Assembly Square FEIR Testimony

(Submitted to EOEA 4/22/10)

April 22, 2010

Secretary Ian A. Bowles
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Attn: Deirdre Buckley
100 Cambridge St., Suite 900
Boston MA 02114

Reference: EOEA #13989
Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on the Assembly Square Mixed-Use Redevelopment, Somerville MA

Dear Secretary Bowles:

I would like to indicate conditional support for certifying this project, with the following provisos:

  1. The following commitments were made by the developers in settling the lawsuit filed by Somerville citizens against the city, IKEA, and Assembly Square Limited Partnership:

    1. Develop a long-term vision for the site and a Sustainability Plan for achieving it.

      This long-term vision developed by FRIT in collaboration with Mystic View Task Force is missing and should be included in the FEIR. An electronic copy is attached. The Sustainability Plan should be listed as a requirement in the EOEA certificate.

    2. Implement a Transportation Mitigation Plan with a hard cap of 50,000 vehicle trips per day.

      This is important to mitigate the serious traffic and air quality impacts that will start with the IKEA project and will continue as long as the development remains automobile-oriented. The Transportation Mitigation Plan should be listed as a requirement in the EOEA certificate.

  2. Across the river in Medford a wind power project using Federal stimulus funds has been proposed. Other grants have been made by the MassCEC Community-Scale Wind Initiative. As part of the environmental mitigation for this project, the EOEA should recommend in the certificate that the developers do the following:

    1. Work with an appropriate wind-power developer and state and local authorities to develop a wind project in an appropriate area, such as in the dead area at the Boston end of Draw 7 Park next to the Orange Line.

    2. Include in the standard specifications for buildings roof strength and clearance allowances suitable for mounting rooftop-scale wind power or solar power generators.

Thank you for your attention.

David Dahlbacka