Third in a Series

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY FEB. 12, 2018) — When the EPA hit Pittsfield with stricter water standards in 2008, the city, to its credit, fought back. There’s some point in the drive for cleaner air, water, and soil that beyond which becomes too much. Such is what happens when the environment becomes politicized. The irony in Pittsfield is that environmental politics largely sealed its fate after the Consent Agreement (CA) with General Electric Company.

TWenty years ago the city and GE sat at the negotiating table with everything up for grabs. GE came equipped with a team of some of the world’s best legal minds. Pittsfield came with Gerry Doyle and legal representation equivalent to a diploma from the Guam College of Law and Taxidermy. Oh yeah, and Tom Hickey, whose main responsibility was keeping the mayor out of trouble in Boston’s bars and Combat Zone. End result? GE left town having wormed out of its moral duty to provide true remediation to Pittsfield. It left town giving the city $10 million, a half-assed “clean-up” of the local aquifer, and the 52 acres of PEDA land still polluted.

It’s odd, then, that the Feds — the same EPA that had a hand in the CA — should insist on imposing higher water standards after they left air, land, and water compromised. Insiders with familiarity with EPA workings have said all along that the agency would be willing to listen to the city’s financial dilemma dealing with an $80 million water-and-sewer upgrade. Councilor Melissa Mazzeo, supported by finance committee members Kevin Morandi and Chris Connell, brought up that point in her grilling of city finance director Matt Kerwood, DPW commissioner David Turocy, and Alan Wells of Kleinfelder Inc., Pittsfield water consultant. A flummoxed Kerwood “um-ed” and “uh, uh-ed” his way through a incomprehensible word salad that fed no one. Turocy said he didn’t know how much the borrowing would affect water and sewer fees for bedraggled taxpayers. Wells said “the end goal is compliance with the permit and administrative order,” but of course he would say that. His company, which has already made north of $6 million wihout any actual upgrades being done, has many millions more at stake.

This sends the issue back to the crucial point of the city-s 2010-11 appeal of the EPA directive. How effective was the city’s legal presentation to the EPA? Kerwood, hopelessly ill-equipped to handle the questions, treaded water. Neither he nor mayor Linda Tyer thought it necessary to have the lawyers who handled the case there for the subcommittee.  That’s either stupidity or arrogance. THE PLANET takes this as the administration’s tacit admission that the city blew it again in the courts but doesn’t want to admit it. To know why, follow the money. There’s $80 million at stake here, with the likely promise of sweeteners for all those who help pry it out of taxpayers. Sad as it is to consider, it appears as if the EPA rejected the city’s case out of hand because the paperwork was improperly presented.

Consequently and conversely, there’s every reason to believe that the EPA would respond favorably to a proper filing in the courts, with a good chance the agency could waive compliance. This would save Pittsfield taxpayes tens of millions of dollars.

As far as water standards, Pittsfield had its chance to clean things up 20 years ago with GE. It failed. Why compund failure this time around?

THE PLANET urges the city council as a whole to reject this plan, hire a damned good lawyer armed with sugar, honey, and sharp teeth, and do the right thing for their constituents.


“California is a great place to grow up … if you’re an orange”Fred Allen.



The views and opinions expressed in the comment section or in the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not necessarily endorsed by the operators of this website. PLANET VALENTI assumes no responsibility for such views and opinions, and it reserves the right to remove or edit any comment, including but not limited to those that violate the website’s Rules of Conduct and its editorial policies. PLANET VALENTI shall not be held responsible for the consequences that may result from any posted comment or outside opinion or commentary as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and this website’s terms of service. All users of this website — including readers, commentators, contributors, or anyone else making use of its information hereby agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice. When PLANET VALENTI ends with the words “The Usual Disclaimer,” that phrase shall be understood to refer to the full text of this disclaimer.


  1. Pat
    February 12, 2018 at 5:28 am #

    I agree. Do a proper filing in the courts and save this sinking city a good amount of money.

    Now there is an opposing plan to the Tyer toter system coming from Krol, Todd-RIvers and Moon that is a total pay as you go plan which is not a good plan for a very poor city like Pittsfield. Tyer’s plan would also charge for overflow bags or an extra toter. Both plans are not good for a poor city. A broken toter would be replaced, but a stolen toter would be at resident expense (over two hundred dollars). Tyer’s plan would also require moving the toter around a lot especially in winter which would be difficult for the elderly even though the toter is on wheels. Moving it over ice and snow still not easy on the elderly. You can read the whole story in iberkshires.

    • dusty
      February 12, 2018 at 6:48 am #

      Scare tactics…dirty political underhanded mail…pay back for speaking up against her

    • NIB
      February 12, 2018 at 11:53 am #

      So toters that cost 50 bucks at Home Depot would cost taxpayers 200? It’s all a scam to suck money out of taxpayers outside of property taxes.

