Maine DEP fines Jefferson logger for violating environmental laws at Camden Snow Bowl

Posted:  Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 4:15pm
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Tree cutting on Ragged Mountain in 2014. (Photo by Lynda Clancy)

While the Maine Department of Environmental Protection finalizes its penalties on the Town of Camden for violating erosion control laws, the state agency has also imposed a fine on the logging company that did the cutting and skidding of trees on Ragged Mountain in June and July 2014.

The DEP and Camden reached an agreement last week with a supplemental environmental project (SEP) to mitigate the environmental harm of the Ragged Mountain Redevelopment that occurred in Summer 2014 (Read Hosmer Pond project emerges as alternative to paying DEP fine), but the DEP is drawing up the consent agreement with Camden, which will likely result in an approximately $6,000 fine for the town.

The DEP has also fined Bruce Dawson, owner of the Jefferson-based BCD Excavation and Forestry, $6,000 for violating the state’s erosion and sediment control law,  protection and improvement of waters law, stormwater management law, and the Natural Resources Protection Act.

On March 27, 2014, the DEP approved an application from Camden to alter 7,028 square feet of wet meadow and forested wetland in association with the expansion of ski trails at the Snow Bowl.

The DEP stipulated that the alteration include properly installed erosion control measures, and that all disturbed soil be stabilized immediately on project completion.

In June, the DEP inspected BCD’s work and concluded that during the tree-cutting, