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Communities in Action
Framingham, MA: Irresponsible Polluter Finally Closes Its Doors: Residents now working for a full cleanup
On March 2, members of FACES, the Framingham Action Coalition for Environmental Safety, were delivered the best piece of news they’d heard in a long time: General Chemical, the hazardous waste transfer station with an atrocious track record of pollution violations, had filed plans to close its doors. The news came first as a shock, given the fight that General Chemical had put up during recent hearings. FACES has been working with Toxics Action Center over the last year to mobilize the neighborhoods of South Framingham, shine the spotlight of the media on General Chemical’s many pollution violations, and convince local leaders to shut down the facility that has refused time and time again to operate responsibly. General Chemical has been operating recklessly in South Framingham for decades. Two years ago, the company was caught pumping out chemically-laced water into the neighborhood after their basement flooded, but it wasn’t until last year that the Framingham Board of Health considered revoking General Chemical’s permit.
FACES formed to put pressure on the Board and on General Chemical throughout that process. General Chemical’s closing is being hailed as an enormous feat for the town of Framingham and for FACES. Without the groups’ work to alert the neighborhood, this victory could never have occurred. FACES’ founders Sidney and Junia Faust organized their mostly Brazilian neighbors, and are thrilled with the victory. Now they and the group are focused on making sure there is a full cleanup of the heavily contaminated property. “It is a pleasure to see justice being done. This is a big lesson for all of us to see how the community voice can be heard,” said Junia. “Now we have another fight, another chapter – we need to force them to clean up,” said Sidney.
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