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Greenfield Recorder – Karl Meyer: A fool’s errand

Early morning in Sunderland, fog rolls through the valley above the Connecticut River.

Early morning in Sunderland, fog rolls through the valley above the Connecticut River.
PHOTO OF STAFF


I have literally written millions of words trying to raise the voice of a broken river. Overall, it was a fool’s errand, but I plan to see it in the future rather than leave anything unsaid about it. However, no words I have written are as good, concise and persuasive as the words I wrote some years ago in a Recorder opinion piece by a Gill youngster: “The pumping station sucks in life and throws out death.” That’s the beginning and end story of a living 11,000 year old river ecosystem here.

Having worked at Northfield Mountain and spent time on the safety committee of that pumped storage facility, as well as working at the Connecticut River Watershed Council, I am beside myself thinking that the crippling destruction of this river is about to occur again to do in the Commonwealth.

In 2010, I left my three years of work at CRWC when I understood that they had long known about the endless failed 401 Water Quality conditions here under the Clean Water Act. But even worse, they had done nothing about the monstrous, upside-down miles of paralyzed river at Northfield, which stretched into Vermont and New Hampshire. CRC isn’t taking action now to save New England’s Great River when the horse leaves the barn; they have been in charge of it. On March 26, FirstLight, MA Div. of Fish & Wildlife and MA Div. of Conservation & Recreation have all met privately with MA DEP to resolve any concerns regarding water quality relicensing.

Decades of failure to explicitly address and denounce Northfield for its miles of broken, silenced and inverted river; The thoroughly lethal suction of aquatic life and the unparalleled energy waste of pump storage plunder ensure that CRC remains complicit in assisting FirstLight in burying a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to preserve a living ecosystem of the Save the Connecticut River.

If you’re a 72-year-old outfit claiming to represent the health of a four-state river in Connecticut, while the 51-year-old Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage is about to be licensed for another 50 years of interstate river strangulation, it’s time to step up to keep up with greatness and step away.

Karel Meijer

Groenveld