By John Lynds
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton signed off on Massport Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) Monday for Terminal E modernization and expansion project.
Massport is currently constructing three gates, previously permitted as part of the International Gateway/West Concourse Project, but were never built. However, Massport is looking to add an additional two to four new gates to accommodate the nearly eight million more international passengers that they are projecting will use Logan by 2022. Terminal E will be built to accommodate the increase in passengers and larger aircrafts like the Airbus 380.
With international travel expected to increase over the next decade and a new fleet of airplanes coming on line, the Federal Aviation Administration asked Massport to renovate Terminal E.
In his decision, Secretary Beaton wrote he determined that Massport’s DEIR submitted on this project adequately and properly complies with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act.
“Modernizing Terminal E will have significant environmental benefits for the neighboring communities by reducing emissions and noise,” said Massport in a statement. “We are pleased to have developed a positive dialogue in East Boston through a public process with the Logan Impact Advisory Group that goes back to last January.”
Longtime Eastie environmental activist Gail Miller and member of the Terminal E Impact Advisory Group (IAG) was disappointed that Beaton pointed to the IAG and potential mitigation as positive part of community engagement on the Terminal E project by Massport. The fact the IAG was even mentioned in the DEIR she found upsetting.
“This IAG process prompted by our elected is not a quid pro quo for endorsement of Massport’s current plans,” said Miller. “This mitigation list was brought to the community via a few community group representatives who are to take these suggestions back to their respective groups for endorsements. This has not happened yet but Massport is already touting the fact as though it appears they have acceptance from the various groups.”