'No environmental impact review' decision handed down; Fells protection campaign continues.
On April 19 Massachusetts environmental Secretary, former Department of Conservation and Recreation commissioner, Richard Sullivan ruled that DCR plans to implement Fells parkway modifications do not require environmental impact review.
The decision by the Secretary is not surprising or unexpected. It would have been difficult for Secretary Sullivan to rule against his previous scheme blocking environmental review which he put in place in 2009 as Commissioner of DCR.
This means that the public will need to wait until later this year for the outcome of the lawsuit brought by the Friends of Fells, ten citizens, and the City of Medford to see if the full public environmental review will be required for the former hospital site redevelopment and the parkway modification plan that DCR is carrying out on behalf of the developers.
'Medford mayor pledges $10,000 to help fight Fells plan' boston.com April 5 Fells press conference video
Mayor McGlynn said, "It is a peaceful and recreational area where we believe that unless there is a full environmental review serious damage will be caused to the entire region."
At the press conference state Representative Paul Donato recalled how he filed legislation 12 years ago to protect the parkways.
Saying he still believes the project must have full environmental review, Donato statted he is willing to file legislation again to make sure that review occurs;
“If it takes additional legislation, I’m prepared to make sure that legislation goes forward and will fight to make sure that we hold this developer accountable.”
Previously, during a Monday March 18 meeting convened by the state environmental affairs (MEPA) office Medford and Melrose mayors McGlynn and Dolan, Representative Donato and many Fells district residents expressed opposition to the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s attempt to avoid public review of plans for the agency’s changes to Fells historic parkways.
DCR parkway alteration plans include:
• removal of seventeen Fells Reservation trees
• adding traffic signals in two locations
• removing the entire length of one of the Woodland Road southbound lanes
For more background information on this issue click here.