It's extremely important that the town hear your concerns. The earlier in the process they hear from us, the better our chance for stopping this harmful project.
Please use or personalize the following letter to express your concerns and send to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org:
Dear Planning Board/Conservation Commission,
I’m writing to urge you to uphold our town bylaws that protect our community from a potentially devastating issue. I am aware that the proposed partnership with AMP power and Cowls Land Co. would clear-cut over 350 acres of forest for the installation of five industrial-scale ground-mounted solar arrays.
In Shutesbury, where 100% of residents get their drinking water from wells, we depend on our forests to filter and maintain clean, drinkable, and sufficient water supplies. Our treasured forests also clean our air, act as buffers to sound and wind, sequester significant amounts of CO2, provide essential habitat for countless species, and contribute to our collective quality of life. This project poses the serious threat of irrevocably damaging these complex natural systems.
Beyond harming water quality and local habitat, AMP and Cowls should not be allowed to exploit the state’s clean energy financial incentive (SMART) program for this project. That program is intended to encourage solar projects in already-degraded landscapes and on rooftops, not in ecologically important forests.
There are significant financial and legal risks associated with this project as well. Environmental damage and damage drinking water resources are common with these projects. Residents are left to deal with the consequences and pay for the repairs, when repair is possible. The town would also be required to hire and manage staff to maintain the panels, something the town has no experience in.
Our town bylaws are designed to protect us from large-scale projects that pose significant harm to the health and safety of our community members. We will not stand by and allow companies to abuse a loophole in the state zoning act for their profit and at our risk.
[Your Name and address]