DEP chief OKs Wynn permit

Casino operator moves closer to construction

THE COMMISSIONER of the Department of Environmental Protection issued a two-page decision on Friday affirming the issuance of a key environmental permit to Wynn Resorts for its $2 billion hotel-casino complex in Everett.

The decision by Martin Suuberg, in response to an appeal by Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, is still subject to reconsideration, but it now appears likely that the permit will formally be issued at some point in early August, allowing construction on the casino to proceed. Wynn plans to build its casino-hotel complex on a badly polluted stretch of land along the Mystic River.

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About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Curtatone’s challenge to Wynn’s waterways permit has held up construction for several months, and led to angry words between officials at Wynn Resorts and the Somerville mayor. Somerville could still appeal the DEP decision to Suffolk Superior Court, but Wynn officials have indicated they plan to proceed with construction once the actual permit is in hand.

Suuberg accepted all but one provision in the recommendation of a hearing officer appointed to hear Somerville’s challenge. The hearing officer had recommended that the permit’s duration be reduced from 99 to 50 years, that the amount of open space around the dock be expanded from 4.36 acres to 6.38 acres, and that Wynn provide funding for a fishing pier and a canoe-kayak launch near the facility. Suuberg accepted every recommendation except the funding for a canoe-kayak launch and fishing pier.

“My review of the record concludes that the project as already conditioned serves a proper public purpose and provides greater benefit than detriment to the rights of the public in the tidelands,” Suuberg said in his decision.