An important part of Green Newton’s mission is to advocate with local, state, and national governmental leaders to create and support legislation that protects the environment. We collaborate with other environmental groups, work with Newton Aldermen and the Newton Mayor to shape regulations and legislation, and encourage and provide information to individuals and businesses to make their voices heard about protecting the health and safety of the environment.
- Smart Growth: Newton’s Austin Street Development – Green Newton supports the Austin Street Development Project proposal, because of the numerous beneficial “green” features that the developers have committed to include in the plans. We call on the City to hold the developers to these, including:”LEED certifiable mixed-use building (Energy-efficient heating and ventilation systems, fixtures, and lighting along with rooftop solar power and EnergyStar appliances). • GreenStaxx building technology (Quality offsite modular construction with less community disruption). • Green terrace and rooftop garden. • Bike-friendly location with secure stations and storage. • Car-sharing (e.g. Zipcar), and electric vehicle charging. • Highly walkable location with supermarket, pharmacy, village shops, restaurants and commuter rail access. • Widened Austin Street sidewalk and improved Bram Way.”As the Board of Aldermen considers a Special Permit for the proposed Austin Street development, we urge that the City use its powers to ensure that the development maintain the features of environmental sustainability that have been promised by its promoters, in all phases of planning, construction and operation.
Closing Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant – Green Newton’s Board of Directors supports the non-binding Newton ballot measure to urge the closing of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth. Pilgrim is a boiling water reactor with the same design as the Fukushima nuclear plant that experienced a disastrous partial core meltdown in 2011.The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) currently rates Pilgrim as its second worst nuclear plant despite granting the facility a 20-year extension when its 40-year license expired. The Boston Globe reports that the plant’s owner, Entergy Corp., is considering a shut down because of prohibitively expensive repairs needed to increase the safety rating. In the interim, it may go on operating in an unacceptably risky condition.Pilgrim currently supplies about 12% of our electrical power. One concern is that shutting it down now may risk more use of natural gas, which is a major contributor to climate change. Better options are to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, while expanding renewable solutions and ramping up conservation efforts like never before. The likelihood of a catastrophic accident at Pilgrim is much too great a risk. A core meltdown like Fukushima’s or a major release of radioactive material from the spent fuel stored at the Pilgrim site would cause many deaths and potentially make a huge part of Massachusetts uninhabitable. Therefore, we urge Newton voters to support Newton’s non-binding ballot question urging the Governor to intervene with the NRC to close the plant as soon as possible.