Several protesters arrested at East Boston Eversource substation construction site

Several people arrested during protest at East Boston Eversource substation

BOSTON – Police arrested a handful of protesters at the entrance to Eversource's substation in East Boston Tuesday.

"We have not given up hope," protester Julie Manitz said.

Construction on the controversial electrical substation started last week.

One resident who lives nearby said she's upset to see the project moving forward.

"I feel there's a lack of respect toward our immigrant community, toward our immigrant people of color diverse community. I feel like this is happening without our consent," Noemy Rodriguez through a translator.

Residents and climate activists worry the location creates a risky recipe for something to go wrong in a densely populated neighborhood that is near a playground, jet fuel containers and Chelsea Creek.

"This area is getting flooded already occasionally, at least once twice a year, and this is not the right place to build an electrical substation," Manitz said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Eversource wrote in part:

East Boston is the city's fastest-growing neighborhood and demand for electricity continues to rise, making it necessary to build the new substation to support that growth. Throughout this robust public process, we have worked diligently to demonstrate that the project exceeds safety and environmental standards.

East Boston residents argue their neighborhood is already overburdened and say enough is enough.

"We have the airport, we have the salt storage for the entire region, heat fuel storage," Manitz said. "We have so many things serving the region its time to get us more greenspace and more tree coverage."

Protesters have been trying to stop the project for years now. They say they have renewed hope with Gov. Maura Healey now in office and are calling on her to intervene.

WBZ-TV reached out to Healey for comment but has not heard back.

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