GE plans major demolition at Western Avenue plant site

The Brown and Caldwell Company, representing General Electric in Lynn, has filed papers with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to initiate the review of General Electric’s plans to demolish a 500,000 square foot building known as the Gear Plant.

In addition, GE is planning to demolish a saltwater intake wharf, close the associated saltwater discharge outfall, and install an underground electrical utility line to Building 7.

All of this is planned to take place in the sprawling plant on Western Avenue – and along the shoreline of the Saugus River, according to the filings.

GE is asserting that by demolishing the building and the wharf, safety will be improved as well as security and aesthetics in as much as the waterfront area of the river is concerned.

The proposed work requires MEPA review. The site boundaries and the site location within the larger GE facility and the city of Lynn are part of that review.

The MEPA review is required because the demolition and planning meets or exceeds the area of critical environmental concern thresholds.

The total area of temporary coastal resources is 3,450 feet (of land underwater), 9,450 square feet of land subject to coastal storm flowage and 25 linear feet of coastal bank.

Approximately 650 square feet of the buffer zone and 510 square feet of riverfront area will also be temporarily altered during the electric line installation.

An approximately 100 foot by 100 foot area east of Building 7 will be used as a staging area for equipment associated with the wharf demolition and electric line installation.

This area is located outside of protected resource areas.

Finally, specific mitigation measures are being designed for this project with the goal of minimizing the amount of sediment suspended during the project activities.

Mitigation will be performed during the work according to Massachusetts Storm Water Standards.

The standard that applies to the work being conducted is Standard 8.

This addresses erosion and sediment control issues.

In order to control erosion in inland portions of the project area, silt fencing and or hay bales will be placed down upon gradients of work that causes a disturbance to the soil.

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