July 6, 2007
Commissioner Richard K. Sullivan, Jr.
Department of Conservation and Recreation
251 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114
Subject: Storrow Drive Tunnel Reconstruction
Dear Commissioner Sullivan:
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the public review process and offer comments prior to selection of a Preferred Alternative in the Draft Environmental Impact Report. The Boston Groundwater Trust was established by the Boston City Council to monitor groundwater levels in the sections of the City where the integrity of building foundations is threatened by lowered groundwater levels and to make suggestions for solving the problem. As such, my comments are limited to groundwater related issues.
I appreciate very much the commitment that any alternative that involves a roadway that extends below the normal groundwater table (approximately Elevation 7 Boston City Base) will include a system to treat all of the collected water and recharge it on the land side of the Marginal Conduit. Although the draft copy of the comparison matrix on the alternatives indicated otherwise for Alternative B-3, I have been assured by James Baecker of DCR that this was an error that will be corrected in the final copy of the matrix. Therefore, it appears that all of the alternatives will have the same ability to positively impact groundwater levels in the areas near Back Street and Mugar Way where they have long been depressed.
I also appreciate the effort that DCR and its consultants has made to develop a system that would allow recharge through the Boston Water and Sewer Commissions newly installed chambers on Back Street in the years prior to construction. As you know, DCR staff has been participating in the City-State Groundwater Working Group which is striving to help solve the groundwater problem. Committing to this interim recharge arrangement during the period prior to construction will be very helpful in this effort.
I look forward to continuing to work with DCR on groundwater issues on this project and in other areas where the Department can help in raising groundwater levels in Boston.
Very truly yours,
Cc: Nancy Farrell