Letter to the Editor – Where is the Board of Health Transparency?


submitted by Verna Kosiba

Where is the Board of Health Transparency?

As a decades long resident of Upton living in the Railroad Ave – Depot Street neighborhood, I have contacted the Upton Board of Health on several occasions regarding the middle-of-the-night excessive noise levels of the pellet factory on the railroad property on Maple Avenue.  I was told by the Board of Health that the noise levels of the pellet factory were within acceptable DEP levels; which have to do with the difference between noise levels  with and without the pellet factory operations.

As a person of logic and wanting to understand the situation better, I asked the Board of Health for documentation of their assertion regarding the noise levels.  I was particularly interested in seeing their documentation because local neighborhood residents have purchased a highly rated sound level meter that takes constant readings which indicate the noise levels are, in fact, unacceptable.  The Board of Health refuses to recognize those readings, recognizing only their own.  Asking for a copy of their documentation, therefore,  seemed like a reasonable thing to do.

The response by Diane Tiernan, Assistant Supervisor of the Board of Health on August 6th was that I needed to go to a Board of Health meeting.   While that seemed abit odd to me, I agreed to go and last evening presented my request formally to the full Board of Health at their regular meeting.  I was told that the documentation I requested did not exist and that Board of Health Chairman Mr Desjardin, who is apparently a very busy man,  makes occasional observations which he does not record but are, they assured me,  all within DEP limits.

I am asking other residents of town why are Mr Desjardins occasional and undocumented observations more valid than the highly documented measurements of the neighborhood which uses consistent, constant professional equipment?  Doesn’t the neighborhood at least deserve to see documentation from the Board of Health to support their claim?  

Verna Kosiba
6 Railroad Avenue

***please note  Mr. Desjardins filled the chair position of the board of health until May 2014 when he was replaced by Mr. Holman.***


  1. You have articulated a fair and reasonable request of our public servants. OSHA and the EPA should be asked to step in if the response is less than credible or lacks validation from credible and documented testing. If the documentation does not exist, then it negates the answer they provided to you.

  2. Verna, it is my opinion as a citizen of this town, that you are 100% entitled as a tax paying, and registered voting citizen of this town, to have the town officials help you with this request. Your neighborhood deserves support and more. If you have no luck within town, which I am hoping it doesn’t come to this, what about contacting DEP yourself and asking them to come down and show them your readings, and asking them to conduct a test at various times? Good Luck. I support the people in my community, and especially those in your neighborhood. We are together in wanting our town to ensure public safety, as well as a life free of noise and other kinds of pollution.

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