CPS Position Statement – Casella Proposal 2_17_2016

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Mr. Marty Walsh, Mayor
City of Boston
Mr. Daniel Ryan, Charlestown
House of Representatives
Mr. Brian Golden, Executive Director
Boston Redevelopment Authority
Ms. Deirdre Buckley, Director
MEPA
Michelle WU, President
Boston City Council
Salvatore LaMattina, District 1
Boston City Council
Michael Flaherty, At-Large
Boston City council
Mr. Tom Cunha, President
Charlestown Neighborhood Council
Mr. Tom McKay
Neighborhood Liaison, Charlestown
The Charlestown Preservation Society, through its Board and consistent with its mission to protect the
quality of life in our neighborhood, has approved the following position statement relative to the Casella
proposal to initiate solid waste (trash) hauling to and from a transfer station at its Charlestown facilities
off of Rutherford Avenue.
The CPS strongly opposes the Casella proposal to operate a waste transfer station in densely populated
and largely residential Charlestown. The project is totally inappropriate for a compact neighborhood that
already has to contend with commuter and truck traffic to and from downtown Boston with its immense
traffic jams, noise, pollution and danger posed to pedestrians. The addition of a massive number of
tractor trailers and garbage trucks to our already clogged streets, in combination with significant other
problems that the business would heap on Charlestown, would intolerably degrade our neighborhood and
its quality of life.
- Based on Casella’s own information, at its start the solid waste operation would add 25 tractor trailer
and 55 garbage truck roundtrips through Charlestown’s streets, six days a week, 24 hours per day.
- Casella’s stated goal is to then vigorously seek additional trash business from other municipalities and
large businesses. Each new customer won by Casella, with its attendant increase of trash trucks clogging
our streets, would represent an additional blow to the quality of life in Charlestown.
- There are only three access points to/from Charlestown and the addition of the initial truck traffic of the
Casella operation, even without considering a growing customer base, would intolerably gridlock our
streets. At Sullivan Square, an already obsolete and clogged traffic circle, the Casella trucks would
compound the addition of massive numbers of vehicles to be generated by the Wynn 24/7 casino project
being built on Charlestown’s doorstep, the large Partners’ building nearing completion and the full buildout of Assembly Row in Somerville. The Gilmore Bridge, already grid-locked many hours per day, will
be further burdened as the rapid pace of office and laboratory construction in Kendall Square and East
Cambridge continues. The North Washington Street – Charlestown Bridge, a bottleneck, is to have its
capacity further reduced during the construction of a replacement bridge beginning in 2017.
Significantly, once the construction delays end, the new bridge is designed to have only two lanes
inbound and two lanes outbound. No increased capacity is being added. The potential/probable
exponential growth of heavy trucks traveling to and from the Casella location would devastate
Charlestown.
- The trucks now utilizing the Casella facility in Charlestown already make Rutherford Ave. look like a
trash alley with their cargo of recyclables falling and blowing off trucks that are improperly secured. The
addition of large number of trash trucks will exacerbate the problem.
- The neighbors of the existing Casella facility are already plagued by rats; the addition of tons of trash to
the building will make things worse. Noxious odors, not an issue with recyclables, will be an unwelcome
addition. This is a stark example of the inappropriate location proposed by Casella for a massive trash
processing facility.
- The City of Boston, through its master plan revision initiative now under way, is focused on
encouraging increased and denser development, including residential buildings, in public transit oriented
locations. The Casella buildings are located directly in between Charlestown’s two orange line T stations.
The presence in this location of a large, 24 hour trash dumping and transfer operation with it malodorous,
rodent attracting “product” along with a parade of heavy trucks and machinery producing litter, pollution
and noise, is not the highest and best use of the land and will constitute a de facto barrier to any positive
evolution of Charlestown’s sole transit oriented location. - In addition to the pollution that a whole fleet
of trucks will add to the air we breathe, our densely populated residential neighborhood, just across
Rutherford Ave., along with residential buildings now
under construction on the Casella side of that street, will be subject to incessant noise pollution if the
Casella proposal is approved. Commercial trucks and heavy equipment are required by law to emit loud
“beeping” noises whenever they back up. These loud, obnoxious noises being emitted 24/6 will permeate
the neighborhood making quiet enjoyment of residents’ homes nearly impossible, especially during
warmer weather when windows are open.
For all the above mentioned reasons, it is clear that the Casella trash transfer station proposal is misguided
and would impose a terrible and intolerable burden on the residents of Charlestown. Our quality of life
would be irrevocably degraded. We urge our public officials to DENY the approvals and permits that
would allow Casella to degrade Boston’s oldest neighborhood.
Sincerely,
Ellen Kitzis, President
Charlestown Preservation Society
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