In February 240 of our constituents contacted Environmental Secretary Ian Bowles’ office asking that the wetlands be replaced. In March they received letters stating that he was “awaiting the court’s decision,” even though there was no action pending. In April we were told Bowles would not intervene and that there would be no explanation.
In May and June we wrote the governor with the same request, as did over 500 Reservation users via postcards. The response? Complete silence–the proverbial pin-dropping kind. The governor’s web page says “Please include your phone number on any written correspondence to facilitate a prompt response.” In the meantime MWRA started construction.
It’s not as if wetlands replacement is controversial. It has been a routine feature of every public project for decades. Our request was seconded by the mayor of Quincy, the Quincy and Milton conservation commissions, and most of the legislators whose districts include portions of the Blue Hills, as well as sixteen statewide environmental organizations. Requiring MWRA to do right by the Reservoir, which has been part of the Reservation since 1896, would offend no one but the MWRA and its contractors. By the way, MWRA has yet to assemble any public support for the giant tanks, despite frequent (and unconvincing) claims that they’ll protect us from terrorists–not a single elected official has endorsed the project.
We don’t doubt that Patrick has many new ideas about how to green up Massachusetts. But we wish he would stand behind that oldie-but-goodie called wetlands protection, and give us something to celebrate in the Blue Hills.