September 14, 2011
Mr. Geoffrey Lewis, Project Manager
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201-1007
Subject: 45 Stuart Street
Dear Mr. Lewis:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Expanded Project Notification Form for the 45 Stuart Street project. 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.
As the PNF acknowledges, the project is located in the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District established under Article 32 of the Zoning Code. I am pleased that the proponent has committed to meeting the requirements for construction in the GCOD. The PNF states that groundwater will be recharged by means of a recharge system. However, the system is not described, nor is its location established, in the document. I look forward to seeing more details as the project proceeds and before the proponent goes before the Board of Appeals for GCOD approval.
Article 32 also requires that the proponent provide a certification, stamped by a professional engineer registered in Massachusetts, demonstrating that the project will not cause a reduction in groundwater levels on site or on adjoining parcels. The proponent has noted that there will be a limited amount of below grade construction, with only a partial one level basement. He has also stated that any pressure relief system would discharge into the recharge system to direct the water into the shallow aquifer that is of most concern. I am pleased with the thought that the proponent is putting into the groundwater issues.
I am also pleased with the proponents commitment to install additional groundwater monitoring wells at locations to be coordinated with the Trust and to be turned over to become part of our well network after construction. Readings from these wells before and during construction should be shared promptly with the Trust as well as the Authority.
I look forward to working with the proponent and the Authority to assure that the project can have only positive impacts on area groundwater levels.
Very truly yours,
Cc: Kathleen Pedersen, BRA
Maura Zlody, BED