Our quarterly newsletter captures project spotlights, conferences and events attended, and recent staff updates.

ISSUE NO. 28 / October 2019 
ProjectEpsilon Permitting the City of Worcester's New Ballpark and Mixed-use Development

Rendering of Polar Park in Worcester.
The Red Sox are moving their Triple A affiliate from Pawtucket, Rhode Island to Worcester's Canal District, where the City is building a new ballpark on a vacant 17-acre brownfield site. This unique redevelopment project is a public private partnership among the Red Sox, the City of Worcester, and a private developer - Madison Downtown Holdings, LLC. The new ballpark will be the centerpiece of a larger mixed-use redevelopment that includes office, hotel, residential, retail and restaurant use. The state is contributing to infrastructure improvements at the park, including the reconstruction of Kelley Square, one of the Commonwealth's most problematic intersections.
Epsilon led the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) effort for the project, filing a Notice of Project Change to the City's Urban Renewal Plan and Draft and Final Environmental Impact Reports for the project in under eight months. Completing the entire MEPA process in under nine months allowed the project to remain on schedule to meet its deadline for opening day baseball in April 2021.
Epsilon is truly excited to be a part of such a significant project for the City of Worcester and the Commonwealth. Play Ball!
Replacement Submarine Cable Under the Boston Harbor Active

The Harbor Electric Energy Company (HEEC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Eversource Energy, provides electrical service to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, in fact it is the primary power supply to the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. The HEEC cable is an electric submarine cable that extends under Boston Harbor for approximately 4 miles from the South Boston K Street substation to Deer Island.

To accommodate larger ships, Congress approved funding for Boston Harbor Deep Draft Navigation Improvement Project to deepen the Boston Harbor Federal Navigational Channel so the port can accommodate larger ships. To ensure a reliable and uninterrupted power supply to the MWRA's Deer Island Treatment Plant and protect it from damage during dredging operations and for the long-term, HEEC needed to consider either protecting the existing cable from damage or replacing it.

Epsilon facilitated cable investigative surveys and marine surveys by sub-consultants and self-performed environmental permitting services for this project. The project required several phases of investigations (cable surveys, bathymetric surveys and marine archaeological investigation) and securing permits to implement those studies. In addition, Epsilon conducted a comprehensive routing alternatives assessment to identify the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative (LEDPA). Replacing the cable was selected over armoring the cable, thus the LEDPA route was needed. The shortest route would have been to install the New HEEC Cable parallel to the existing cable. However, eelgrass had been planted over and adjacent to the existing cable such that now a well-established eelgrass meadow was flourishing above the cable. Routes to avoid the eelgrass were examined, including a terrestrial route from the north to avoid the harbor completely. The preferred route was selected through the harbor, and the New HEEC Cable route avoided the Reserved Channel and entered the harbor along the easterly margin of the Massachusetts Port Authority Conley Terminal and crossed the harbor with a route to the south of the eelgrass meadow. The extensive permitting effort required additional marine surveys to support the following approvals: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 10/404 Individual Permit, MEPA Certificate, Chapter 91 License and Dredge permit, Section 401 Water Quality Certification, and an Order of Conditions from the Boston Conservation Commission. Additionally, the proximity to Logan Airport required extensive coordination with MassPort and the FAA. Epsilon carefully managed the project's aggressive permitting schedule to ensure that approvals were obtained so that the New HEEC Cable would be installed prior to the planned improvement dredging. The New HEEC Cable is located in Essential Fish Habitat established for winter flounder and the selected route included a short unavoidable eelgrass meadow crossing. These sensitive resources required scrutiny by the Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries and Office of Coastal Zone Management. Epsilon negotiated reasonable mitigation in the form of a time based in lieu fee ("ILF") based on site-specific conditions as compared to applying the straight ILF fee formula, and an eelgrass mitigation/monitoring plan.  
The initial permits and approvals were secured assuming standard cable installation construction techniques would be employed. The selected marine contractor proposed some unique construction methodologies that required Epsilon to secure permit amendments to all issued permits. Whereas this change occurred after contractor procurement, Epsilon needed to manage this process to meet the aggressive construction schedule to ensure the new cable was installed prior to the planned improvement dredging, and regulatory deadlines. This was achieved.
During construction Epsilon was on-hand to secure permit modifications and approvals for field changes because the contractor encountered unavoidable shallow cobble layers and other changed conditions which required some deviation from permit conditions. The New HEEC Cable construction was completed in May 2019, on schedule. Epsilon is now in the process of securing permit closeouts.
For more information on this project or about Epsilon's coastal and marine services contact Dwight Dunk who is managing the New HEEC Cable Project for Epsilon. 
  EventsWhere We've Been (And Where We're Going)
While fall tends to be bring less conferences, the staff at Epsilon were still very busy attending, speaking, and exhibiting at a number of events throughout the region.
Exhibited  -  Alyssa Jacobs and Rhianna Sommers from Epsilon's ecological sciences group attended the  2019 Annual Massachusetts Airport Management Association Conference. We have been regulars at this conference for many years and were pleased to once again sponsor this popular event. Epsilon continues to support several active airport projects, including providing environmental permitting services for the installation of replacement security fencing at the New Bedford Regional Airport and providing Wildlife Hazard Assessments for Orange Municipal Airport, Beverly Municipal Airport and Plymouth Municipal Airport. This is a great event to meet up with our clients and colleagues in the aviation industry.

