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Casino Construction Could Result in Spread of Toxic Chemicals

Dust from contaminated soil could blow through the region if construction on the site is approved.

A rendering of the Wynn Resort casino in Everett, across from Sullivan Square. Credit: File photo
A rendering of the Wynn Resort casino in Everett, across from Sullivan Square. Credit: File photo

Officials during a meeting at Charlestown High School Tuesday said that the proposed Wynn casino in Everett and in close proximity to Sullivan Square in Charlestown would pollute the air throughout the region, according to the Boston Herald.

Jane Wheeler, an environmental consultant with CDM Smith explained during the meeting that dust leftover from tucks carrying dirt laced with arsenic, lead and petroleum hydrocarbons from years of sulfur manufacturing on what was once a Monsanto chemical site would likely blow from west to east toward Boston, according to the Herald. 

Moreover, the pollution would be in addition to a 13-percent increase in air pollutants from traffic through the area, and every vehicle that would leave the site would need to be washed to prevent poison from spreading, the Herald reported. 

About 60 percent of the proposed casino’s estimated traffic would come by way of Sullivan Square in Charlestown.

Materials relating to the meeting and the proposed casino can be found at the Boston Public Library's Charlestown branch. Area residents can also submit comments on the city of Boston's website

Andrew O'Hearn February 05, 2014 at 03:22 PM
I was at the meeting and found many of the experts the city has hired made claims that were agenda driven. At one point the sound expert mentioned pile driving? Really schnitzer N.E. Has been loading scrap metal ships at all hours of the night for years and recently the old Boston Edison plant has been "blowing down" pressure. Both reverberate into CTown but she worried about something that may happen? Worry about what is happening and then maybe I'll believe your sincerity!!
Dan February 05, 2014 at 03:55 PM
Lets not get distracted here the root issue is TRAFFIC and how that will effect us. Yes the environmental issues are also important but before we worry about the construction the site needs to be viable from a traffic perspective. I too was at the meeting and was dismayed on the lack of what physical changes would be needed to address the added traffic. All we got was "Its not so bad" from one side and the other focused on the queue length of traffic sitting waiting to move. Remember we'll need to fight our way in and out though this gridlock condition! Now look at it this way we will become an island that we can't get on or off of. What does that do to your properties value? it sure doesn't raise it! To be clear here I do feel for Everett. They have toxic mess that needs cleaning and they see Wynn as the White Knight. But we too need to worry on the after effects of this project and how it effects us here. If the Feds would make the Monsanto site a toxic waste site and they could get the needed moneys from the feds & state to clean it up I would be for that. Then housing or other less traffic use would be great!
Joseph February 06, 2014 at 09:34 AM
Why isn't anyone addressing the fact that the Alford Street Bridge has been under construction for well over 5 years, resulting in a direct impact on the traffic conditions at Sullivan Square and in Charlestown? I'm curious to know how much over budget this bridge project is? A project that has dragged out for far too long, as compared to Assembly Square where they've built buildings and a T stop in less than 2yrs. Someone please educate me on how that is possible? No accountability, yet the construction company is getting paid for not working. Gotta love the unions and the corrupt officials overseeing this project!! 2ndly, nobody has reported that the tunnel is now open (should have never been closed) and traffic moves much better (yes, I'm talking to you surface option people!!) Furthermore, why aren't the Cities of Boston & Everett suing Monsanto for failing to clean up toxic waste? Call me crazy, but if that land is contaminated, then one can assume runoff is going directly into the Mystic River, which in turns leads to Boston Harbor and Cape Cod Bay, as well as flowing north into the Upper Mystic Lake. Where were the environmentalists before the casino came a knockin'?? G'day
Gtree February 06, 2014 at 09:48 AM
Wow. Where to start. How does jane think 21e sites are cleaned up? By helicopter? Of course trucks haul dirt. But controls are put in place so a situation like jane states won't happen. Trucks are inspected as they come into the site to verify they come in clean. Load in a clean area and drive out after being inspected. I hope that is how CDM does their 21e cleanups. To suggest otherwise speaks to her company. Joe Why would the "feds" take action at this site or sue. The site is currently in compliance with a temporary solution.
Cecilia February 06, 2014 at 11:23 AM
The health impacts of the old Monsanto plant to Boston, the Bay and points east are too great to merit an approval of the Wynn Casino plans at this point. Instead, Monsanto should be brought to task for putting the cities of Everett and Boston at a public health risk and for diminishing Everett's economic viability. Air-borne toxic exposure is a problem for ALL of us. Long-term arsenic exposure is linked to: diarrhea, vomiting, blood in the urine, cramping muscles, hair loss, stomach pain, convulsions, coma and death. Lead exposure is particularly bad in kids as it can stunt brain development, dropped IQ, and behavior problems. Patch, great reporting so far. Please (1) contribute more reporting on the history of the Monsanto plant and (2) post Jane Wheeler's report on the toxic risks.
Gtree February 06, 2014 at 12:42 PM
Are you saying that cleaning up a site from a temporary solution to a permanent remedy is a bad idea. Have you ever heard of Brownfields? There's major support from washington dc and beacon hill to redevelop these sites. What current exposures are you talking about. Are you saying there is detectable air Bourne contamination? If so, thats not true.
William Brewster February 06, 2014 at 01:43 PM
It's a done deal, powerbrokers have ruled, palms have been crossed, unions greased...accept it, you'll sleep better (leave windows closed).
Cecilia February 06, 2014 at 01:53 PM
GTree, I'm saying we need more information. The CDW Smith report clearly stated that toxic dust will be airborne as a result of the construction. If you need more proof of what 70 years of wonton chemical dumping looks like, check out this report by Everett's own police dept. http://faculty.umb.edu/anamarija.frankic/eeos476/ProjectSites/ChemicalLane/The%20Former%20Monsanto%20Chemical%20Company%20Site.pdf
Joseph February 06, 2014 at 03:01 PM
@Gtree - EPA. I would think they (EPA) would have some jurisdiction over chemical company clean ups. Or in this case, failure to clean up properly. Whether the casino comes to Everett or not, clean up is a must.
Mary Walsh February 06, 2014 at 03:46 PM
Of all the stats given at the meeting, the fact that the tower they have to build to alleviate the exhaust from the four-story underground garage is projected to be 360 feet. That's about 150 feet taller than the Bunker Hill Monument. (221' v. 360') I hope I misheard. I'd be all for cleaning up the toxic waste and it is revealing that only someone who can historically expect to siphon off large amounts of money, especially from lower income people, could even see this as a viable site to begin with. More power to them since Gordon Gekko"s philosophy is much more in keeping with the present than is the more altruistic nature of the people who fought at Bunker Hill. I just see the long and short term quality of life for the people in Charlestown being inversely proportional to the height of Steve win's smokestack.

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