Wynn Boston Harbor Completing Environmental Cleanup
The $2.4 billion Wynn Boston Harbor, whose tower is now rising towards above the Mystic River and facing the skyline of Bean Town, is looking at 18 more months before it opens in June of 2019.
Now the project is entering into the final phase of the environmental cleanup of the former Monsanto chemical factory, which involves hauling away hundreds of thousands of tons of a century of chemical spills on the land. This is expected to cost Wynn about $30 million.
Six hundred thousand tons of contaminated soil remain to be removed in the final phase. The work includes rehabilitating the river shoreline, with new plantings beginning to put down roots on what was previously just barren sand.
The final phase will also involve rehabilitating the soil just under the water, where 100 years of chemicals leached into the soil. President Chris Gordon of Wynn Development described the area to WBUR as “a biological desert. And what that means is they found nothing alive. And in the Northeast, in a harbor, that’s very unusual. There’s always organisms, there’s always something moving around. They found nothing in that area.”
Ten weeks of dredging are now begun, to remove the heavy metals that include lead and arsenic—and to make it easier for boats to dock at the casino.
Patrick Herron, executive director of the Mystic River Watershed Association, praises Wynn for being willing to spend the money on the cleanup. He told WBUR “The big picture here is that, in the near term, that area around the living shoreline… will have healthy habitat for the first time in a couple hundred years.” Such an action is quite rare, he says. Usually developers pave over contaminated soil and leave dealing with it to the next owner.