As a Shirley resident, I have become increasingly concerned about the way the town has proceeded with the solar installations on town land.
Of particular concern is a large-scale operation under construction adjacent to a town water supply, a stream and near the site of an existing solar project. An appeal of this project is currently in Massachusetts Land Court.
These solar installations have involved the clear-cutting of many acres of forest land, the removal of topsoil and the loss of wildlife habitat.
I question the feasibility of destroying one natural resource to promote another. We seem to be ignoring the important role that forests play in our environment. They act as a natural defense against air pollution and as a filter for the groundwater.
I do support and encourage the installation of solar panels on homes, commercial buildings, unused landfills and industrial land which does not compromise either forests or water resources. We need to strike a balance between moving ahead with solar projects and maintaining the benefits of a small rural community.
I support a moratorium on such large-scale commercial installations in Shirley. We need to establish zoning bylaws to regulate future projects and to safeguard the town’s natural resources.
Mary D. Sullivan