Senator Markey Questions Need for East Boston Electrical Substation, Calls on State Officials to Reopen Decision to Allow Construction of Project
Current proposal sites project within 800 feet of eight million gallons of jet fuel and directly across the street from a popular playground
Senator highlights need for translation services for public hearings and materials so that entire community can understand potential impacts of substation
Boston (November 27, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, is calling on the Massachusetts State Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) to reassess its decision to move forward with an electrical substation on East Eagle Street in East Boston. In his letter, Senator Markey cites climate change impacts and clean energy goals as reasons for reevaluating the location and need for the substation. A recent analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that for a little over half the cost of the new substation, East Boston could develop enough solar capacity to power 2,000 homes. In addition to the fire risk posed by the proposed site’s proximity to jet fuel, in his letter Senator Markey points to the fact that the site would have flooded twice in the past year and questions utility company Eversource’s claim that the new substation is needed to meet increased electricity demand.
“I urge the EFSB to consider community concerns and Massachusetts’ climate and energy goals in its review of this project, and to work to ensure that the review is inclusive, transparent, and uses up-to-date data,” writes Senator Markey in his letter to EFSB Chairman Kathleen Theoharides. “The project has gone through substantial planning changes since it was originally proposed in 2014 and approved in 2017, and residents of East Boston, public safety, and environmental justice advocates have a strong case against the location and necessity of the current site proposal.”
“I encourage the EFSB to provide informational materials and public hearings with translation services, so that all residents of East Boston can inform themselves, without language being a barrier,” continued Senator Markey.