Wynn Discussing Pollution Cleanup At Casino Site

Wynn Resorts will discuss its plans to clean up the polluted, former chemical plant site in Everett where it wants to build a $1.6 billion resort casino.

Robert DeSalvio, who is overseeing the development, is among the company officials expected to speak at Tufts University starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Wynn wants to redevelop the former Monsanto chemical company site, which is located along the Mystic River and straddles the Boston city line.

The company bested Mohegan Sun for the lucrative Boston-area license in September, based largely on its vision for reclaiming the weedy, long-vacant waterfront land and jump-starting development in and around working class Everett. But, like other casino developments in the state, Wynn's project could be stopped if Massachusetts voters on Nov. 4 approve a ballot question repealing the state law that authorized casino developments.

Environmental tests have shown the soil, groundwater and river sediment at the roughly 30-acre Monsanto site contains substantial levels of arsenic, lead, copper and other heavy metals from decades of industrial use, according to Chris Gordon, a project consultant for Wynn. A chemical processing plant Monsanto operated on the property closed in 1992.

"There's no question it's a fairly rough site," he said. "There's nothing on it. There's very little vegetation. No buildings. ...Along the water's edge, there's remnants of the site's industrial past - bulkheads, crane rails, that sort of stuff. "

Gordon said the environmental cleanup is expected to cost about $30 million and would take around three to four months to complete. The company hopes to begin the cleanup in spring 2015, assuming it clears a series of state and local permit approvals that are currently underway, he said.

Wynn's current proposal calls for a 27-story hotel tower with 500 luxury rooms, a gambling floor with 160 table games and 3,200 slot machines and space for a nightclub, a number of restaurants, retail stores and meeting and convention space.

On the waterfront, the company proposes building boat docks, providing a water taxi service into Boston and creating a public harbor walk with pedestrian and bike paths, a picnic area, an amphitheater and other amenities. Wynn also has pledged to finance the planting of new oyster beds in the Mystic River to help clean the former industrial river and eventually attract more fish and wildlife back into the region.


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