Art drawn by: Brad Goodwin
Dear Santa Claus --
I am sorry to bother you during such a busy time of year, but I have to ask that Ken Kimmell, Rick Sullivan and Deval Patrick be taken off of your Nice List. As you probably know, these men are the Commissioner of the Massachusetts DEP, the Secretary of the Environment and the Governor of Massachusetts, and they want to lift the incinerator moratorium because they claim that we don't have enough disposal capacity.
These men have been naughty because:
(1) If the MassDEP strengthened and enforced its own regulations to recycle plastics, metal, paper, and cardboard and compost organics like food and yard waste, we would have more than enough disposal capacity for decades to come. Every day waste banned materials are illegally burned or buried at waste disposal facilities and MassDEP is turning a blind eye. Our landfills are filling up with materials that can be recycled and MassDEP is not holding facility operators, garbage haulers, businesses, institutions and municipalities accountable.
Only 3 penalties have been issued in the last three years. As a man who visits millions of homes in one night, you must agree that Commissioner Kimmell, Secretary Sullivan and Governor Patrick's attempt to lift the moratorium after making little effort to enforce existing regulations is very naughty.
(2) New incinerators emit the same pollutants as the old ones. These men are charged with protecting our health. Ignoring that charge is very, very naughty.
Finally, the Patrick Administration solicited input from the scientific community, industry, citizens and any other interested stakeholders on this issue. They determined in 2009 that lifting the incinerator moratorium didn't make any sense. Nothing has changed. I hate to do it, Santa, but I have to ask you to put coal, (or more appropriately, incinerator ash?) in Commissioner Kimmell, Secretary Sullivan and Governor Patrick's stockings.
Thank you, as always, for the gifts you gave me and my family last year. Merry Christmas!