April 2021 Newsletter

April 19th, 2021

The Hub is More Than Boston!

Wow, what a recent advancement for the towns and cities in the immediate Boston area! Growth in the communities near the hub has taken off due to better transit opportunities, lab/biotech development, mixed-use/affordable housing, and more. Epsilon has led numerous projects through permitting in such communities as Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, Winthrop, Everett, Revere plus Watertown, and Waltham. Examples include Waterfront Square in Revere, Union Square in Somerville, Summer Court in Chelsea, along with Binney Street, Kendall Green Energy, and 40 Thorndike in Cambridge. Also, initial approvals for the Watertown Arsenal transfer to the City of Watertown, and now approvals for Alexandria to enhance development for laboratory space.

Over the years, Epsilon has been assisting clients with local and state redevelopment, historic tax credits, and Urban Renewal plans around Boston as well as throughout the state. Have a project in this area contact us today for permitting help!

Route 20 Project Receives Final MEPA Certificate

With the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Final certificate now in hand, Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Route 20 Reconstruction Design Build project in Charlton and Oxford is now onto permitting. This 3.2 mile reconstruction project runs between the intersection of Route 12 and Route 20 in Oxford westerly to the intersection of Route 20/Sturbridge Street and Oxbow Road/Richardsons Corner Road in Charlton. Designed to improve both safety and roadway conditions, as well as enhance pedestrian and bicycle access, this large, complex infrastructure project will be a welcome change once complete.

Epsilon has been involved in this roadway project providing environmental consulting support for this project for more than 10 years, working hand in hand with project engineers HDR Inc. Our ecological sciences team has managed the extensive environmental planning efforts including:

  • wetland delineation of both the roadway improvement limits and wetland mitigation access and site
  • wildlife habitat evaluations
  • functions and values assessments
  • wetland mitigation design
  • rare species mitigation planning
  • wildlife crossing evaluations at multiple culvert and bridge locations
  • all MEPA documentation requirements
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation requirements.

In addition to the above, Epsilon completed pre-application consultations and coordination for the:

  • Section 404 Individual Permit Application
  • Section 401 Water Quality Certificate Application
  • MESA Conservation and Management Permit application to the MA Natural Heritage Program
  • Notices of Intent in the two towns.

Our work has also involved the development of avoidance and minimization measures and a wetlands mitigation plan to satisfy both MassDEP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

We look forward to seeing this project advance and bring a safer roadway!

Epsilon Historic Preservation Project Featured in National Park Service Report

The National Park Service (NPS) recently published its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020 – Federal Tax Incentives for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. The report highlights the success of the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program and showcases a variety of successful historic preservation projects from around the country completed in 2020. One project is the Ponemah Mill in Taftville, Connecticut where Epsilon’s historic preservation team led the tax credit process for the developer – OneKey LLC.

Initially constructed in 1871, the mill was a cotton textile mill that employed 1,500 people. Ponemah Mill operated for nearly 100 years and its success led to the creation of the mill village of Taftville. This multi-building project involved the rehabilitation of buildings 1 and 5 creating 237 units of housing, 144 of which are affordable. Epsilon is currently working with the developer on completing buildings 2-4 as a subsequent phase. This success story is one of many throughout the country where a historic building was rehabilitated through assistance from the tax credit program and then provides new benefits to the local community.

Where We've Been (And Where We're Going)

Sponsored – First, we are throwing it back to about 2002 when Epsilon’s founding principals went schooner sailing in support of The Boston Harbor Association auction. Nearly 20 years later, we are still strong supporters of the harbor.

More recently, we sponsored several events at the start of the year. This included NECA’s Renewable Energy Conference, the 2021 Massachusetts & Rhode Island Land Conservation Conference, and MACC’s Annual Environmental Conference.

Presented – Principal Steve Slocomb had a presentation during IDEA’s CampusEnergy2021 event, which took place virtually in February. Steve’s presentation focused on Smith College’s new CHP system and how it has performed over the last 12 years. The college’s energy needs warranted some updates, which included a new cogen system with modifications to its physical plant. The presentation outlined these energy needs as well as the permitting oversight Epsilon provided for this new system and modifications.

Check out our new portfolio page for more information on our work at Smith College.

Our upcoming event includes:

Rhode Island’s 35th Historic Preservation Conference | April 21-23, 2021 | More Info

Epsilon sponsoring & attending: Doug Kelleher & Erin Doherty

What's New At Epsilon

New Website. We recently shared Epsilon’s fully redesigned website! Our new, responsive website brings a refreshed and modern look. If anything was learned during this past year, it is the value of virtual information. Our new site better captures the markets we serve and the diverse range of services we provide and expanded our portfolio page to include more detailed projects. If you have not had a chance to see it yet, click here to check it out.

Congratulations! Project Scientist Rhianna Sommers has added to her portfolio of certifications and is now a Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist (QAWB). Rhianna is among the select few QAWBs across the country approved by the FAA to complete wildlife hazard assessments and management plans at public-use airports. Congrats Rhianna!

Industry Involvement. Project Planner Fiona Vardy is the current president of the Mill & Main Toastmasters club. In her role as president, Fiona leads club meetings, coordinates with club officers, helps organize events, and ensures that the club meets its goals. Fiona credits the organization to helping her become more confident. She says, “As club president, I have had the opportunity to stretch my limits and learn valuable skills that are applicable to both work and life. Not only have I become more comfortable and confident as a public speaker, but I have also developed greater focus and leadership skills.”

Welcome! At the start of the year, we welcomed Kyndal Gehlbach. We are excited to have her join the Epsilon team. Since starting Kyndal has been busy supporting permitting efforts for our offshore wind project portfolio.

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