SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 21, 2013

State favors waiver for Brimbal Ave. project; groups protest, say environmental study needed

(Continued)

Kampersal said Sullivan has failed to take into consideration the full environmental, traffic and noise implications of the project, including the shopping plaza. She wrote a letter to him this week asking him to reconsider his decision to grant a waiver.

“We think a lot of people don’t know how big that shopping center is going to be,” Kampersal said. “And to even think about putting it on a landfill. Who knows what was dumped there? That could be a big problem.”

The Ipswich River Watershed Association also wrote a letter opposing the environmental waiver. Executive Director Wayne Castonguay called the waiver request “imprudent and unjustified” and criticized what he called “casual planning” on the part of the city and state for dealing with the project’s environmental impacts.

Castonguay said officials should not be allowed to separate the two phases of the Brimbal Avenue project when it comes to environmental concerns. He said the entire project should “be subject to rigorous environmental review on a collective basis and not piecemeal as proposed.”

Sullivan said in his ruling that he supports the waiver request but will not make his final decision until after the public comment period ends today.

Before construction can begin, the city and state still need approval from the state Legislature for a land swap between the state and CEA Group, the company that would build the $20 million shopping plaza. CEA Group would give the state land to build the connector road while the state would give the company land to build the shopping plaza.

Scanlon said he hopes to get legislative approval in September, and that a construction contract could be awarded before the end of the year.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

 

 

 

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