The Conservation Law Foundation will file a Clean Air Act lawsuit against the State of Massachusetts early next year regarding transit projects that have not been completed or are not on schedule. It’s clear that the state won’t make the deadlines it committed to in 1990, including the Green Line extension. “The state found the money to spend $15 billion for the Big Dig. There should have been a parallel effort to find money for the transit piece of the puzzle,” said Philip Warburg, president of the foundation. “The state has to be held accountable.”
According to the Boston Globe, state officials acknowledge some problems, but also say that some projects need to be revisited to determine if they are really worth doing. State Transportation Secretary Daniel Grabauskas has said that the state wants to explore alternatives to certain projects (such as the Green Line extension) that would provide equal or better clean air benefits. As we know, the MBTA is looking at Rapid Bus Transit in Somerville as an alternative to extending the Green Line.
The Conservation Law Foundation is determined to hold the state to its promises. Without these transit projects attached to it, the Big Dig would not have happened. So far, the state has dragged its feet on its legally binding agreement to complete these projects. If this lawsuit is successful, it could lead to a judge ordering the state to build all the promised projects on a strict schedule. Stay tuned.
STEP is a community group dedicated to improving transportation in Somerville, MA. We advocate for the Green Line extension, a more livable city, and public health issues.