      • LoneGunMan
        February 13, 2018 at 8:06 am #

        ours have decals!

  2. Mr. G
    February 12, 2018 at 6:13 am #

    I`m confused Dan. You reference an appeal in 2010-2011 as a debacle, but the current administration of course, was not around then. When did the city make a presentation to the EPA seeking a waiver of compliance? Or have they not yet. Seems like thats what you reference at the end with Kerwood, Tyer, etc. Just muddled on the timeline. Thx.

    • danvalenti
      February 12, 2018 at 8:48 pm #

      MR G
      Yes, this was a different administration that tried the appeal process in 2010-11. Sources say the work was so shoddy that the case was never tried on the merits. It lost because of the poor paperwork and botched procedure. This has set it up nicely for the current admin. to go in with a competent appeal to have the appeal decided on the merits. A more friendly federal view re: an overstepping EPA is another argument for appealing again.

    • Dustin
      February 13, 2018 at 4:54 pm #

      I know who you are

  3. Shakes His Head
    February 12, 2018 at 7:40 am #

    Is the opinion finding against the City’s claims appealing the NPDES permit.

    It seems pretty clear that the City screwed the complaint/appeal up substantially and IMHO the appeal of the permit as presented was frivolous.

    The appeal was not based on fact or abuse of discretion, therefore the EPA would not re-review the lawsuit nor would a court overturn or find a reason to reevaluate this case. The City should exercise proper care when filing their next NPDES permit and submit comments during the draft review that are not based on conjecture, but rather science and fact.

    • Trumped Up
      February 12, 2018 at 9:02 am #

      Bingo, Shakes,Science? And who would you want to represent Pittsfield at that Meeting?the Mayor?Lawyer?Consultant?Councilors?Marchetti? Persip? Or maybe someone who has knowledge of E P A guidelines, has knowledge of the sciences,preferably in waste water-drinking water, and who might know a little bit about how we can save millions and redefine some of the standards and less complicate the regulations that supercede the yet again extremely high standards, set by this body when the taxpayer can ill afford, because somebody hasn’t been listening and certainly should have seen this coming had they been paying attention. Gee, I wonder who we can help us?

      • dusty
        February 12, 2018 at 9:13 am #

        A consultant could help us sir. And lucky for us, the mayor has a Rolodex full of consultant contact info. Problem solved people…hit the EASY button on this one.

      • Shakes His Head
        February 12, 2018 at 9:40 am #

        I assure you there is not a single person in Pittsfield that fits your purple squirrel fantasy description.

        • Shakes His Head
          February 12, 2018 at 1:08 pm #

          leave, your comments make no sense

        • Dustin
          February 13, 2018 at 4:54 pm #

          You are deranged and live in a fantasy

    • NIB
      February 12, 2018 at 11:56 am #

      Dustin, can you just stop this crap? SHH posted relevant information and you reply with one of your stupid posts. Please just go away.

  4. dusty
    February 12, 2018 at 9:34 am #

    Article in iBerkshires about trash and toters. Krol says he thinks it would be more fair if we had a pay as you throw plan. He says the person putting out one bag of trash is subsidizing the guy who puts out ten bags. Well then perhaps we can use this model in other areas of taxation as well.

    I have no children using the school system currently. In fact I have NEVER had a child in the Pittsfield or any other school system. And yet I have had to pay ever increasing property taxes mostly which pay for the bloated school system. For over 50 (fifty) years. So how is that fair? You would think such a taxpayer would deserve a discounted rate after all this time. But I imagine trash is a cherry picked issue when it comes to being fair right Mr Krol? Or should I have to subsidize the family with 4 children in the school system for the short rest of my life?

    • Shakes His Head
      February 12, 2018 at 9:41 am #

      Dusty, we pay for your medicare.

      • dusty
        February 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

        Actually I use the VA for my medical…but thank you for your contribution.

        • Shakes His Head
          February 13, 2018 at 6:10 am #

          Still taxpayer funded. I do not support cutting veterans’ benefits, however, taxpayers support a great many things and we cant just cherry-pick what suits individuals.

          • Dustin
            February 13, 2018 at 4:55 pm #

            We pay for your crimes thief

    • H
      February 12, 2018 at 9:54 am #

      Great post dusty Another could be to disclose any multi- families willing to purchase a home in Pittfield also. Why not discourage home buyers from purchasing a dwelling here also.

