today's Republican American, so I'm entering the discussion a little late in the game.
For me, what stood out most is the quote by Michael Maynard of Chestnut Hill, “I feel this was the tyranny of the few, a small handful of people decided to do whatever they needed to do to make sure this wouldn’t see light of day.”
Up until this point, I had been willing to consider that a better-suited location in Waterbury would be appropriate for Chestnut Hill, a location not in the densely-populated center of town (seriously, why would you put a garbage plant in the middle of town?). After reading that quote, however, I feel very strongly that I do not want to see Chestnut Hill in Waterbury. They clearly have no respect for the concerns of the community they would be moving into, already demonstrating an arrogance that will almost certainly cause trouble down the road, especially considering what happened in New Jersey.
Waterbury's residents have every right to be concerned about Chestnut Hill. Their facility in New Jersey was shut down by the DEP following complaints about the stench and citations for polluting the air and the water. We're trying to get rid of pollution in Waterbury, not increase it.
I wonder what exactly Maynard thinks is the "tyranny of the few" that has, presumably unfairly in his mind, derailed the proposed biofuel plant. Chestnut Hill has been given ample opportunity to present their side of the story. While there certainly may have been one or two people who were automatically opposed to the plan without having examined the facts, I think that the vast majority have carefully weighed the situation before coming out in opposition.
The former Anamet factory on South Main Street is a terrible location for anything that has the potential to produce air and water pollution, and it is a terrible location for added truck traffic. To my knowledge, Chestnut Hill has not yet given us any reason to believe that the problems in New Jersey won't be repeated here. How, then, can they dare to be offended when the city's residents and political leaders choose to oppose them? That's not the tyranny of the few, that's the voice of the people.