A Plymouth resident and supporter speaks about how she feels about the Pilgrim Plant and the plans to construct a nuclear waste storage facility on-site.

I have lived in Plymouth for over 30 years and have a vivid memory of driving down Rocky Hill Road with a local realtor in search for a home here. Finding a home was the next step to moving to Plymouth from Vermont. We drove past Pilgrim, then owned by Boston Edison, around 1980. I inquired about the facility and the realtor, in a very nonchalant manner, stated it was a nuclear plant and that the attitude in the town toward the plant was also nonchalant. People knew of its presence but its effect on them was not a concern. This attitude soon became mine in my early days of living here, while making Plymouth my family’s new home.

This attitude changed around 15 years ago when I purchased a home on Rocky Hill Road, where Pilgrim is very much a part of my everyday life. I drive by it every day and thoughts and questions pop up. I am privy to physical changes there, vehicles parked nearby and other changes near the plant. When the workers were on strike some months ago, I found myself very interested in the issue. They changed the ambiance on my street – the noise and physical setting around the plant affected my day to day life. I began to pay attention more closely to its presence and related issues.

This new awareness has created an interest in its purpose and role in my community. My awareness was further heightened recently when a gentleman knocked on my door to inquire if I was aware of the development of Entergy’s spent fuel storage facility – a necessity for the spent fuel rods, which are now being stored in a storage pool that is filled to capacity. I was not aware of this plan and agreed to sign his petition, which demanded a special permit for the project. Since then, I began receiving information in the mail regarding this development as I am an abutter to Entergy’s property.

My interest, concern and reaction to this project brought me to the first Zoning Board of Appeals hearing to discuss permitting and plans for this storage site. I was very impressed with the presentation of the Ecolaw attorneys. Their presentation was complete, well prepared and informative. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with the Zoning Board personnel who did not seem as prepared or informed, and actually admitted to have not read Ecolaw’s brief prior to the hearing. No decision was made that evening and another meeting is scheduled for July 10th, which I am prepared to attend.

I hope the Zoning Board members will be prepared for the July 10th meeting and will recognize the immense responsibility they have as representatives of this community. Essentially, they need to consider what is best for the common good of the community. I would like to quote from a book titled On God’s Side by Jim Wallis as we enter into this critical time of the decision making process:

“The common good and the quality of our life together will finally be determined by the personal decisions we all make. The “commons” – those places where we come together as neighbors and citizens to share public space – will never be better than the quality of human life, or the human flourishing in our own lives and households.”

Also stated by Jim Wallis, “We need to get to know our representatives both on a local and national level, studying their policy and decisions, examining their moral compass and public leadership, making our public convictions and commitments known to them and choosing to hold them accountable.”

May what is best for the good of the community of Plymouth dictate the decision regarding this Entergy project.

-Jacqueline Hochstin, Plymouth Resident for 30+ years