Climate change issues hound race

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Mayor Martin Walsh is hoping a snafu over a wetlands permit won’t bring the Boston Grand Prix to a screeching halt as race organizers vow to appeal a city commission’s ruling by the end of next week.

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Walsh, a vocal supporter of the Labor Day weekend event that will turn the streets South Boston’s Seaport District into a high-speed racecourse, laid the blame for any potential setbacks at the feet of race organizers.

“I think that this is on Grand Prix now to be able to follow the process and they have to follow all the different steps that are out there,” Walsh said on Saturday, one day after the Conservation Commission voted 4-1 to block promoters from building sections of the course because of new climate change rules.

Organizers argued they only learned last month the course went through a flood zone area and that they would need a new wetlands permit.

Walsh said he hoped the race would still go on, despite the permitting kerfuffle.

“The rules are there for a reason,” Walsh said, adding, “They’re the rules and you have to live by the rules and work by the rules. Unfortunately for IndyCar, they have to come up with how they move forward.”

Boston Grand Prix Chief Executive Officer John Casey told the Herald yjr organizers will appeal the commission’s ruling to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) by next Saturday.

Once the appeal has been filed, the DEP has 35 business days to issue its ruling.

TNS

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