East Boston Substation Project Must Not Move Forward

CLF appeals decision granting facility a license

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.

Photo: Ed Lyons, CC BY-NA 2.0

January 24, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has filed an appeal on behalf of more than ten residents of East Boston to stop construction of an Eversource substation in the neighborhood. State officials shut the community out of the planning process for the project, wrongfully characterized the substation as a water-dependent use and failed to consider the negative impact on environmental justice populations.

“Allowing this substation to be built ignores community voices and established law in Massachusetts,” said Staci Rubin, Vice President, Environmental Justice, CLF. “If the loud community opposition wasn’t enough to sink this project, the proposed site should be reserved for uses that must be on the water, not energy infrastructure that can be located elsewhere. It’s time for state officials to evaluate this project on its merits instead of rubber stamping Eversource’s requests.”

CLF’s appeal challenges the site’s Chapter 91 state waterfront license. Massachusetts’ Chapter 91 regulations require waterfront projects to provide certain community benefits that are greater than project detriments. By mischaracterizing this project as a water-dependent use, Eversource and state officials are effectively sidestepping more rigorous review and public benefit requirements that should be required for this site.

State officials at the Department of Environmental Protection granted a license to the substation, and CLF is appealing that decision.

CLF experts are available for further comment.