I have already covered the contamination threat from the solar farm which covers the ‘health’ violation; now I am covering the safety and welfare issues.
In fact, recent proposed changes have pushed the solar farm even closer to the Little River. This area is in the Common Pasture. You may say, ‘So?” – this area is subject to savage flooding in periodic cycles. As you can see, the array is very close to the Little River – which isn’t very little when 100 to 500 year storms occur. (which seem to occur in clusters!)
These pictures were taken in 2006: (This picture could have been taken in 1996 & 1999 when other major flooding occurred.)
Now what about the welfare issue:
1. The Little River is one of the primary sources for the Great Marsh. This expansive area is a fish nursery – many species are later harvested by our New England fishing fleets. Already, the watershed has seen a marked increase of pollutants from more residential and industrial build up in the area. Do we want to further increase the pollutants when this facility begins to degrade?
2. Newbury and Newburyport have spent more than a half-million gathered from individuals, organizations, foundations and financial institutions to protect the ecological and cultural integrity of this historic Common Pasture. A half million more of DCR money (taxpayer money) has been used to purchase land in the CP. Do we sacrifice all that so one farmer can make some pocket money?
3. Our regional eco-tourism and heritage tourism is largely dependent on our views. When of the great allures for our area is an urban center surrounded by open spaces. This will summarily be destroyed by having an industrial facility in an area which will then greet those visiting with the wrong message. Statistics have already shown that property values drop around solar facilities. Our historic common pasture is largely in the same condition as it was hundreds of years ago and this has made our area a great draw not just for tourism but in drawing in future residents.
4. Those who built around the Common Pasture have equity and property values that are dependent on a protected open space adjoining their land. This ‘value’ is seen in real estate when homes are adjacent to such places as Joppa Flats, parks and open expanses. Such a facility will begin to impact those who live along Scotland Road in the most severest way.