Friday, June 18, 2004
ConsCom OKs East Street wetland remediation plan
An immediate response to a May 28 enforcement order relieved pressure on builder Ed Hassey when he appeared at the June 10 Conservation Commission meeting. After receiving notice of a serious violation of the Massachusetts Wetland Protection Act, a contrite Hassey had engaged environmental engineer Randy Sorenson of Carol R. Johnson Associates to draft a plan to remedy the situation.
The Commission had been concerned about the ongoing deterioration of the sandy access road to Hassey's construction site off East Street, a process that was depositing sand and silt into the wetland below. The engineer's short-range assignment was to staunch the flow and then to devise a permanent plan for stabilization.
After reviewing the Commission's ten-point complaint and confirming its validity, Sorenson presented his plan of attack. Three of the charges, which involved missing wetland flags, decomposed haybales and a pilfered DEP sign, were easy to remedy. The major problem was to find and correct the cause of the disintegration. Sorenson identified two factors: first, the removal of the natural, roadside berm that had directed the flow of rainwater down East Street before the driveway was built, and second, the inadequacy of a six-inch culvert to handle its load. Hassey had already improved the overloaded culvert by installing a 12-inch pipe, and Sorenson was proposing to construct a replacement berm ( "sort of like a speed bump" ) at the head of the access road to guide the water along its accustomed route down East Street, rather than diverting into the drive.
Continuing his point by point response, Sorenson promised removal of all the sand that had filled the drainage swales and sediment traps at the foot of the slope. As for sand that had piled up in the buffer zone and choked the wetland, it would be removed by hand to avoid further damage, and Hassey was committed to monitoring that process personally.
As for long-range action, construction of a boulder-based retaining wall would occur near the end of the project, in August, to be followed by paving of the road and vegetation of the embankment. Meanwhile the washouts would be repaired with stone fill.
In closing, Sorenson assured the commission that Hassey is determined not only to satisfy the commission but "to do a really good job." Chair Tricia Smith responded by thanking both men for a fast and thorough reply to the commission's concerns, and asked the administrator to stow the enforcement order in the files.
© 2004 The