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Ahead of Solar Decision, Resident Writes Planning Board

Holliston resident, Sandra O'Neil, wrote town planners ahead of a possible decision on the solar facility proposed for Bullard Street.

With a decision from the Planning Board on a proposed Bullard Street solar plant possible on Monday, Holliston resident Sandra O'Neil wrote a series of letters to town planners. 

In them, she points out the health, safety and welfare concerns that has nearby residents speaking out in opposition.

Referring to the potential health risks residents have raised in the past months, O'Neil wrote:

"Solar panels are known to be hazardous when they reach the end of their life and are decommissioned. All end of life contamination concerns are concerns present if a panel is damaged. Toxicity of panels poses health threat if damaged."  

An issue that has impassioned residents in the Bullard Street area is the change in scenery and damage to the history of Bullard Farm the facility could bring. O'Neil wrote: 

"An industrial use in a residential-agricultural zone destroys the scenic character and nature of the neighborhood and the entire town of Holliston.

The project will cause irreparable harm to the historical importance of the property, all of which is listed on the National Historic Registry.

The removal of large trees along Bullard Street will damage the street’s scenic value and character."

The Planning Board is expected to make a decision on the proposed Bullard Street facility on Monday. 

Ed Daniels March 08, 2012 at 07:57 PM
As an interested resident of Holliston regarding this hot topic around town, I was surprised to hear about toxicity of panels that would cause "health threats if damaged". Upon doing a very brief Google search for this topic, I could not find anything except disposal concerns of the panels. I would be interested in hearing a source for the hazardous report.
sandra March 08, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Ed - If something is hazardous to dispose of, it would be hazardous if broken on site because the elements from which it was created will then be released. The same way they are released when decommissioned. You may find some information at the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. They wrote a paper called, "Toward a Just and Sustainable Solar Energy Industry". However important I believe the health issue is, I think that the zoning issue far out weighs it (my opinion). Massive industrial projects like this should not be placed in residential neighborhoods. It should violate zoning. The acceptance of this project signals to anyone that might want to move here that we don't take our zoning seriously. I think people are seriously underestimating the size of this project and the impact it will have on the town.

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