Waiting Game Begins on Wynn’s Environmental Report

As meetings with Engaged Charlestown Residents and Wynn officials continue in the neighborhood this month, those involved in the process have circled Friday, April 3, with a big red pen – as it is what many believe could be the day when Wynn’s traffic plans are either accepted or rejected by state regulators.

The comment period of Wynn’s Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Report (SFEIR) has come and gone this week, and Friday, April 3, is the day when some close to the process believe that state regulators might make a decision.

Folks on the Wynn side are optimistic that there could be a decision that early, though it could take more time for the state to analyze the comments and the report – which was filed in February. The SFEIR deals exclusively with an in-depth re-look at traffic mitigation measures for Wynn’s casino in coordination with several City and state transportation agencies.

Several local meetings have also been held on the matter, the most recent coming on March 24 and dealing with short-term traffic plans for Sullivan Square and Rutherford Avenue.

“The March 24 meeting was very well attended and Wynn addressed most of the outstanding questions that people had since the last meeting and people seemed to at least accept those answers,” said Lynne Levesque, a coordinator with Engaged Charlestown Residents. “The big question we didn’t answer was how the traffic numbers compared to BTD’s (Boston Transportation Department) previous numbers. Unfortunately, there was no one there from the City or BTD authorized to speak on that. Wynn have been very responsive in giving us numbers, but many feel we have no way of knowing if their numbers are in sync with the previous BTD numbers. That’s because we only have Wynn at the table right now. That’s been an ongoing issue. The questions now have less to do with Wynn and more to do with where the City stands on Wynn’s SFEIR.”

The comment period for Wynn’s SFEIR ended on Friday, March 27, and those comments have just become public.

Among those to submit comment letters were the City of Boston, as well as other municipalities like Revere and Somerville.

Former Big Dig originator and Boston traffic guru Fred Salvucci has reportedly also submitted a comment letter that basically said the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) should have never issued a license to Wynn prior to the traffic and environmental issues being resolved.

Meanwhile, as that waiting game continues, residents of Charlestown continue to bring questions to Wynn within the new forum that has grown in popularity and acceptance.

Within that process, a very important meeting on environmental remediation will take place this coming Monday, April 6. While traffic issues have been at the forefront so far, it’s likely the environmental cleanup that will be the first piece of the puzzle to impact the neighborhood.

“The big thing we’re all waiting for is the response to the SFEIR, which could be issued as soon as April 3,” said Levesque. “That said, we’re still meeting for the environmental working group on Monday, April 6, with the expectation the SFEIR will be issued.”

That meeting will be as follows:

  • Environmental Working Group meeting in Charlestown with Engaged Charlestown Residents on Monday, April 6, at the Knights of Columbus, 545 Medford Street, Charlestown from 7-9 p.m. The event is open to all.
  • There will be no immediate meetings scheduled for the Jobs Working Group just yet, but a Trade Union Expo will be held at Everett High School on Saturday, May 9. All the trades will be there to speak with Charlestown residents about construction apprenticeships and opportunities that will be available during the construction period.

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