6 People Arrested At Eversource Substation Protest In East Boston

A group of East Bostonians voiced their opinions in a protest opposing the construction of a new electrical substation, but six attendees were removed from the conversation when they were arrested by police, according to officials. 

Protesters, of whom six were arrested, decried the substation as dangerous.
Protesters, of whom six were arrested, decried the substation as dangerous. Photo Credit: GreenRoots

Six people who participated in a protest decrying the construction of a new Eversource electrical substation were arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct around 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17 in East Boston, the Boston Police Department said to Daily Voice. 

Protesters at the event suggested that the new substation would be dangerous, and called on Governor Maura Healey to oppose it, according to photos posted by @JamesRojasNews and @GreenRoots on Twitter.

Eversource is an electricity, gas, and water service company based in Boston that serves Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. The company began construction of the highly-contested East Eagle substation the week of Monday, Jan. 9, according to Eversource. Construction has thus far included work to prepare the site and receive deliveries of materials. 

The East Eagle substation will be located on Condor Street and will run five miles in length through Boston, Chelsea, and Everett, Massachusetts, according to Eversource. 

Environmental groups have opposed the new build for nearly ten years, according to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who has publicly voiced her opposition to the substation's construction. 

"The City of Boston's own analysis shows a future flood risk in the precise location of the project as the impacts of climate change accelerate," wrote Wu in a letter to the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides. "A severe storm could put the electrical substation under more than a foot of water and risk an explosion, in a neighborhood that is already disproportionately bearing environmental injustices, including storage tanks holding all of New England's jet fuel, the noise and air pollution of a major airport, and less green space and fewer trees than other Boston neighborhoods." 

Among those arrested were Sandra Lorena Aleman-Nijjar, the founder of the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen,  and Alex DeFronzo, a member of the East Boston Project Advisory Committee, according to a tweet from environmental justice group GreenRoots.

"East Boston is the city’s fastest-growing neighborhood and demand for electricity continues to rise, making it necessary to build the new substation," Eversource said in a statement. "Throughout this robust public process, we have worked diligently to demonstrate that the project exceeds safety and environmental standards and have provided the community with access to information regarding this project."

Protesters were released in the afternoon the same day they were arrested, according to a tweet from @GreenRoots.

The office of Governor Healy was contacted for comment on this story but has not yet responded. 

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