March 22, 2023 • Press Release

Boston City Councilors & GreenRoots announce the passage of the #NoEastieSubstation resolution at press conference

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Media Contact:
Iliana Panameño, GreenRoots
617-875-4350 | IlianaP@greenrootschelsea.org
 

BOSTON–On Wednesday, March 22, 2023 11:50 AM, Boston City Councilors: Julia Mejia, Gabriela Coletta, Kendra Lara, Ruthzee Louijeune, Ricardo Arroyo and #NoEastieSubstation activists held a press conference to announce the passage of a Boston City Council Resolution in support of the ongoing opposition of the Eversource electric substation in East Boston. GreenRoots, East Boston residents and environmental justice activists call on Governor Maura Healey to issue an equity audit of the Eversource construction project. 

This announcement follows multiple rallies, protests and a municipal ballot question, since construction began of the Eversource electric substation in East Boston and nine years of an overwhelming amount of opposition by local, state and federal elected officials, East Boston residents, and experts. Furthermore, the Eversource substation would result in real implications for the health and safety of one of the most racially and ethnically diverse communities of Massachusetts who disproportionately bear the brunt of climate change and environmental injustices for the state.

“Black and brown communities like East Boston and Chelsea have borne the brunt of environmental injustice for far too long, and the construction of the Eversource substation in Eastie is just another example of that,” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. “This project has been forced upon residents without a meaningful community process and should not move forward without centering their voices and concerns. I stand with GreenRoots and my colleagues at the state and local levels in calling to halt this dangerous project and conduct a state equity audit to measure the impact it would have on our communities. This is a racial, environmental, and economic justice issue, and this fight isn’t over.”

“This substation has never been about our community, we never asked for this and we don’t need it. From day one Eversource has pushed this substation on the community,” said Senator Lydia Edwards. “I am tired of Eversource being able to appeal to the State to tell us what we need, I’m proud to be leading on legislation in the State House that would protect our communities from Eversource’s greed.”

"Environmental justice means ensuring that no community bears a disproportionate burden of environmental hazards,” said Representative Adrian Madaro. I stand with GreenRoots and my neighbors in East Boston in calling for a halt to the dangerous Eversource substation, and for an equity audit to address the disproportionate impacts on this diverse and vibrant community. It's time for our Commonwealth to prioritize the health and safety of all residents, regardless of their zip code."

“I have seen time and time again that my district and the coastal community of East Boston is overburdened by polluting energy infrastructures with a lack of intentional community outreach to monolingual Spanish-speaking residents,” said Boston City Councilor for District 1 Gabriela Coletta and cosponsor of the #NoEastieSubstation solidarity resolution. “My team and I stand in solidarity with GreenRoots and environmental justice activists as we work diligently to identify every legal avenue to halt construction of the dangerous Eversource substation.” 

“I am delighted my colleagues have fully supported the #NoEastieSubstation resolution,” said Boston At-Large City Councilor Julia Mejia and sponsor of the #NoEastieSubstation solidarity resolution. “It is our responsibility to ensure all Boston residents, no matter their zip code, are safe from dangerous infrastructure like the Eversource substation being constructed in East Boston. Our voices cannot continue to be ignored, while big industry is prioritized.” 

“We thank our elected officials for their bold leadership and for being champions on issues that matter most to immigrant and working-class residents of Boston,” said GreenRoots Director of Waterfront and Climate Justice Initiatives John Walkey. “We must set the precedent for all environmental justice communities across the Commonwealth that continue to be overburdened by hazardous infrastructure, toxic pollution and systemic racism & classism. To put critical electrical infrastructure in a flood zone and next to 8 million gallons of jet fuel is bad planning and an injustice for East Boston residents. We need to plan for a climate resilient future, and that is why we continue to call for construction of the Eversource substation to be halted and for an equity audit to be issued for the project.” 

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GreenRoots is a community-based organization dedicated to improving and enhancing the urban environment and public health in East Boston, Chelsea and surrounding communities. We do so through deep community engagement and empowerment, youth leadership and implementation of innovative projects and campaigns.