OP-ED: Why Wilmington Residents Should Care About A Woburn 40B Project

WILMINGTON, MA — Below is information from Mike Raymond, Chairman of the Woburn Neighborhood Association, on why Wilmington residents should care about what’s happening with the 40B Ledges Project, located on the Woburn/Wilmington line:

Why Wilmington Residents Should Care

Wilmington residents should care about the 40B Ledges Project for the same reasons that Woburn residents care. The Ledges project is on the Woburn/Wilmington line. The Wilmington residents will be subjected to the same noise level and silica dust generated by the drilling, blasting, and rock crushing of the quarry operation over the next 2 years.

Where are the approximate 120 per day truck trips traveling in and out of the site going to be staged? The Ledges site at the base of the mountain is several hundred feet wide with only enough space for half the trucks needed for the removal schedule. The approximate 120 truck trips per day equates to 15 truck trips per hour in a residential neighborhood. This alone will generate an excessive amount of diesel fumes in the Woburn/Wilmington area. Even if the contractor uses low sulfur fuel in the construction equipment there is no mention in the proposed plan of using more expensive fuel in the tucks.

Over the past 12 years, Wilmington Town officials and representatives from several Wilmington Environmental groups have been invited and attended the Woburn Zoning Board of Appeals and Neighborhood Meetings that were held to discuss the Ledges project. The fact that Wilmington does not have a daily newspaper might be a reason why there is not an awareness of the project on the local level.

This nightmare began in 2006 when a 40B permit was approved by the State for the 9 -acre site located at 1042 Main Street in North Woburn. In 2012 the 40B permit was sold to an out of state developer, Woburn 38 Development LLC. Over the next four years, and after hundreds of hours of meetings packed with residents who stated their concerns to the Woburn Board of Appeals (BOA), the Board denied the permit. One of the main reasons for the denial was the court was not convinced about the disruption of the health, safety and welfare of the residents from the process to remove over approximate 420,000 cy of crushed rock and fill from the mountain. The developer appealed the decision through the legal process and in November of 2017 the MA Appeals Court ruled in favor of the developer. In a last-ditch effort, the City of Woburn petitioned the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) to reverse the decision. In February of 2018 the SJC denied the request thereby ending the legal process.

Our latest Neighborhood Meeting was held on January 7, 2019. The focus of the Neighborhood Meeting was to listen to and list the concerns and questions regarding the health, safety and welfare of residents and presented this list to the City of Woburn Department heads prior to issuing the Building permit for the project. After the Department Head meeting, and prior to the issuing of the Building Permit, we issued complaint guidelines and a list of contacts that the residents can use to report complaints.

The two-part nightmare is estimated to continue for at least the next 4 years; the first two years will be blasting, crushed rock and fill removal of up to 420,000 cy and the remainder of the time will be the construction portion of the project.

We have created a Facebook group. We have over 250 members. We also post updates and documents as they happen to our website.

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