Friday, November 15, 2002
Overflow Hanscom environmental hearing is rescheduled
So many people kept pouring into the Bedford Town Hall for the November 7 hearing on the 2005-2015 Hanscom Field environmental study, that even those who got there on time had to park as far away as St. Michael's Church. Before the hearing got under way the Bedford Fire Department was forced to clear the town hall because of the unexpected size of the crowd. Massport (Massachusetts Port Authority), which owns and administers Hanscom Field, cancelled the meeting and rescheduled it for Tuesday, November 19, at 7 p.m. in Bedford High School auditorium.
Hearing critical in Hanscom planning
Massport, as the designated owner and administrator of the airport, is required to file an environmental report every five years. The draft of the Environmental Status and Planning Report (ESPR) has had nine previous required public hearings. This tenth hearing is to be before MEPA, the commission which administers the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act. MEPA will evaluate the draft report and the public comments, and make recommendations to the Office of Environmental Affairs. It could, for example, recommend specific levels for pollution control as well as regular evaluation and required mitigation when pollution reaches a specified level. Consequently, there are many who feel that the hearing is of critical importance.
The public input period ends on November 15. The MEPA recommendations will end up on Bob Durand's desk at the Office of Environmental Affairs: that office will indicate any changes that must occur in the report to gain state certification for Massport's plan.
Although the hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the high school and there is expected to be enough seating, the parking availability is unchanged and those who don't want a hike are advised to get there early.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito