Momentum for the #NoOnQ2Eastie campaign has grown with voting underway in the last week, gaining support from organizations, residents, and candidates City-wide.
Eversource proposes to build an electric substation at Condor St. on the Chelsea Creek in East Boston, a widely opposed location. Decisions around the substation illustrate basic questions of the City’s commitment to addressing climate change and environmental justice. Safe alternative locations away from homes exist for energy infrastructure.
Attorney General Maura Healy has declined to defend the state Siting Board approval now being challenged in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. US Senators Warren and Markey together with Representative Pressley have stated their opposition to the proposed location in East Boston.
Leading first-time At-Large Council Candidate Ruthzee Louijuene joined residents, Councilor Lydia Edwards and State Representative Adrian Madaro in East Boston on October 23rd, encouraging voters to “Vote No on Question 2”.
#NoEastieSubstation Advisory Question 2 on the Boston general election asks voters:
Should a high voltage, electric substation be built at 400 Condor Street in East Boston, along the Chelsea Creek, near homes, parks, playgrounds, jet fuel storage, and in a flood risk area, rather than in a nearby alternative safe and secure location such as non-residential Massport land at Logan Airport?
“The ballot measure will be the first time residents will be able to directly express to the City our opposition to this ill-conceived idea.” said East Boston resident Heather O’Brien.
Residents were promised an athletic field and natural flood protection buffer on the Condor St. property, which was City land until Eversource was given the prime waterfront site in a hastily arranged land swap with the City in 2018.
Prior to the land swap, the City’s Inspectional Services Department granted Eversource a complete waiver on basic City review of the project. The City gave Eversource this rarely-given blanket waiver without any notice to neighbors or opportunity for comment.
Boston mayoral candidates Anissa Essabi George and Michelle Wu stated their opposition as City Council members to the East Boston substation.
The Chelsea Creek substation is the subject of numerous pending appeals and legal challenges at the state level from East Boston residents and organizations.
“Practical alternative sites exist for this substation, such as on secure Massport land at Logan Airport.” O’Brien said. “We trust the new Mayor of Boston will use all her available powers to resolve this serious issue.”