    • Wilson
      February 12, 2018 at 10:07 am #

      when a politician says he wants to make something fairer it’s always a scam, Krol wants to make the person who tosses one bag to pay more than they do now

      • mi
        February 12, 2018 at 11:44 am #

        I like what Village Night said at one of the meetings, he said you are going to penalize me for throwing out extra trash because he likes to eat,excellent analogy. The real problem is to save the hauler and recycler money by doing just that, minimize, and we all know about Con-Vanta,if they don’t make money we had to subside them 500 g plus for their own,private upgrades, loss of jobs was the Mayor’s reason unbelievable. Fear is the word in this City, fear of losing something, stop the damn giveaways, and there would be no tax increases.

        • dusty
          February 12, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

          the mayor thought we might lose the Beacon theater so she gave the millionaire owner another 5 years of tax breaks…on top of the original batch

          If you are wealthy you get breaks…if not you get pounded she behaves like a 1 percenter wannabee

    • 12 Gauge
      February 12, 2018 at 9:48 pm #

      You pay for Krol’s health insurance so don’t complain about the free education his kids get. After all you can’t expect a guy with a fake job to support his own family.

      • h
        February 13, 2018 at 4:39 am #

        He must be doing something,why does he wear a suit?

  5. Unwanted Carl
    February 12, 2018 at 11:49 am #

    At the bottom of North Street by Geno’s Pizza there is a ridiculous water cap sticking out of a small pothole, I hit it but didn’t cut the tire, anyway beware,there were about ten others, but was able to maneuver around and over them.

  6. Jonathan Melle
    February 12, 2018 at 12:03 pm #

    Live in Pittsfield! Pay high municipal taxes! Drink polluted tap water! Be exposed to cancer causing industrial chemicals called PCBs left behind by GE! Experience public mismanagement of your financial and environmental resources!

  7. Harlan RinkleNutts
    February 12, 2018 at 12:08 pm #

    And guess what? The only one we have with or without our support is Gaetani, he’ll do it against all odds. The Lone Wolf with more expertise than the consultants who are going to get millions for telling us we need upgrades, what a joke. Planet,has been telling us for years about all of these upgrades and current debt like OPEB’s, no Mayor alive or Council, can run a City, a Billion Dollars in debt. One of the Councilor’s asked how we got to this point, wow, that webt right by her…….incredible

    • Village Knight
      February 13, 2018 at 8:49 pm #

      Reply to Harlan RinkleNutts:
      Bravo! Nicely said! That’s why I like The Lone Wolf:))

  8. Harlan RinkleNutts
    February 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm #

    We are talking about two plants here
    ,water, and sewer,so don’t be confused, Krofta built the drinking water filtration plants, does the Council even know this? Perip and Mazzeo probably need this correction

    • dusty
      February 12, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

      Maybe we could get special toters for poop an do away with the sewer plant. If you leave that stuff out in the sun for a while it just goes away anyway.

      • h
        February 13, 2018 at 4:41 am #

        Does that include cat feces.

    • Shakes His Head
      February 12, 2018 at 1:13 pm #

      That is an excellent clarification, they are quite different. Point of order though, the company that currently licenses Krofta technology builds both intake and effluent water treatment systems, however, the majority of US examples of effluent installations – if not all of them- are for industrial treatments, not municipal systems.

      • 12 Gauge
        February 12, 2018 at 9:42 pm #

        Private industry generally does its homework and gets the most bang for the buck as opposed to the public sector where stupid elected people hire CONsultants that want the most bucks for their pitiful bang.

        • Shakes His Head
          February 13, 2018 at 6:14 am #

          Or there are two completely different needs between a paper mill and a municipal sewage treatment facility.

        • 12 Gauge
          February 13, 2018 at 11:45 am #

          If a CONsultant recommends a million dollar fix to a problem their fee is a percentage of a million dollars.

          If a CONsultant recommends a one hundred million dollar fix their fee will be the same percentage as if they recommended the cheaper option.

          So which option do you think they will recommend? The one million or the hundred million?

          Is the mayor and most of the city council capable of understanding that equation?

      • Dustin
        February 13, 2018 at 4:55 pm #

        Your comment makes no sense

  9. Bill Q
    February 12, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

    I’ve been watching the former builder of the water plant and have heard what he’s been saying he was saying about using different colors bags for trash…. Will Singleton’s idea of boots on the ground was Gaetani’s initial proposal, I believe, and now the water………….not sewer! As stated? ( (drinking) Let’s not do expensive toters, no billion dollars budget buster,water,and get the boots on the ground,the Gaetani Triple Crown, and maybe add 7 percent reductions from all departments.

  10. Unwanted Carl
    February 12, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

    No Toters, it cost and it has many many problems associated with it, the Lemon isn’t worth the squeeze. Fix the potholes on our roads,and take the stipend back from the School Committee.

