Resident POV: Environmental Impact of the Proposed HLC on the Town of Hudson

Did you know their might be New England Cottontail and two turtle species that are endangered and protected living right here in Hudson, NH? Hudson might have a variety of rare and endangered species, both plants and animals all of which are important to the environment (these species are still awaiting confirmation and classification by an expert). As we consider this logistics center, realize that this structure will once again continue to fragment the limited habitat available to many species and will have an effect on the environment as would any building plan.

My husband and I chose Hudson, NH as our home more than 25 years ago for its quiet and uncongested neighborhoods and roads.  Everything is easily accessible, while still honoring the environment and the quiet.  Living in south Hudson off Dracut Road, I have seen a great deal of development and appreciate the need to buy and sell land. However, I also appreciate the town holding to its values and identity as stated in its Town Planning Document.  Hudson is currently reviewing and developing the new town planning document. Some of the concerns stated in the public sessions document, of which I agree, are that the town needs to carefully considering any new construction, especially with the current industrial vacancies we have as well as the land that's currently under construction. Every new construction project changes the small, open town feel of Hudson.  With new buildings also comes new traffic, new pollution, increased noise and much more.  Yes, good things come as well, but my hope is that as a town we continue to try and balance construction with our environment and our identity. 

Living near the Merrimack River is a joy.  The documentary The Merrimack: River at Risk gives great insight into the importance of this river not only to our town but to the region. As pointed out in the documentary, any development near the river, its tributaries, and floodplain will affect the river. I want to share a quote from the Town of Hudson Master Plan document from Chapter III Page 17:

“Because all of these (water) systems are connected in the greater Merrimack River watershed, it is important to remember that small disturbances in the perennial streams and their watersheds can alter water quality and quantity in the larger streams and rivers such as the Merrimack River. Erosion, flooding and contamination can occur in the smaller streams from stormwater. The cumulative impacts of development, from the smallest stream to the largest river, have an impact on both water quality and quantity in a community.”

The pollution from the many vehicles and the maintenance of the parking lots, roads etc especially during the winter will contribute salt, oil and much more to the river and the watershed area.  In the documentary they indicated the best way to keep the river healthy is to build as far away from its edge as possible and to care about the water runoff from the building, parking lots, and roads. 

Having Dracut road as the main entrance to the development I am concerned about the increase in air pollution, sound pollution and new traffic patterns. Hearing the whippoorwills and owls and other nocturnal creatures in my backyard and around Hudson is an utterly unique experience. With tractor trailer trucks running 24/7 in and out of this facility, it will be difficult for many to enjoy this unique feature. Hudson is known for being a quiet place not filled with the sounds of traffic. Having grown up on Long Island, New York, I never knew what true quiet was until I moved here to Hudson. I know that many of our local roads do not have tractor trailer truck restrictions, so the noise pollution will be heard wherever the trucks choose to go.  

As I read the Fall 2019 Hudson Outreach Survey this comment stood out for me and was a beautiful way to summarize what I have said.

“Hudson is at a turning point. Currently the town is holding onto its low taxes and small town thought process, not wanting to embrace change. Inevitably the town is growing whether we like it or not. If we do not have a vision to steer growth into a harmonized and balanced direction our town will change based on what developers want, not based on what the vision should be collectively. Balance is critical. Aiding healthy growth, while also targeting environment protection efforts so that the town's character stays overtime. The same country roads, farm fields and hillside views. The town's value will increase due to its character not due to the sheer number of new residents.”  


Recent Posts

See All