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Sierra Club Director Emily NortonBy most accounts, Newton Alderman Emily Norton is among our city’s and even our state’s most dedicated environmental champions.

The proud driver of an electric car, Norton is the director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, a group of over 50,000 members and supporters in Massachusetts that lists clean energy/climate, transportation and finding ways for “cities and towns to demonstrate environmental leadership” as its priority issues.

Here in Newton, Alderman Norton was co-sponsor of our plastic bag ban and is pushing for a proposed leaf blower ban.

But in Wednesday’s TAB editorial endorsing the proposed project at 28 Austin Street, the paper calls out Norton for being a leading opponent of the project, located in her ward, even though it’s been praised by Green Newton, Mass Smart Growth Alliance and others for being environmentally and transit friendly.

Here’s the full quote from the TAB:

… it is difficult to comprehend why the project’s leading adversary on the board, Ward 2 Alderwoman Emily Norton, director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, can fight so hard against a project that would serve as a model for energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, transit-oriented development.

I’ve invited Norton to comment on the TAB statement.  I know she has been traveling and hope that she will have an opportunity to respond soon.