Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ellingwood Construction Is Still Grinding, Grinding . . .

     An application by Ellingwood Construction Co. for a special permit for "land disturbance" from the Planning Board has been delayed, according to Selectman Ginger Esty. The company, which has been involved in the controversial grinding of asphalt, brick and cement in the heart of Precinct 3 (Northeast Quadrant) was given an order by the Superior Court to comply by the end of August.
Truck with conveyor belt piling crushed asphalt material
     This issue involves the construction of a berm -- a wall of earth -- required by the state's Department of Environmental Protection to shield residents in the immediate area from the heavy amount of dust resulting from the extensive grinding.

     Jay Grande, Director of the Planning Board, said William Ellingwood, owner, contacted him earlier regarding the submission of an application, but he has yet to receive any paperwork as specified by Section 4H2 of the Zoning By-Law. Thus, Grande stated that he cannot comment on any delay. Ellingwood is reported to have cited personal reasons for the lack of compliance.

     Meanwhile, an order to "cease and desist" grinding operations that was previously issued by the Building Department has yet to be enforced. Residents in the area have been appealing to the Board to take firm action to finally resolve this matter.

      For the first time are photos (below) of the grinding of materials in the in the Northeast quadrant -- Precinct 3 -- that may lead to further contamination of the Birch Road Wells. While the wells have been capped for many decades, they are slated to provide at least 60 percent of Framingham's drinking water. What is really happening and when they will be brought online has been the source of continuing controversy, rumors and argument for several years. And because of the projected rise in water and sewer fees, residents want clear-cut answers as to when the wells will be utilized as they try to cope with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Neighbors back yard view abutting Ellingwood Construction in the northeast part of town (Pct 3). It’s supposed to be either a berm obscuring the grinding of asphalt, brick and concrete, raw materials to be ground up, or prevent dust from the grinding from affecting residents –PHOTO CREDIT: DENNIS PAULSEN

Ellingwood vehicles on PUD property
Here are the Birch Wells that are currently capped and projected (over two years ago) to provide at least 60 percent of Framingham’s drinking water. There are many contradictory stories about the contamination of this water source; who is responsible; and when the problem will be rectified. Another reported obstacle to using the wells is the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, a state entity which sells water to Framingham and other MetroWest towns and cities. Framingham has already spent over $6 million for design of a watertreatment plant and has nothing to show for its money. –PHOTO CREDIT: DENNIS PAULSEN

More trash on property

Twenty foot high pile of asphalt near Birch Wells

Another view showing asphalt and cement

Careless trash among trees abutting Danforth Green

Twenty foot high ground asphalt pile about a ¼ mile uphill from Birch Wells, and reported to be in the “forbidden zone”. Federal research points out that asphalt is a petroleum derivative which can seep into the ground. The Board of Health told the Board of Selectmen about a year ago that toxic oil could enter a plume going towards the aquifer supplying the Birch Road Wells and could contaminate Framingham’s future drinking water. This is occurring in Precinct 3 of Framingham, the area that was victimized by NStar, the utility that caused an uproar by cutting down all those trees. –PHOTO CREDIT: DENNIS PAULSEN