October 16, 2009
Ms. Sonal Gandhi, Senior Project Manager
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201-1007
Subject: Boston Medical Center
Dear Ms. Gandhi:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Institutional Master Plan Notification Form for the Boston Medical Center, as well as the Project Notification Form for the BMC Energy Facility. The Boston Groundwater Trust was established by the Boston City Council to monitor groundwater levels in sections of the city where the integrity of building foundations is threatened by low groundwater levels and to make recommendations for solving the problem. Therefore, my comments are limited to groundwater related issues.
I appreciate the acknowledgement by the proponent in both the IMPNF and the PNF that all of the planned projects are located in the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District and the commitment to meet the standards required in the GCOD. For the Energy Facility, which is the project that is more completely designed, I particularly appreciate the commitment in the PNF that the basement including walls and lowest level floor slab will be fully waterproofed, as well as the promise that no long term groundwater pumping will be allowed. The proponent committed in the scoping session to working with the Trust to determine the best location for the recharge system; I look forward to that effort. I also look forward to working with the proponent to determine the best location for the groundwater monitoring well that they have committed to install prior to the start of construction and appreciate that it will be installed in accordance with City and BGwT standards for permanent monitoring wells.
Because the project is to be constructed under an Institutional Master Plan and will not need the approval of the Board of Appeals, the process for assuring that groundwater standards are met and commitments are formalized should be spelled out in more detail. I look forward to participating in that effort.
The commitments spelled out in these documents make me optimistic that the project will be designed and constructed in a way that can only lead to improvements in groundwater levels. I look forward to working with the proponent and the Authority to assure that this promise is kept.
Very truly yours,
Cc: Kathleen Pederson, BRA
Maura Zlody, BED