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Duxbury’s Mary Lampert recognized for leading fight to keep radioactive waste dump out of state
Boston, MA – Long-time anti-nuclear activist Mary Lampert and others are being recognized for their leadership in the 1996 effort to prevent the siting of a radioactive waste dump in Massachusetts. The coalition which led the effort, Don’t Waste Massachusetts, has been selected from over 100 nominees to receive one of Toxics Action Center’s 25 Years of Victories Awards.
Award winners were chosen by a selection committee of distinguished environmental and public health professionals and will be honored at the Environmental Action 2012 conference in Boston, Massachusetts on March 3rd. Lois Gibbs of the 1970’s Love Canal toxic cleanup case will hand out the awards and congratulate the winners.
“For decades, Mary Lampert has worked tirelessly to protect the health and safety of Massachusetts residents. Had it not been for her and other’s uncompromising research and relentless effort to spread the word about the full hazards of radiation – then our state could now be home to this extremely dangerous hazardous waste,” said Claire Miller, a Community Organizer with Toxics Action Center.
In 1994, the Commonwealth passed an act paving the way for a radioactive waste dump to be built despite widespread public opposition. By 1995 and with organizing assistance from the Massachusetts Campaign to Clean Up Hazardous Waste, over 35 towns had responded by refusing the presence of the dump in their town, despite attractive financial offers by the radioactive waste companies. Victory came in March 1996 when state officials abandoned their search for a location in Massachusetts.
“First, Massachusetts’ topography, climate and population density made Massachusetts unsuited to store much of the nation’s radioactive waste. Second, we saved Massachusetts taxpayers nearly $50 million dollars by defeating Governor Weld’s proposed bill that foisted the cost of the search for a site to Massachusetts taxpayers, not generators,” says Mary Lampert, describing why Massachusetts is unfit to host a radioactive landfill.
Lampert has continued her activism in the years since Don’t Waste Massachusetts. Today, she is a lead voice of concern about the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant and leader of a group called Pilgrim Watch.
The 25 Years of Victories Awards recognize 25 of the most successful local efforts to clean up or prevent toxic pollution across New England between 1987 and 2012. Those years correspond with the 25 years that Toxics Action Center, an environmental group based in Boston, has been working with neighborhoods and community leaders.
Toxics Action Center was founded in 1987 after the tragic case in Woburn, MA that A Civil Action is based on. The mothers of Woburn took action to protect their health of their children when the chemical company W.R. Grace contaminated their drinking water. The Woburn leukemia-cluster eventually claimed the lives of 14 children. In response, a group of public health and environmental advocates created an organization to help residents who faced their own Woburn situations. Toxics Action Center began organizing citizens to raise and pass ballot initiatives to protect citizens from harmful toxic waste. Today, Toxics Action Center has offices in every New England state and works with over 80 communities each year.
Toxics Action Center – known in those days as the Massachusetts Campaign to Cleanup Hazardous Waste – began organizing citizens to raise and pass ballot initiatives to protect citizens from harmful toxic waste. The first initiative increased enforcement, cleanup, and citizen access within Massachusetts’s Superfund system. Today, Toxics Action Center has offices in every New England state and works with over 80 communities each year.
“Toxics Action Center worked hard to inform the public what was going on; why it was a bad idea; and how to participate in the process to defeat the scheme. Matt Wilson, then Director of Toxics Action Center, and I attended endless Radioactive Waste Board meetings - extending over years - to become fully informed on the subject and their plans. Absent a thorough understanding of the facts any campaign is dead on arrival,” says Lampert.
Toxics Action Center has worked side by side with over 700 communities and directly trained over 10,000 people.
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