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Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe submits casino environmental report

Filed Under: Casino Stalker
More on: bia, carcieri, eis, land-into-trust, massachusetts, supreme court, wampanoag

An artist's rendering of proposed First Light Resort and Casino. Image from Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has completed an environmental study of its $500 million casino.

The report for the Project First Light Resort & Casino was submitted to the state of Massachusetts. It's open for public comments, through the Environmental Monitor, until January 9, 2015.

“We are pleased to submit this final report of our proposed destination resort casino in Taunton,” Chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a press release. “This report is the final step in the state's environmental review process and helps us stay on track to bring thousands of jobs to southeastern Massachusetts."

The tribe plans to use a 151-acre site in the city of Taunton for the casino. The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a environmental impact statement in September but has yet to announce a decision on the land-into-trust application.

"It should happen in the very near future. I’m very comfortable and confident about where we are, and that we have done all the right things," Cromwell told The Cape News.

The tribe's main hurdle is the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The ruling restricts the land-into-trust process to tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934.

The Mashpees didn't gain recognition until May 2007. But the ruling didn't define what that term means so the BIA can look at treaties, laws and other actions to determine whether a tribe was "under federal jurisdiction."

Get the Story:
Tribe Submits Final Casino Environmental Impact Report To State (The Cape News 12/10)
Tribe submits final environmental impact report for proposed Taunton casino (The Taunton Daily Gazette 12/10)

Federal Register Notice:
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Fee-to-Trust Transfer of Property and Subsequent Development of a Resort/Hotel and Ancillary Facilities in the City of Taunton, MA and Tribal Government Facilities in the Town of Mashpee, MA by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (September 5, 2014)

Related Stories:
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still waiting for BIA ruling on casino (11/17)

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