Massachusetts to decide on environmental permit for Wynn's $1.7 billion Boston-area casino

Industries Associated Press

A key permit for Wynn's Boston-area casino remained up in the air Friday, the deadline for state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton to decide an environmental certificate that is necessary for the $1.7 billion project to break ground.

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As of 7 p.m., the office had not released a decision.

The company was awarded the sole gambling license for the Boston-area in late 2014. A certificate decision would pave the way for the start of what's been billed as the Massachusetts' single largest private development.

Attorney General Maura Healey and the cities of Boston, Somerville and Revere have called on Beaton to deny the certificate until a long-term plan to address traffic in the heavily traveled Sullivan Square near the proposed casino is in place.

The three cities also are suing the state Gaming Commission over its decision to award Wynn the license, saying the process was severely compromised.

But state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack has backed Wynn, saying longer-term traffic fixes shouldn't hold up the permit. She suggested in a letter to Beaton last week the issues would be better addressed through a regional working group that her agency can help lead.

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Pollack said Wynn's plan for transit-related improvements in the area, including a commitment to invest over $7 million into subway operations, will address short-term traffic increases caused by the casino.