Presented In September, Principal Doug Kelleher moderated two sessions during the Massachusetts Historic Preservation Conference: one discussing Historic Tax Credits and another covering Negotiating with Developers. Associate Brian Lever served as a panelist for the Historic Tax Credits session, where he shared his valuable insight into the successful use of historic tax credits.
Principal Steve Slocomb and Senior Consultants Dorothy Buckoski and Joe Sabato co-presented on Lessons Learned from Institutional Combined Heat and Power Projects at the 2019 NEHES Fall Conference. Their presentation summarized the lessons learned from years of combined heat and power permitting at institutions over a variety of media, including air emissions engineering, air quality modeling, and noise impact evaluations.

Principal  Mike Howard  co-instructed MACC's  Fundamentals for Conservation Commissioners Unit 103: Plan Reading and Site Visit Procedures  at the Fall Conference on October 19. 

Attended Principal Dave Klinch attended the IPPNY Fall Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York. This year's conference offered an excellent opportunity to network with energy leaders and decision makers in the New York energy industry. Epsilon regularly supports energy projects throughout New York State, making this conference a great opportunity for us to connect with clients and colleagues and discuss regulatory updates. 

Associate Marc Bergeron attended the 2019 NECA Fuels Conference. This one-day conference focused on how the region's natural gas industry is evolving in response to changes in power supply resources, extreme demand volatility, and decarbonization efforts. The event always provides a great opportunity to hear from industry stakeholders from the northeast.

Our upcoming events include:
AMWS Annual Meeting | November 1, 2019 | More Info
Epsilon speaker: Mike Howard
Click here  to learn more about these events.  
CompanyWhat's New At Epsilon
Welcome!  Epsilon welcomed Staff Planner Hiromi Hashimoto . Hiromi recently graduated from Tufts University, receiving a master's degree in Environmental Policy and Planning. She previously worked at World Resources Institute developing a database for its Climate Program's TRAC (Tools, Reporting, and Analysis for Climate) Initiative for the Global Covenant of Mayors. For more information about Hiromi, please visit our website .

Congratulations!  In August, Epsilon's  Erik Rexford  sailing on Will Welles' "Buckaroo," won the J/24 US National Championship in Rochester, New York. 
  ©  Chris Howell
After eight races held over three days, Buckaroo bested 46 other teams in a range of sailing conditions on Lake Ontario.  Additional details and full results on the North Sails website.  The Buckaroo team is headed to the J/24 World Championships in Miami at the end of October.
Bocce for a good cause.  We were pleased to participate for a fourth year in the  Annual Samaritans Upper Cape Bocce Festival  at Falmouth Academy in September. Epsilon was pleased to sponsor and participate in this event where all proceeds benefited the Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands. Senior Consultant Jack Vaccaro helps to plan the event each year and Epsilon was happy to be able to support his efforts.
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