A deadline for a final environmental report addressing traffic solutions in Everett and Charlestown has come and gone for Wynn Everett, but the casino developer has said it is working diligently with state agencies and waiting for their responses to proposals in the report.
Most importantly, Bob DeSalvio, senior vice president of development at Wynn, told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) that there would be no delays in the project due to the later than anticipated filing.
“Late last week, we met with MassDOT and provided them with some additional information which will assist in their review of the overall filing,” DeSalvio told the MGC last Thursday. “In addition, both MEPA and MassDOT have requested additional time to review our filing to ensure a thorough analysis. We plan to share a draft with them in response to this request in an effort to ensure a successful completion of the MEPA process… The SFEIR will include a summary of the project including a discussion of refinements to the project design since the filing of the FEIR including the new hotel tower design presented to you at the last public meeting and a comprehensive evaluation of any impacts of those refinements.”
The SFEIR report has been long anticipated and will deal, almost exclusively, with traffic.
One of the next rungs on the ladder for the Wynn Everett project was filing its Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Report (SFEIR) with state regulators. The bulk of the voluminous environmental report has already been given a stamp of approval last August, but last fall regulators asked Wynn to work closely and thoughtfully on a supplemental report addressing traffic in locales such as Sullivan Square in Charlestown and Santilli Circle in Everett.
Since that time, numerous meetings have transpired with numerous agencies and community organizations, and it was expected that report would be filed on Jan. 30.
At the MGC, DeSalvio said they wish to file as soon as possible, but their timeline is dependent on the speed at which state agencies complete their review. Unofficial word from those close to the situation indicated that the filing would now likely happen in mid-February, if all things run as scheduled.
More importantly, they said, is that the slight delay in filing the report would not cause any delays in the timeline of the project, as they have built in such delays to their schedule.
“We don’t think the MEPA process will affect our schedule,” he concluded at the MGC meeting. “We’re continuing to move forward with project design and our remediation plans in the meantime.”
Most that are involved in the process said in off-the-record statements that a late filing only gives more time to comment and consider the proposal. It is largely viewed as an advantage for the community, while an early filing would have been difficult for the community to add input within the official comment period.
In Charlestown tonight, Feb. 11, a major grass roots meeting is scheduled to take place between a new group known as Engaged Charlestown Residents and Wynn Everett. The topic of the SFEIR will be a major talking point, reportedly, at the meeting.