  11. Alaskan Bush Clowns
    February 12, 2018 at 3:10 pm #

    Turn Pecks Road into a river, that road continues to have problems every year,enough!!! Tony Roads can only do so much! Terrorucy is to inept to see it.

    • dusty
      February 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

      Actually in parts of Italy and the Mekong Delta the rivers are the roads. Super low maintenance. The city might want to look into dredging the roads and filling them with water. It seems to be happening on its own.

      • mi
        February 12, 2018 at 4:17 pm #

        Yeah,dusty and sell Kayaks for a hundred grand and oars for fifty, that way nobody will use the road, I mean river.

      • h
        February 13, 2018 at 4:44 am #

        I can’t afford a boat.

  12. Unwanted Carl
    February 12, 2018 at 5:05 pm #

    Dusty is a genius, Mekong could be another Sister Delta City.

  13. h
    February 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

    Two of Pittsdields Master Bullshitters are on channlel sixteen.

  14. Harlan RinkleNutts
    February 13, 2018 at 4:49 am #

    On the toters, the Mayor said the reason to use the current Hauler was that they know the layout? The route.Does that imply the current work force who actually drive the route and probably know it better than the management, won’t be hired if the system is implemented, sounds fishy to me,NO TOTERS! Leave well enough alone.

    • dusty
      February 13, 2018 at 5:56 am #

      They know the layout and it is too complicated for anyone else to learn? I sure hope nobody gets hurt and can’t work because then there will be no trash pickup in Pittsfield. Maybe the new Taconic could have a special vocational class to teach people the technical aspects of garbage pickup routes?

  15. mi
    February 13, 2018 at 5:09 am #

    Bulls..Jiv and bootlicker?

  16. Bill Q
    February 13, 2018 at 5:10 am #

    EPA just took a slashing trump cutting billions.

  17. Bill Q
    February 13, 2018 at 5:31 am #

    Chris Connell made an excellent point at the Finance Committee Meeting about Trump EPA slashing, which could reduce also the current standard for our water upgrades. Why do we have to watch George Steele back to back on 16? Come on.

    • dusty
      February 13, 2018 at 5:57 am #

      god damn EPA is going to kill all the kickbacks.

      • 12 Gauge
        February 13, 2018 at 11:48 am #

        The ones who will lose the most are the bloodsuckers that benefit from EPA mandated projects, like Tighe and Bond.

    • Dustin
      February 13, 2018 at 4:56 pm #

      Go away matt

  18. Shakes His Head
    February 13, 2018 at 6:16 am #

    No, that is not an excellent point about the EPA’s budget. That is uninformed hogslop.

    • dusty
      February 13, 2018 at 7:15 am #

      Maybe Dan could start a blog for 4th graders

  19. Tricksie
    February 13, 2018 at 8:49 am #

    Pay as you throw…penalizes those that consume the most (make the most $$), multi-families (people trying to make $$), and families (with children) – so it penalizes those that work, invest in the community and are raising their families here….sounds like a smart move – probably with a financial hardship application readily available for those that won’t, oops I mean can’t, work –

    • Cosbies
      February 13, 2018 at 10:06 am #

      Mayor did say co e here to live first, during campaign.

  20. dusty
    February 13, 2018 at 11:41 am #

    If I wanted to attract new business to my city the first thing I would do is let the roads go to hell in a hand basket.
    Studies show that business owners like it when they have to pay a ton of money for upkeep on their trucks under carriage.

    It is what is know as a dark economic engine.

  21. LoneGunMan
    February 13, 2018 at 12:06 pm #

    Linda You are a JOKE
    Your administration is a JOKE
    You had zero qualifications other than being a GOB and kissing the right back ends.

    Retire, take your stupid pension and move on

  22. CosbiesLadies
    February 13, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

    That Scanlon is the biggest joke,year after year,Amused-so spending,the main thing is free cash, why don’t you tell the dip shits and we’re going to be a billion in Debt. Bozo.

  23. CosbiesLadies
    February 13, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

    It’s time for Tony Roads to step up. Time to leave the Cacoon, you don’t owe anyone anything, you beat a good ol girl for you’re ward 7 seat on the Council, you’ve done what you could in your Ward issues, it’s time to unleash what you really think, we know you’re smart, it’s time, tonight is the night!!! don’t look back, you know what needs to be done.

    • dusty
      February 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm #

      Kerwood knows secrets…he has seen the books…the people are not allowed to see the books…Sanlon has warned us to no avail…the taxpayer piggy bank is too hard to resist City hall needs a consultant to tell the mayor to “stop spending Linda…stop speennddiinnnggg” “Put the catalogs dowwwnnnn” “focus on your oath of office for a few minutessssss”

  24. AlskanBushClowns
    February 13, 2018 at 7:10 pm #

    The books mysteriously change from time to time,shift factors