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EPA Holds Second Public Hearing On Housatonic Cleanup Plan Tuesday Night

A wide river is flanked by banks covered in grass and trees
Josh Landes
The Housatonic River, as seen from Bridge Street in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding a second public hearing on a controversial Berkshire County river cleanup plan tonight.

On the virtual meeting, locals can submit public comment on the cleanup plan for the county’s main waterway, the Housatonic River, which was polluted by General Electric in the 20th century.

Announced in February, the plan has inspired spirited protest from activists like Tim Gray of the Housatonic River Initiative.

“Everybody needs to remember that this permit allows for a toxic dump in the towns of Lee and Lenox, not giving any care for the people who live around where this dump is going to be built, and the end result is that it saves General Electric $200 million and leaves those neighborhoods holding the bag," said Gray. "And it really is terrible.”

Among the plan’s defenders are the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, which lauds the move as an improvement over the current sitatuion. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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