Investigating Oil Storage

In partnership with GreenRoots Eco-Youth Crew and Laura Perovich at MIT, my lab is investigating the aggregate water pollution from Chelsea Massachusetts’ seven Oil Storage Facilities. Chelsea’s water front is used to store heating oil for much the Northeast. There has never been a cumulative impact assessment of the environmental health issues associated with these oil storage facilities.

SeeBoat: We are working with Eco-Crew to develop low cost citizen science tools for Greenroots to study industrial discharges into Chelsea creek.

Assessment Discharge Permit Violations: We are analyzing the aggregate violations from these facilities reported to the EPA.

Data Performances: We are developing public data performances to collectively visualize and explore the consequences of water contamination from these facilities.

Alternative futures: We are working with Eco-Crew and GreenRoots to imagine alternative futures for Chelsea’s waterfront. Including, increased public access and space for recreation.

For instance, in the summer of 2017 the Eco-Crew won an Emerson College Engagement Lab competition to add a Pokemon Go stop on Chelsea Creek. The Pokemon Go stop is to be located at Port Park, a public access part built following GreenRoots advocacy to control dust from salt storage facilities along the water way and increase public access to the waterfront. As part of our work to increase youth engagement in Chelsea’s waterfront Laura and I worked with Eco-Crew to make their winning video.



Laura Perovich


This research is funded by a CRESSH Pilot Grant: Center for Research on Environmental & Social Stressors in Housing Across the Life Course, Harvard School of Public Health and Boston University.