By John Lynds
The nearly one thousand members of East Boston Environmental Group and Eastie’s AirInc., the neighborhood groups that oversee mitigation for Logan Airport impacts on the community, are now seeking to rally the community against Massport’s plans to expand Terminal E.
The groups are urging residents to send letters to Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton to have Massport slow down the process and engage in a better community process regarding the Terminal E project. Massport officials have held several informational meetings for the community residents since August.
Many of Eastie’s environmentalists are not buying Massport’s position and have turned to the Logan Health Study released by the state several years ago that showed how Logan is contributing to an increase in childhood asthma and COPD in Eastie.
They argue that Massport’s projections within its own documents submitted to the state show that the Terminal E expansion plan calls for a 43 percent increase in passengers and flight operations will increase by 30 percent by 2030.
In a statement to the East Boston Times and the community AirInc. wrote that its position is, “When a massive project comes up that threatens the health, safety and quality of life of every family in our community, we should have THE RIGHT to comment on the real impacts of that project in review processes dedicated to the approval of those project. We should get honest responses to our concerns and a real chance to protect ourselves against further harm.”
However the comment period for the DEIR ended at midnight on September 9 but the two groups are not backing down and are urging Massport, the state and Eastie’s elected officials to push for another extension so the community can continue to digest the impacts of the Terminal E project.
They also want the state to require Massport to prepare a full Final Environmental Impact Report. This would include an expanded study and assessment of opportunities to offset anticipated Logan growth by diverting domestic flights through a regional air space management plan including all regional airports.
The groups want Massport to aggressively strengthen the project’s mass transit analysis, with further study of transportation mode shift methods and the commitments to targeted vehicle trip and pollution reduction levels that could be achieved.
“We respect the right of community groups to participate in the process to advocate for their point of view,” said Massport in a statement to the East Boston Times.