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Green Line Extension NEPA Lawsuit
 
You may have seen a recent article in the Boston Globe that mentions that the GLAM and two individual plaintiffs NEPA lawsuit is being dismissed. This is a preliminary action by the federal court. 
 
Our lawsuit under NEPA statute focuses on the need for a more fuller environmental impact statement at the federal level that would address in a more interdisciplinary approach the health hazards of bringing train diesel exhaust closer to homes along the rail corridor when bringing in the Green Line along with the long term health effects on over exposure to diesel particulates on residents, particularly those in the disability and environmental justice community who are vulnerable to cancer and respiratory illness from these types of air pollution.  In the lawsuit, we also questioned the decision making process under NEPA statutes Mass DOT used in not mitigating this health issue and other environmental impacts and the process Mass DOT used and is trying to use around Route 16.
 

In the preliminary action by the federal court, the judge has taken the more conservative approach of Supreme Court Justice Scalia on the NEPA statute.  While we on the other hand have taken the more liberal approach of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on ecosystem protection and disability rights.  A new civil rights that must be explored in the courts in the direction as stated by Chief Justice John Roberts when identifying fundamental principles underlying what constitutional protection is and applying it to new issues.  The Green Line lawsuit has always been a David and Goliath case as it can cost $150k to $250k to judicate for the plaintiffs, something many working and low income people such as in GLAM’s membership cannot afford in protecting their environmental interests and civil rights. 

 

But remedies are not always blatantly displayed in media headlines.  For example, the federal court has now agreed that the mandated site for the Green Line is College Avenue, in opposition to the position taken by those who have threaten legal action to bring it to Route 16.  And in his actions the judge has left open the door for the complaint to be taken up again, not only for disability groups, but for others who could join in if the state moves forward with inaccurate information on Route 16.  It leaves us standing in a role of the watchful eye. 

 

The two individual plaintiffs do intend to respond to the Judge’s preliminary action within the time allowed.  We provide you this information in an effort to be transparent.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

GLAM

                                                            Press Release

Green Line Advisory Group for Medford (GLAM)

 

For Immediate Release:

 

 

Complaint Filed in U.S. District Court Against the Green Line Extension

 

The Green Line Advisory Group for Medford (GLAM), an organization, represented by its Chairperson, Carolyn Rosen, as well as, private citizens Carolyn Rosen and Dr. William Wood of Medford have filed a complaint against the Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration regarding the Green Line Extension project to Medford. 

 

The complaint intends to prove that the Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration failed to adequately address environmental issues pertaining to the human environment and its natural resources in the city of Medford. 

 

The complaint also contends that civil rights of the environmental justice community and disability population of Medford have been violated through out the Green Line Extension process. 

 

A complaint has been filed in U.S. District Court in Boston on January 18, 2013. 

 

 

Media Contact:

 

Carolyn Rosen, Chairperson

Email:  glamtwo@comcast.net

 

 

                                                          

 

                                                             

 

                                                          

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 1, 2011

CONTACT: Joe Pesaturo jpesaturo@mbta.com

GREEN LINE EXTENSION TO SOMERVILLE AND MEDFORD

Over the past four months, the Green Line Extension project team performed a cost and schedule analysis that thoroughly examined all aspects of the project and the actions required to move it forward expeditiously. As a result of this analysis, the projections for the Green Line Extension project have been refined. Under the revised timeframe, passenger service would begin no earlier than the fall of 2018 and no later than the summer of 2020. The schedule is contingent on the MBTA taking full ownership of property required for construction. Benefitting from lessons learned on the Greenbush Commuter Rail project, in which the MBTA did not take ownership of needed properties until after the Design/Build process began, the Green Line project team aims to prevent the issues that cost the MBTA both time and money.

Seeking to accelerate the timeline where possible, MassDOT and the MBTA are actively considering strategies that could mitigate schedule impacts and improve upon the dates for passenger service on the Green Line Extension. The strategies under consideration include the development of a ‘phasing’ scenario that would allow for some stations to open for public use while others are still being constructed.

In addition, the MBTA plans to request a ‘Letter of No Prejudice’ from the Federal Transit Administration. This could allow the project to move forward more quickly while still preserving the potential to seek federal reimbursement for state money used to advance the project.

In the meantime, progress continues to be made.

- Environmental review documents, submitted to the Federal Transit Administration, will be released this year upon FTA approval. MassDOT hopes to receive a Finding of No Significant Impact from the FTA for the Green Line Extension project this fall.

- A new Program Management/Construction Management/Preliminary Engineering technical team is currently working under an initial contract to perform Advanced Conceptual Engineering, which will lead to Preliminary Engineering and then to the initiation of procurement of a Design-Build team to complete the design and start construction.

- MassDOT and the MBTA continue to work with the FTA to seek funding for the Green Line Extension project under the FTA New Starts capital funding program.

- The procurement of 24 new Green Line vehicles needed to support the operation of the Green Lin Extension is now underway.

The Final Environmental Impact Certificate was issued on July 30, 2010 and can be found on http://www.greenlineextension.org under current documents.