By Seth Daniel
Nothing has been decided yet with the Wynn Chapter 91 hearing, but plenty of testimony was given last Thursday, June 2, during an administrative hearing in downtown Boston.
Hearing officers spent most of the day going line-by-line through the appeal given by the City of Somerville, with witnesses also being cross examined.
On the Everett side, many believed the hearing went in Wynn’s favor, with Mayor Carlo DeMaria saying he is excited to have the appeal adjudicated in a timely manner.
“Millions have already been spent on environmental remediation and billions more will be spent to transform the site, the former Monsanto Chemical property in Everett, from a forlorn and forgotten hazardous waste site into a beautiful 5-star resort with public access to the waterfront in one of the most densely populated urban regions in the country,” he said. “Unfortunately, because of the Mayor of Somerville’s appeal, Wynn was required by law to stop their environmental cleanup of the site and cannot begin work to remove polluted sediment from the bottom of the Mystic River. While the appeals process can take anywhere from six to 12 months, I am confident that very shortly Everett will see this transformational development take place, and the opportunity, momentum, and energy that simmers across our neighborhoods will heat up, improving the lives of our residents and those in surrounding communities, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state, and amplifying Boston’s reputation as a world-class city and international tourist destination.”
Meanwhile, Councilor Michael McLaughlin – who represents that area of Everett – agreed, saying the appeal hearing showed the case wasn’t strong.
“Somerville embarrassed themselves and held up six months of work and 4,000 jobs for no real reason,” he said. “People need those jobs in my area and need to support their families. Joe Curtatone didn’t see the importance of letting people get to work.”
According to officials at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Chapter 91 appeal will likely take two weeks to transcribe the hearing, followed by the filing of closing statements. After that is complete, there would be a 30-day period for the hearing officer to issue her recommendations. That recommendation would be forwarded to the commissioner of DEP, who has the ultimate decision on the matter.