September 19, 2005
Secretary Stephen Pritchard
Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
Attn: MEPA Office, EOEA #13300
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114
Subject: The Clarendon
Dear Secretary Pritchard:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Final Environmental Impact Report on the Clarendon project. The Boston Groundwater Trust was established by the Boston City Council to monitor groundwater levels in sections of the City where wood piling building foundations are threatened by lowered groundwater levels and to make recommendations for solving the problem. As such, our comments are limited to groundwater related issues.
As I have stated in my earlier comments on the draft document, I appreciate very much the proponents plans to work diligently toward a solution of groundwater problems. Their foundation design will minimize the likelihood of groundwater being pumped or drained from the site. The request for annual certification of no pumping or draining of groundwater is important to assure that the underground garage walls are not leaking and causing a need to remove groundwater from the garage. The need for this annual requirement would tend to increase with the age of the structure, so a two year commitment does not adequately address the issue. The requirement should be placed on the buildings owners for as long as the building is in place.
I look forward to working with the developer to site the groundwater observation wells that they will be installing and to find the best way that they will be able to recharge rainwater into the ground. Their work to date has been a positive example for others who plan to develop underground infrastructure in the critical areas of groundwater concern. I believe that, with the suggestions outlined above, they can continue to set an important standard.
Very truly yours,