CLF, GreenRoots Appeal Irresponsible East Boston Substation Decision

State allowing facility to bypass critical permitting process

The waterfront site near the dangerous electric substation proposed by Eversource in the Eagle Hill community in East Boston. The jet fuel tanks and other infrastructure in the background highlight the need for climate justice in this community.

December 19, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and GreenRoots have filed an appeal with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of a recent state decision that would allow a proposed electrical substation in East Boston to bypass an important permitting process. After hours of community testimony in opposition, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board decided to fast-track the project in a vote on November 29.

“How many times does the community have to say no to this facility while decision-makers fail to listen?” said Staci Rubin, Vice President of Environmental Justice at CLF. “At every turn, the state has ignored laws governing community input and alternative location of these types of facilities. East Boston does not need yet another environmental burden, and we will continue challenging this substation until the end.”

“For eight years the community of East Boston has fought this project and at no point was there ever a moment that Eversource or State entities like the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) and the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), tried to negotiate some sort of alternative solution,” said John Walkey, Director of Waterfront and Climate Justice Initiatives at GreenRoots. “They’ve been jamming this project down our throats with the so-called ‘mitigation measures’ actually being paid for by rate-payers. The disdain shown towards the community is perhaps the greatest injustice of all.”

CLF and GreenRoots have joined community residents in opposing this substation for years, but the state has allowed Eversource to bypass community input and critical environmental reviews. CLF and GreenRoots testified and pushed for a vote delay last month since most of the siting board members will be changing with the new administration in January. Relevant regulations and policies will be changed in the coming months as well, but the board voted to approve the plans to bypass permitting anyway.

Experts are available for further comment.