State Grants Wynn Permit Needed To Start Construction On Everett Casino

A scaled model of Wynn’s planned casino in Everett. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A scaled model of Wynn’s planned casino in Everett. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The state Department of Environmental Protection on Friday said it would grant Wynn Resorts a key environmental permit it needs to begin construction on its $1.7 billion Everett casino.

The city of Somerville earlier this year appealed the state's decision to grant the permit — arguing that pollution from the predicted surge in traffic to neighboring Everett would have a negative impact on the health of the city's residents.

"This hopefully concludes one of the longest and most publicly scrutinized environmental licensing award in the history of the Commonwealth," Robert DeSalvio, the president of Wynn Boston Harbor, said in a statement. "Crews and resources are being readied and mobilized. Once we have the license in hand, construction of Wynn Boston Harbor and the eventual hiring of 4,000 union workers will commence immediately."

Wynn Resorts says construction could start as soon as next month.

In a statement, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said the decision to give Wynn the environmental permit isn't the end of the city's legal fight.

"This particular appeal was never about stopping the casino but rather about exercising the city’s statutory rights of appeal to ensure our environmental, health and waterways concerns were addressed..." Curtatone said.

Curtatone said the city was pleased with the state's approval of ferry service along the Mystic River to the Wynn Boston Harbor resort. The city had argued a ferry would reduce road traffic and pollution in area neighborhoods.

Curtatone said Somerville will continue to review its options, as it has four other legal actions about Wynn Boston Harbor still pending.

The mayor of Everett said in a statement that he "could not be more thrilled" with the state's decision.

"It has been a journey to get to this point," Mayor Carlo DeMaria said. "From a rigorous ballot question campaign – that was met with rousing support from the residents of Everett – to years of negotiations with surrounding cities, we have fought to bring this asset to the city."

This article was originally published on July 22, 2016.



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