Wynn: Chemical cleanup wouldn't stall casino bid

Wynn: Chemical cleanup wouldn't stall casino bid

Source: Boston Herald, February 13, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

A waterfront site in Everett where Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn wants to build a $1 billion casino is contaminated with arsenic, lead and other pollutants — but developers argue cleaning up the land wouldn’t push back the project.

The state-mandated cleanup is now facing another potential delay as the company that owns the property, FBT Everett Realty Inc., has just been granted a four-month extension to come up with a plan to rid the site of chemicals, officials said.

The company, which bought the property in 2009 for $8 million, was supposed to file a clean-up plan with the state Department of Environmental Protection by February 2014, but asked in a Jan. 25 letter for an extension until June 2014. That request has been granted, a DEP spokesman said.

News of the potential delay comes as Wynn seeks a casino license from the state gaming board, which is expected to issue licenses in February 2014.

“We do not anticipate any extensive delay,” Wynn officials said in a statement. The statement added that “it is likely that remediation of the site will occur earlier” because of the proposed casino, than if there were no plans for the 30-acre site.

A 1995 study found high levels of arsenic and lead in the soil. The site, which was used as an asbestos dump during the Big Dig, was first used as a dye plant in 1804 and housed Monsanto Chemical from 1929 to 1983.

Patrick King, an environmental consultant hired by FBT, said the company has been given five years by the DEP to rid the site of toxic waste.

“You could build on one part while you clean up other parts,” King said.

Battling Wynn for the Boston region’s casino license are Suffolk Downs, which has partnered with Caesars, and developer David Nunes, who is working with Foxwoods on a proposed Milford gaming resort.

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