Secretary Matthew Beaton of Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEA) ruled this week that Massport must provide the state with a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Terminal E project following comment letters calling for a full EIR.
Massport, who was going through the MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) review process, had submitted an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) to the EOEA for the project. The ENF detailed Massport’s plans and potential impacts and mitigation. However, it is left to the discretion of Secretary Beaton as to whether or not to order a full EIR, which is a more comprehensive review in its size and scope concerning potential environmental impacts.
In his ruling, Beaton wrote, “based on the review of the ENF, consultation with state agencies and review of comment letter, I am requiring that Massport submit an EIR…The EIR will consist of a project specific review of the Terminal E modernization project within the context of airport-wide operations and impacts as a whole.”
Beaton added that many comment letters raised concerns with ‘cumulative airport-wide impacts’ pertaining to the traffic, parking, air quality and noise. Beaton is asking Massport to address these comments and concerns as well as to demonstrate that the Port Authority has met its obligations under MEPA to ‘avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts’ Terminal E might have.
In a joint statement, Sen. Anthony Petruccelli, Rep. Adrian Madaro and City Councilor Sal LaMattina said, “We are very pleased with Secretary Beaton’s decision to move forward on a complete EIR for the Terminal E Project. This will provide the community with the opportunity to digest the project, engage the Port Authority on the project and provide educated input and make more informed comments on the Terminal E proposal.”
In a statement to the East Boston Times, the Port Authority said, “Massport is committed to being a good neighbor. With all projects, we work to foster dialogue with our neighbors and listen closely to their concerns. Our staff is currently putting together the additional information requested by Benton.”