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The spill left a trail of white from downtown North Adams to the Vermont border.

Aluminum Sulfate Spill Closed Route 7 at Vermont Border for 4 Hours

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Route 7 at the Vermont border was closed for four hours on Saturday morning to deal with a truck leaking aluminum sulfate.

The truck departing from Holland Co. in Adams when it began to leak at the base of the Hadley Overpass in North Adams. The liquid left a 2-foot wide line of white all the way down Route 8 into Williamstown.

The truck was stopped across from Stewart's in Pownal, Vt., and the highway closed until the material could be investigated.

According to the Northern Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee, aluminum sulfate is used to treat drinking water.

"Please be advised there are no concerns to the public or the environment and all measures are being taken to clean the roadway," the NBREPC stated in a release. "After the Massachusetts Tier 1 Hazardous Material Team conducted testing and in agreement with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Public Work agencies in Williamstown and North Adams are currently covering the substance with a neutralizing agent, which will then be swept up and disposed of properly."

Emergency officials said, "Holland Company is in full cooperation with local and state officials who will continue to test and assess the situation."

Williams College sent out a cautionary alert to the college community advising that the spill on Main Street be avoided because of slip hazards and the potential for animal companions to ingest the material.

The Reindog Parade will move its start to the Science Quad on Saturday afternoon to avoid crossing Main Street.

Vermont State Police closed the road from about 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. in assisting the Pownal Fire Department in containing the leak. State Police said it was caused by a faulty valve.

The material was quickly contained by emergency responders and Holland Co. provided resources to clean up the spill, said police. Along with Pownal Fire Department and the Vermont State Police, members of the State of Vermont Hazmat Team, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Bennington Fire Department and authorities from the State of Massachusetts responded to the scene.

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Berkshire Health Group to See 8 Percent Rate Hike in FY23

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Berkshire Health Group Board of Directors on Monday voted to raise health insurance premiums by 8 percent for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 while offering a one-month "premium holiday" in FY23.
By a vote of 6-2 with one member abstaining, the board decided to raise rates for the 31 municipal entities served by the group. The 11 voting members of the group include the towns of Adams, Great Barrington, Lanesborough, Lenox and six regional school districts, Berkshire Hills, Central Berkshire, Hoosac Valley, Mount Greylock, Northern Berkshire Regional Vocational (McCann Tech) and Southern Berkshire; BHG also serves 20 smaller municipal entities who are affiliated with the joint purchasing group.
The board was advised by a representative from Gallagher Benefit Services that a rate hike was prudent to account for inflated health costs and a rise in claims after a fall-off in people accessing providers for non-emergency services during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board's consultant recommended four possible courses of action: an 8 percent increase with no premium holiday, an 8 percent increase with a premium holiday, a 4 percent increase with the FY23 funding shortfall partially offset by the group's reserve or no premium increase with the increased FY23 costs entirely offset by reserves.
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