Article 40 of the Mansfield Annual Town Meeting asks the voters to “REPEAL, ABOLISH or DELETE from the Mansfield General Laws Chapter 15, “Conservation Commission Rules and Regulations the Wetland Protection By Law”
This is a dangerous and ill-conceived Article.
The purposes of the Mansfield Wetland Protection By Law are:
- Protection of public or private water supplies and groundwater
- Flood Control.
- Erosion and sedimentation control.
- Storm damage prevention.
- Water pollution control
- Protection of fisheries and wildlife habitat.
- Preservation of open space.
All of these purposes are critical to provide a healthy and safe environment for the citizens of Mansfield. Mansfield receives all its drinking water from ground water wells that are thirty to fifty feet deep. The wells rely on wetlands for storage and recharge of the aquifer. Without this recharge the wells could not provide public drinking water during peak demand and could create permanent damage to our water supply.
Mansfield’s primary aquifer, the Canoe River, is classified by the federal and state government as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and a Sole Source Aquifer. These classifications are intended to inform the public that the aquifer is a stressed source and an irreplaceable asset. The Wading River, our other aquifer in town is approaching its capacity to provide good quality drinking water.
I don’t know what motivated the proponents to take this drastic action. Perhaps it’s due to the dire economic times the real estate, construction and development communities are experiencing. The Wetland Protection Regulations did not cause the real estate market failure nor will its elimination stimulate or restore the economy.
I hope at the Town Meeting the proponents of this Article will explain and justify the drastic action they propose.
Please attend the Town Meeting and vote NO on article 40.
102 Jewell Street
Mansfield, MA 02048