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Road appeal is rejected

Access foes 'failed to substantiate their claims'

DEP Chief Presiding Officer Salvatore Giorlandino, center, accepts a document from the town’s attorney, Robert McKentich (standing) during the initial hearing on the adjudicatory appeal in May. Also shown are, on left, DEP representatives Marty Jalonski and Mary Jude Pigsley and, on right, Southbridge Conservation Commissioner George Parent and Town Manager Christopher Clark. File photo. (click for larger version)
September 21, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Stating that the plaintiffs "failed to substantiate their claims" and "failed to demonstrate that they have standing," a DEP administrative judge threw out the latest appeal of last year's Conservation Commission decision approving the industrial park access road.

"It kind of speaks for itself," said Town Manager Christopher Clark. "The DEP process was to determine if there were any people harmed in a way that's 'different from the rest of the community,' but nobody came forward. … It's a very definitive decision in favor of the town and DEP."

Clark was referring to the state Department of Environmental Protection, which granted the project a "superceding order of conditions" the last time local attorney Kirstie Pecci's clients challenged the commission's decision.

"Unfortunately, the DEP was willing to allow a total of over half an acre of wetlands to be filled to access and industrial park that shows no sign of being built," Pecci responded by e-mail. "… While the recommended decision stated that there was no proof that the project would be detrimental, they did not recognize that there was no proof that the need for the project existed."

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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