Suffolk Downs Files DEIR for Casino Site

September 11, 2013
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Suffolk Downs filed Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) last week with the state for the proposed Caesars Resort. Suffolk Downs officials are touting the commitments to sustainable development and operation in the DEIR would make the resort the most environmentally ‘green’ casino resort in the world.

On Monday, East Boston and Revere residents were invited to Suffolk Downs’ Topsider room to get a sneak peak at the plans.

“We plan to set the standard for gaming resorts in the Commonwealth, and our commitment to developing and operating sustainably is no exception,” said Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle. “Our proposed development will use innovative approaches to conserve water, increase open space, recover food waste, reduce energy usage associated with lighting and climate control, encourage the use of public transportation and grow on-site the vegetables needed by our various restaurants. We have called East Boston and Revere home for 78 years, and it is critically important to us that we preserve and improve the environment we inhabit and its surroundings.”

The presentation Monday night the Suffolk Downs team presented its DEIA to a crowd of over 300 people.

“Caesars as a company believes it is critically important that we preserve and improve the environment we inhabit and its surroundings,” said President of Central Markets and Partnership Development for Caesars Entertainment John Payne. “Our plans for Massachusetts will build on Code Green, our industry-best practices for energy conservation and sustainable design and raise the bar for gaming developments around the world.”

Vying for LEED Gold Certification Caesars and Suffolk Downs has planned numerous initiatives to become gold certified. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification provides independent, third party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. These include sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

The Resort has signed on as an “anchor tenant” for Massachusetts-based Harvest Power at the company’s new Boston-area anaerobic digester facility, enabling the recovery of approximately 3,100 tons of food waste from the Resort annually that will produce nearly 850,000 kilowatts of net energy. The Resort’s central processing facility is being designed to separate all organic waste for the digester.

The Project design includes a large approximately 2.7 megawatts photovoltaic system, of which approximately 1.45 megawatts will be building-mounted, one of the largest private building-mounted arrays in the northeast United States.  The PV system will produce approximately 10 percent of the Resort’s electricity.

Every drop of water falling onto casino rooftops and approximately 50 percent of water falling on the garage rooftop will be directed towards one of three rainwater harvesting tanks with a combined capacity of 270,000 gallons, reducing potable water demand by up to 4.5 million gallons annually.

Open space will increase by approximately 16 acres with a diversity of spaces ranging from active pedestrian plazas to passive ecological open spaces, offering a variety of amenities for public use with a network of pedestrian walkways to connect neighborhoods and visitors to the Resort, promoting circulation and access.

The Project will install these fixtures in both indoor and outdoor applications throughout the Resort to reduce overall energy consumption and thermal load.

Occupancy-based controls will allow the Resort to optimize system performance to reduce energy consumption, and will be included throughout the property, including in hotel guest-room, support offices, and large function rooms.

Advanced lighting controls in conjunction with architectural day lighting strategies will take advantage of natural light to reduce the need for artificial lighting.  These controls will have the ability to automatically decrease artificial lighting when natural light is detected in the space.

A Central Utility Plant will include two combined heat and power units.  These units will provide utility services for the entire Resort, including approximately 5 percent of the Resort’s electricity, 100 percent of its domestic hot water, and 30 percent of its heating needs.

Low-flow or waterless plumbing fixtures and other water conservation measures will reduce water use by approximately 30 percent resulting in an annual water use reduction of approximately 4.0 million gallons.

A high-efficiency irrigation system together with plantings of native, draught tolerant vegetation will target a 50 percent reduction in potable water use when compared to a mid-summer baseline.

The Project includes on-street bicycle accommodations to connect Constitution Beach, Belle Isle Marsh, and Revere Beach along the Bennington Street corridor, as well as connections to and through the Project site from the Suffolk Downs MBTA station and from Winthrop Avenue.

The Project includes valet bicycle parking, two Hubway stations (when the City expands the Hubway network into East Boston), showers for employees, covered bicycle storage, and short-term bicycle parking.

Innovative green infrastructure and sustainable systems will use the landscape to purify storm water, improve soils, and provide educational opportunities.

A 5,600-square-foot rooftop greenhouse above one of the gaming floors with a hydroponic planting system that will produce, year-round, most of the fresh produce for restaurants in the Resort, thereby reducing demand for delivery trucks.

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