New Bedford Lawmakers Ask State To 'Vigorously Pursue' Cleanup Of Casino Site

Five state representatives are asking the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to identify who is responsible for cleaning up a highly contaminated former power plant site on the New Bedford Harbor.

Developer KG Urban had agreed to cleanup the MacArthur Drive site if it was awarded a state license to develop a $650 million resort casino there. But the developer pulled out of the competition for the license last week, citing a lack of financing.

In a letter addressed to Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg, Reps. William Straus, Antonio Cabral, Christopher Markey, Paul Schmid and Robert Koczera say KG Urban's decision to withdraw its bid has "numerous far-reaching consequences, chief among them the loss of a party who has demonstrated a willingness to fund and oversee" the cleanup of the site.

"Given the seriousness of the violations that have occurred at this location, including the release of materials into New Bedford Harbor, we expect that the Department will vigorously pursue and insist upon remediation at the site consistent with those actions agreed to be undertaken by KG Urban," the letter said.

According to the Standard-Times, the land is currently owned by Eversource and Sprague Energy and has "contaminants that date to uses in the late 1800s and affect soil, groundwater, building materials and more."

KG Urban had estimated the cleanup would cost $50 million and take nine months, the letter said.



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