Opponents Of Proposed Electrical Substation In East Boston File Federal Civil Rights Complaint

Miriam Wasser, WBUR
June 10, 2020

Local non-profits GreenRoots and the Conversation Law Foundation have filed a complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency over the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board’s failure to properly accommodate the translation needs of East Boston and Chelsea residents in the proposal process for an electrical substation in the area. This failure has left residents unable to both give feedback on the proposed project and receive more information on the substation’s environmental health risks.

The complaint alleges that the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board — the state agency that grants permits for large energy and utility projects — violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act by failing to provide adequate translation for residents with “limited English proficiency.” And as a result, non-English speaking residents — who make up a substantial portion of East Boston and Chelsea — were unable to meaningfully participate in the public decision-making process.

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