January 2022 Newsletter

As we enter a new year with hope for what lies ahead in 2022, we are excited to share some of our projects and activities over the last few months, provide some industry insight and guidance, and provide a glimpse into where Epsilon staff have been, and where we are going!

January 31st, 2022

Epsilon Principal AJ Jablonowski to Participate in EBC MEPA Environmental Justice Webinar

On Tuesday, February 8th at 1:00 PM, the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) will host a live webinar regarding the recent changes to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Regulations and two new MEPA Environmental Justice (EJ) Protocols: the MEPA Public Involvement Protocol for Environmental Justice Populations, and the MEPA Interim Protocol for Analysis of Project Impacts on Environmental Justice Populations. Epsilon Principal AJ Jablonowski will be joined by Tori Kim, the MEPA Office Director, for this presentation. Ms. Kim will present Implementing Climate Legislation and Working with EJ Communities during MEPA Reviews, and AJ will present How to Prepare for and Address Environmental Justice Issues in MEPA Reviews.

The new regulations require an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for any project that has filed an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) and is within a mile of an EJ population, and in some instances within five miles. The likelihood of impacts to those populations, and the nature and severity of the impacts, must be assessed. If there are likely to be impacts, an additional analysis to determine whether they disproportionately impact EJ populations is needed. Mitigation will be required should there be. AJ will discuss how to undertake these analyses and how to navigate the MEPA process efficiently and effectively.

Epsilon has been deeply involved in both the critical review of the regulatory updates as well as actively leading projects through the new enhanced EJ analysis. To learn more, join us at the February 8th EBC webinar or reach out to Epsilon Principals AJ Jablonowski or Dave Hewett to see how Epsilon can help you ensure your project’s MEPA filing is on the right track!

Vineyard Wind 1 Breaks Ground!

It was a momentous day at Covell’s Beach in Barnstable celebrating the groundbreaking of the Vineyard Wind 1 Project, which will provide clean, renewable, affordable energy for over 400,000 homes and businesses across New England. The Vineyard Wind team was joined by federal, state, and local officials including U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. Nearly 200 people attended the ceremony, which was emceed by Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides.

Epsilon has been at the forefront of the U.S. offshore wind energy industry, starting work back in 2017. We are proud to be the lead environmental consultant for Vineyard Wind 1 guiding this project through complex permitting. Epsilon was pleased to participate in this historic groundbreaking event for the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the U.S.

St. Gabriel’s Project Recognized by the Boston Preservation Alliance

The Boston Preservation Alliance recently honored The Overlook Project at St. Gabriel’s in Brighton as one of Boston’s best preservation projects.

Epsilon was pleased to assist Cabot, Cabot & Forbes in securing historic tax credits for the rehabilitation of the Monastery and St. Gabriel’s Church. The Monastery, a City of Boston landmark, was rehabilitated for new residential uses and the Church now provides amenity spaces for the new residents. Epsilon’s team of historic preservation consultants provided the historic tax credit consulting expertise on this important project, and in addition, secured project approvals from the Boston Landmarks Commission and the Boston Planning and Development Agency for this transformative project.

For more information on this project and to watch the transformation of the Monastery and Church, check out the Boston Preservation Alliance website.

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

Exhibited – We returned to in-person exhibiting at three conferences in 2021! In October we had a booth at ACP Offshore WINDPOWER Conference in Boston. As progress continues with offshore wind energy in the United States, this conference proved to be a great opportunity to keep up-to-date with all the developments and connect with clients in the industry. Rob O’Neal, Maria Hartnett, and Caitlin Hamer attended on behalf of Epsilon.

Later in the month, we supported the Massachusetts Airport Management Association (MAMA) Conference as a Gold Sponsor. As part of our participation, we also exhibited at the event which was in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Mike Howard, Alyssa Jacobs, Rhianna Sommers, and Nathan Rawding from Epsilon’s ecological sciences group attended the event. In addition, Rhianna led a session – Depredation Permits for Airports 101: How to Legally Handle Wildlife Hazards at Airports – which provided an overview on how airports can legally manage wildlife that encroaches on airport property.

In December, Epsilon exhibited at American Clean Power (ACP) CLEANPOWER 2021 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Attending for the firm was Rob O’Neal, Rich Lampeter, and Alison Me. This proved to be another great opportunity, in a year with limited in-person opportunities, to connect with clients and colleagues and discuss current projects as well as possible new projects.

Our upcoming event calendar includes:

EBC Environmental Justice Webinar: How-To Comply with the New MEPA EJ Regulations and Protocols | February 8, 2022 | More Info

AJ Jablonowski speaking

Bisnow Boston Construction & Development: Managing Risk in an Evolving Environment | April 7, 2022 | More Info

Katie Raymond speaking

IPF 2022 Conference | April 26 – 28, 2022 | More Info

Epsilon sponsoring & attending

CleanPower 2022 | May 16-18, 2022 | More Info

Epsilon exhibiting & attending

What's New At Epsilon

Congrats! In January, Alyssa Jacobs, PWS was promoted to Principal! As a privately held firm, transitioning ownership to the next generation is essential to Epsilon's vision and growth. Alyssa is a dedicated and valued member of the firm, and the leader of the ecological sciences group. With more than 20 years of experience, we are confident that her proven consulting skills and commitment will help shape the firm's success for years to come.

Industry Involvement. Senior Consultant Joe Sabato was recently elected to serve as a Board Member with Northeast Energy and Commerce Association (NECA). He has been active with this organization for many years and is looking forward to this new role with the organization.

Community Involvement. On November 5, 2021, Epsilon was pleased to participate in National Grid’s “Dodging for Dollars” charity event at the Boys & Girls Club of Stoneham and Wakefield. National Grid and their contractor United Civil raised money in support of the great work the Boys & Girls Clubs do in the community, and a fun time was had by all. Epsilon Principal Dave Klinch was happy to represent Epsilon and participate in the tournament. Dave adeptly applied his advanced knowledge of the five Ds of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and….dodge!

Welcome! Before the year ended, we welcomed six more new employees to Epsilon:

Ida Weiss joins Epsilon’s air quality group and will be supporting our energy, industrial, and manufacturing clients by preparing air permit applications and working in online filing systems for submitting environmental reports. Keith Downing has joined our ecological sciences group. He has prior environmental consulting experience which has allowed him to hit the ground running undertaking wetland delineations, wildlife assessments, and site inspections for a range of clients.

Margaret Markham is the newest member of the coastal & marine group focusing on our growing offshore wind energy clientele. She has experience providing guidance and review for large-scale utility projects across New York State and will be helping clients navigate the regulatory requirements and other environmental permitting required for construction, monitoring, and final design. Emma Marcou is part of our planning group. With prior experience in the environmental field, she is assisting with the preparation of environmental regulatory documentation in compliance with Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code and the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act.

We also welcomed Allison Casazza and Elizabeth Rochefort both joining our historic preservation group. Allison comes to us from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, where her primary responsibility was the review and approval of state and federal historic tax credit applications. Elizabeth joins us following six years as an Architectural Historian with the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission. Both Allison and Elizabeth bring extensive relevant experience to the historic preservation group.

We are pleased to welcome everyone to the Epsilon team!

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