Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Easton officials looking for ways to ease impacts of South Coast rail
While officials oppose a train through Easton, they are looking to cooperate with surrounding communities and mitigate impacts.

After the Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released last week by the Army Corps of Engineers showing the Stoughton alternative for the South Coast rail as the state's choice, officials in Easton are looking for ways to mitigate the impact of a train that is looking more likely than ever to travel through Easton.
"This is somehting we’ve expressed our unhappiness in the past," said Board of Selectmen Chair Colleen Corona Monday night. "At the same time we want to begin to have discussions on what community is going to be met with if the train does come through."
The Board of Selectmen met with Raynham Selectman Joe Pacheco Monday night who called on Easton to compile a list to ease the train's negative impact on the town.
Easton selectmen agreed to compile a list similar to Raynham's, which included wetland restoration and mitigation, mitigation for homeowners who property values are negatively affected, safety education programming for children, and tunnels under major roads such as route 138.
"We wanted to be proactive in terms of mitigations," said Pacheco. "We do believe that Raynham will be impacted quite negatively."
Corona said Easton's list would be created by various department heads and compiled into one list. She said Easton plans to work with other towns such as Raynham and Stoughton in mitigating possible impacts.
Meanwhile, officials said Monday night that public comments regarding the rail are due by May 27 and there will be a public information session on May 4 at Mansfield's Qualter's Middle School and May 5 at New Bedford's Keith Middle School.
“While cognizant of the potential for regional economic development and revitalization that could accompany this project, I am concerned with protecting the quality of life for the residents of Canton, Stoughton, Easton and other communities on the proposed route,” said State Senator Brian A. Joyce in a statement last week. “And, with our current ability to pay for this estimated $1.5 billion expenditure. I encourage all concerned citizens to attend a hearing.”
For more information on the Draft Environmental Impact Study, click here.