Letter: Durand failed to act on ESPR
Tuesday, December 24, 2002
In his declaration of Dec. 16, declaring that the Draft Environmental Status and Planning Report (ESPR) prepared by Massport for Hanscom Field "adequately and properly" addresses the future at Hanscom Field, Mr. Robert Durand, secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, provided what must be characterized as only a superficial response.
The EOEA failed to direct Massport to respond, in a forthcoming final version of the ESPR, to the multitude of very specific concerns, deficiencies, and inaccuracies pointed out during public review of the draft version. The secretary's direction to Massport was vague and addressed most issues in what can only be characterized as a peripheral manner.
The technical contents of the Draft ESPR were first reviewed during 10 public hearings over the last few months. The general public, civic leaders, and consultants representing the towns surrounding Hanscom voiced their concerns to Massport directly. A five-hour-long public meeting in Bedford, chaired by Jay Wickersham of the EOEA, saw 800 civic leaders and residents of Hanscom Field contiguous towns clearly express their dissatisfaction with the content of Massport's document as it failed to properly address the environmental impact and magnitude of Hanscom expansion over the next five to 15 years. Finally, EOEA received over 250 letters from the public with comments specifically addressing the inadequacies of the Massport report.
As a representative of the residents of Bedford and chairman of the Hanscom Area Town Selectmen, I can only express my deep disappointment in Mr. Durand's failure to act to direct Massport to properly address future impacts to the living environment surrounding Hanscom Field by simply not responding in detail directly to the factual concerns raised during the public review. A margin of enhanced diligence, a few extra hours of reading and certificate preparation by the secretary of the EOEA, would have been a clear signal to Massachusetts residents that our state environmental affairs office was concerned with doing its job properly. In all, a work poorly done by a state agency.
Dr. Sheldon H. Moll, chairman
Hanscom Area Town Selectmen
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