A plane readies for takeoff at Hanscom Air Field. Photo by Jennifer Lord Paluzzi

Environmental impact report on Hanscom expansion will get sneak peek

By Anne O’Connor  anne@theconcordbridge.org
January 17, 2024

A long-awaited draft environmental impact report for a proposed expansion of hangers at Hanscom Field will soon begin to see daylight. 

The proponents of the North Airfield Development, which affects up to 47 acres, plan to make a presentation to the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission on February 20, before the draft report is published. 

Chris Eliot, the chair of HFAC, said in their January 16 meeting that the proponents of the project contacted him to arrange to do the presentation. 

Although the study will not be published by the time of the meeting, Eliot intends to request an advance copy. 

The presenters will take questions, said Amber Goodspeed from the Massachusetts Port Authority, Massport. She believed the input from meetings held before publication would be included in the final report. 

She did not have information on when the report would be published or available and plans to investigate it. 

The draft report on the environmental impact of adding hangars was initially expected in the fall. It will study carbon emissions and identify potential mitigation efforts. 

Because the project involves a lease with Massport and an increase in impervious surfaces, the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Agency must review the environmental impact. The initial notification was sent to MEPA in January 2023 with public comments due last February. 

The February 20 HFAC meeting will be held on Zoom. The agenda with logon information will be on Lincoln’s website: lincolntown.org. 

Air quality study 

Each of the four member towns of HFAC, Bedford, Concord, Lexington and Lincoln, have committed $6,250 to fund a study of fine particulates around the airfield, Eliot said.  

The group is looking to Massport Community Advisory Committee to fund the remaining $25,000 needed for the $50,000 study.  

They require a memorandum of understanding, he said. He will bring the request to the Lincoln town manager, but if a lawyer would like to help, they would be welcome. 

“I can’t write a legal agreement by myself,” he said. 

The study would set a baseline that could be used to track changes over time, said Concord’s representative on HFAC, Mark Giddings, in January.