After an extensive permitting process, Unified2 is excited to announce that construction of Building 3 is ready to start. At the state level, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has issued a Secretary’s Certificate on October 31, 2022 establishing a Special Review Procedure (SRP) for the Project under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). The SRP is intended for multi- phased projects and allows the Phase I Project (i.e., Building 3) to proceed, while the remaining portions of the Project will continue to undergo MEPA review. At the local level, Unified2 has received Site Plan Approval and several special permits from the Planning Board for Buildings 2 and 3 pursuant to decisions issued on July 25, 2022. In addition, the Sutton Conservation Commission issued an Order of Conditions on July 7, 2022 for Buildings 2 and 3. And, this week, we expect the Sutton Building Commissioner to issue the final building permit for Building 3.
Building 3 Limited Blasting
As part of the preparation for the building foundations and related site work, we have uncovered a small pocket of bedrock ledge along the northeast corner of Building 3 that straddles Lot 2 and Lot 3. Figure 1 shows the bedrock ledge in relation to proposed Buildings 2 and 3 and the shared driveway between them. The ledge is in direct conflict with the approved design of Building 3 and related site infrastructure and will require limited, low-tonnage blasting to remove, as described in more detail below.
Unified2 is mindful of the temporary impacts that the construction and development of this project may have on abutters, neighbors, and the residents of Sutton at large. As we have stated during the public hearing process, we did not believe any blasting would be needed for the construction of Building 3. Our extensive geotechnical investigations of the site over the past year did not indicate we would encounter ledge in this area. Nevertheless, it was only after removing top soils from the site last week that we uncovered this small pocket of ledge. Because this is a change from what was communicated during the Planning Board process, we wanted to ensure our abutters, neighbors and residents were made aware of the blasting ahead of time.
Based on the limited area of ledge involved, we will be able to utilize less powerful blasting techniquesthan prior onsite blasting. The typical blast pattern will be 4’ x 4’ in size. The location of the blasting and proximity to other onsite elements will require blasting matts to be used for safety, with the added benefit of reducing noise and dust. While there will be some noise and vibration that can always be sensed by humans, the Peak Particle Velocity (PPV) will remain far below state regulation limits for all abutting structures, especially given the location of the nearest structures and known science behind how PPV propagates after a blast. Figure 2 shows the location of the blasting (red hatched area) and propagation offset rings out to 3,000 feet away from the blasting limits (magenta dashed lines).
The blasting contractor will secure all required federal, state, and local permits and ensure full compliance with the established rules and regulations and best management practices within the industry. Even through applicable state regulations only require seismic monitoring within 250-feet of the blast (red dashed line shown on Figure 2), the blasting contractor will still monitor and report on seismic activity at the locations denoted with tan dots on the map above to ensure all PPV remains below state regulations.
Wilkinsonville Water District – Hatchery Drive Well
As noted in Figure 2 the Wilkinsonville Water District (WWD) Hatchery Drive Well is approximately 1,000 feet away from the blasting area. The blasting will be located entirely outside of the Zone II Groundwater Protection Zone (shown as the yellow line). As an added layer of assurance, a seismic monitor will be placed at the well locations to ensure the PPV doesn’t exceed state regulations. The blasting contractor will coordinate and share data with the WWD as needed to immediately address any concerns. Consistent with prior blasting, none of the explosives used will contain PFAS (i.e., perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances). For further information on PFAS and blasting, please visit our project website FAQ’s
The blasting schedule is a function of two primary things:
- The blasting technique used in this area
- Smaller drillhole patterns (blast pattern)
- Smaller quantities of explosive power
- The use of blasting matts
All of which require more frequent blasts per day and a longer duration of overall blasting operations.
- Coordination of blasting within the New England Power Company (NEP) transmission line easement (shown as the dashed tan line in Figure 2).
For these two reasons the blasting has been broken into two phases – Phase I (outside the NEP easement) and Phase II (inside the NEP easement). Phase I is expected to take four weeks to complete starting on or about November 9, 2022. Phase II is expected to take about seven weeks to complete, however, we will not have a confirmed start date until we coordinate with NEP (now controlled by National Grid) on timing. As soon as that process is complete, Unified2 will update the abutters, neighbors, and residents through the project website and the text messaging service (see Communications section below). As noted above, because of the small size of each blast the blaster expects the frequency of blasts to be between 3 to 4 blasts per day Monday through Friday.
Unifed2 will utilize the same text messaging service used with the prior blasting operations onsite. Each day that blasting will occur, the timing of the anticipated blasts for that day will be provided. As always, the schedule will be subject to change due to site and weather conditions. The texting service will be used to notify of any changes. To subscribe to this free service, please text UNIFIED to 781-208-9906 (please note standard text messaging fees may apply).
The blaster will strive to provide a 15-minute reminder text message before each blast. In addition, the blaster will be following the standard blast notifications process with the use of an airhorn warning. The airhorn notification sounds have the following meaning:
- 3-whistles = 5-minute warning
- 2-whistles = 1-minute warning
- 1-whistle = all clear
To view Figures 1 and 2 in more detail or to learn more about the Unified2 Industrial Development, please visit the project website at www.unified2parkwayproject.com . Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) and other recourses are also posted on the website along with timely Project Updates, like this one.
Unified2 will be hosting another informational meeting at our headquarters, (223 Worcester-Providence Turnpike, Sutton, Massachusetts) Monday, November 7, 2022, from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. All are welcome to attend and meet informally, one on one with our Project Team to discuss the ongoing planning, permitting and development of our site.
As an additional resource, a list of the contractors working on the Building 3 project is provided below along with an owner contact.
R.P. Masiello Construction, Inc.
Mr. Bill Babin
Walsh Contracting Corp
Mr. John M. Walsh
Construction Drilling Services
Mr. Dave Funnell
Unified2 Global Packaging Group
Mr. Frank Tavares