MGNA: Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance

Information about our green line extension.



Month: October, 2009

DEIR public hearing Nov. 18; comment deadline Dec. 9

16 October, 2009 (23:33) | News | By: Editor

The state Executive Office of Transportation will present findings and recommendations from the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (DEIR/EA) for the Green Line Extension project at a Public Hearing:

November 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm
Somerville High School – Auditorium
81 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143

Members of the public, agency representatives, and other project stakeholders are invited to attend the hearing and to make comments on the project.

Public comments on the DEIR/EA should be made to the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, through the Commonwealth’s MEPA process. The federal government conducts its own review of the document to ensure adequacy of the document under the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, and accepts public comment to the NEPA process in two ways: First, the comments made at the November 18 Public Hearing will be included in a transcript that will be submitted to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Second, EOT will compile the comment letters submitted to through the MEPA process, along with responses to these comments, and provide them to FTA after the completion of the comment period.

All written comments must be submitted to:
Secretary Ian Bowles
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
MEPA Office
Attn: Holly Johnson, MEPA Analyst
EEA #13886
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114
Fax: 617-626-1181
Email: Holly.S.Johnson@state.ma.us

Green Line DEIR posted to project website

16 October, 2009 (13:18) | News | By: Editor

The Executive Office of Transportation has posted the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (DEIR/EA) for the Green Line Extension project to the project website:

Printed copies of the report also have been sent to the Medford Public Library and Medford City Clerk’s office and will be available there for public review.

Copies may also be requested by contacting Regan Checchio at 617-357-5772 or rchecchio@reginavilla.com.

The report is the culmination of 24 months of analysis and preliminary design and engineering for the project. The report will need the approval of the state’s Executive Office of Environmental Affairs for the project to proceed.

Written comments on the report will be accepted until December 9, 2009. A public hearing on the report also is to be held.

DEIR to be filed Thursday with 3 maintenance site options

14 October, 2009 (15:09) | News | By: Editor

The Executive Office of Transportation announced today that it will file the Draft Environmental Impact Report on the Green Line Extension project on Thursday, and that it will include two additional options for the site of the controversial storage and maintenance facility.

EOT called the addition of the two potential sites “a good solution to move the project forward.” The agency was required to file the DEIR on December 1, 2008, but the filing was delayed due to its efforts to “find a positive resolution” regarding the maintenance facility location.

In addition to the previously recommended site known as Yard 8 in the Inner Belt area of Somerville, the EOT said it will also explore another Inner Belt site, adjacent to the Boston Engine Terminal, and a site that straddles the Inner Belt area of Somerville and the NorthPoint area of Cambridge.

Several members of the Citizens Advisory Board from Somerville have long advocated for the Boston Engine Terminal location, which is where the MBTA commuter rail trains are repaired. The City of Somerville proposed the third location, known as Mirror H, but  EOT ruled out that location in a 13-page analysis released last February.

EOT called the addition of the two potential sites “a good solution to move the project forward.” The agency was required to file the DEIR on December 1, 2008, but the filing was delayed due to its efforts to “find a positive resolution” regarding the maintenance facility location.

EOT said it intends to hold a public hearing to get input on the two new options for the maintenance facility. A Notice of Project Change would be required to formally substitute one of the alternative options for Yard 8 as the preferred site for the storage and maintenance facility.

According to Regan Checchio of the Green Line Extension project team, the DEIR should be posted to the project website by Monday afternoon, October 19. The DEIR will be published in the Environmental Monitor on Monday, October 26. The submission will be followed by a 45-day public review period and a public hearing.

Here is the text of today’s announcement from EOT:

Dear Green Line Extension Friends -

We are writing to you with an update on the status of the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment for the Green Line Extension project.

As many of you are aware, the Executive Office of Transportation has been working with our federal and state partners to prepare for the submission of a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (DEIR/EA) for the Green Line Extension project. As we explained in our last message, we anticipated that the DEIR/EA would be submitted in August, and we outlined the process that would accompany the submission. We are now expecting to file the DEIR/EA on October 15th, to be noticed in the Environmental Monitor of October 26. The submission will be followed by a 45-day public review period and a public hearing. Detailed information on the specifics of the DEIR/EA, public hearing, and public comment period will be available shortly.

We are aware that some of you are concerned about the recent delays in filing the DEIR/EA. The delays resulted directly from our efforts - and the efforts of many project stakeholders - to find a positive resolution to the siting of a vehicle storage and maintenance facility for the Green Line Extension. The construction of such a facility is a necessary component of the project, and we are striving to find an appropriate site that meets the operational, financial, and schedule needs of the Green Line Extension project while also minimizing disruption within the host community. There are many factors to balance, and we feel that we have - with the support of our partners and stakeholders - found a good solution for moving this project forward.

EOT has analyzed the environmental impacts of locating the facility within the confines of the so-called Yard 8 site within the Inner Belt area of Somerville. This analysis will be presented in full in the DEIR/EA. In addition, we have decided to explore two new potential locations for the construction of the facility: (1) a location we have labeled “Option L,” which is also located in the Inner Belt area, immediately adjacent to the Boston Engine Terminal, and (2) the so-called Mirror H site, which straddles the Inner Belt area of Somerville and the NorthPoint area of Cambridge. The DEIR/EA includes a commitment from EOT to further consider both of these alternatives; the outcome of this analysis will determine whether EOT chooses to pursue a Notice of Project Change for the Green Line Extension project, to formally substitute one of the alternative options for Yard 8 as the preferred site for the storage and maintenance facility.

We will hold a public meeting to seek input and feedback on the Mirror H and Option L locations.

Two other items of interest:

  • We have recently posted conceptual renderings of the new ‘Type 9′ Green Line vehicles to the project website. The drawings, which were prepared by an MBTA engineering consultant, can be viewed at the Green Line website.
  • We would also like to share the news that the Green Line Extension project has recently been featured on the local television program Chronicle. To watch the segment, click here.

For more information on the project, please visit the project website. To contact the project team, please email Kate Fichter. Please share this message with others who may be interested.

Thank you for your interest in and support of the Green Line Extension project.

The Green Line Extension Project Team