Concerns over Mass. golf course and solar farm under investigation

CLARKSBURG, Mass. (NEWS10) – A battle is brewing in the small Massachusetts town of Clarksburg over a golf course turned solar farm.

Some are saying a new solar farm is an eyesore and brings up concerns of soil contamination but the owner saying it’s a classic case of not in my backyard.

What was once the rolling hills of a golf course is now a massive solar array and the proposed site of a cell phone tower.

“It really is an eyesore compared to the pristine place is was,” Paul Gaudreau, a golfer, said.

According to a Facebook post by someone named John Arigone, it gets worse. He calls the site a toxic waste dump and claims to have pictures to prove it.

Allegations the town says it can’t confirm.

“I don’t have a smoking gun. I don’t have a copy of any permit of any copies of any analysis of what is on site,” Carl McKinney, of the Town of Clarksburg, said.

Landowner Todd Driscoll vehemently denies that he brought any toxic land onto the site.

“I can’t imagine why anybody would bring in material from somewhere else when we have ADA people with the material up there,” Driscoll said.

NEWS10 ABC’s Mary Wilson says there are no signs of contamination on the site or junk but there is some equipment working with the paper sludge.

That is a material that has been deemed safe by the Department of Environmental Protection.

“They call it pre-engineered top soil. The state department is looking for places to put it. It grows grass really well.”

Driscoll says the pictures posted on Facebook is a social media smear campaign. He says it’s not against the so-called contamination but rather his solar array.

“Everyone wants clean energy but nobody wants it,” Driscoll said.

Simply a case of not in my backyard? The town is in talks with the environmental agencies and vows to investigate.

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