CHARLESTOWN, MA – A hotel proposed for the Navy Yard’s historic Chain Forge Building recently passed an environmental review process without formally being reviewed by MEPA. The building is a former disposal site, allegedly with a high number of PCBs, according to a Charlestown Patriot Bridge report. MEPA says the project’s environmental impacts will be “avoided, minimized and/or mitigated” as “practicable.”
The project includes a 230-room hotel with a restaurant as well as “refurbishment” of the Chain Forge Building, new construction and a museum despite the fact that the once official “disposal site” could be polluted with PCBs.
The building was used by the Navy for more than 70 years for manufacturing of anchor chain and other “small metal parts.” The state’s Department of Environmental Protection notes that in 1992, soil and groundwater contamination were detected by the US Army Corps of Engineers. MA Water Resources Administration expresses concern that the site may not be capable of handling surges of stormwater which, it says, “cause combined sewage and stormwater to discharge into the Little Mystic Channel. MWRA has urged developers of the building to install sewer separation equipment.
Other issues of concern about the project include the fact that there is no onsite parking, although developers indicate they expect a reported 920 “new trips.” The offsite AutoPort is expected to offer 220 offsite valet parking spots. No date has yet been announced for the beginning of construction on the project.