Safety of Evergreen Solar Plant (ESLR) Questioned

Officials from the town of Ayer are expressing concern over Evergreen Solar’s safety procedures at its plant in Deven, Mass. after three spills of toxic material were reported from the plant. The plant has been in operation since July. In October, the first spill occurred: 500 gallons of a toxic "cocktail" that included hydrofluoric, nitric and sulfuric acids. In February, 100 gallons of sodium hydroxide was released. In March, 20 gallons of 20-30% hydron peroxide was released from the plant. (The strength of hydrogen peroxide commonly used for cleaning wounds is only 3%).

According to an article from Devens News posted on

A call to Evergreen had not been returned earlier this week. However, Devens Enterprise Commission Land Use Coordinator Peter Lowitt said the DEC has "made sure the plant is designed with all the required safety provisions to protect both communities’ water supplies." Evergreen is located in aquifer protection districts for both Ayer and Devens.

"Evergreen has had a number of minor spills and has been cooperative in their dealings with the DEC and our public safety folks," Lowitt said. "Ayer has requested that its water district and fire chief be added to the notification list for any future events, and Evergreen has complied with that request, recognizing that the DEC is the regulatory agency, not the Ayer Board of Health."

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