Chapter 61 and Charlestown
Chapter 61 has been bandied about in the local newspapers recently regarding Somerville’s lawsuit against the proponents of the Wynn Casino.
Just what is chapter 61 and why we in Charlestown should be concerned?
Chapter 61 is a Mass. law that determines a project’s impact on the surrounding environment. “Damage to the environment” may include many entities but in this case the lawsuit pertains to air pollution due to additional greenhouse gas emissions which would be caused by increased traffic in this project’s proposal.
Greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs infrared radiation and radiates heat in all directions. A major example of greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. The combination of gasoline and diesel fuel is the 2nd largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.
We in Charlestown are surrounded by heavily travelled roadways, or as I see it, idling parking lots. From the exhaust of these vehicles, particulate matter and toxic fumes are constantly polluting the air. Studies have shown that emissions from road transportation are the most significant contribution of early death, causing nearly 53, 000 deaths each year.
We have a higher mortality risk for dying of lung disease than other communities. Pulmonary, Cancer and Heart Disease are effects from air pollution and continue to be a problem in Charlestown. Latest research also correlate Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, Autoimmune and a host of other debilitating diseases relating to particulate matter in the air, are from vehicle exhausts.
Our area will be further compromised with up to 20, 000 additional vehicles daily travelling these roads to and from the casino. The Department of Transportation needs to step up and examine Chapter 61 which states, “without traffic improvements, detrimental operational and safety impacts will result.” This report while validating increased traffic, offers minimal and in some cases, NO solutions.
This to me is not only disturbing but highly alarming that this project continues to get the green light from the State agencies that I thought were in place to protect the health and quality of life issues of it’s citizens.
A public hearing will be held on March 10, 2016 at 6pm at the Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza 2nd floor, rooms 1 & 2.
Whether you are for or against the casino, please give the traffic situation attention and consider how it presently affect’s this community today and in the future.
Please let Governor Baker know that the Department of Transportation must have in place, traffic solutions BEFORE this project blossoms into a health and environmental nightmare.
Governor Baker: [email protected]
Ann T. Kelleher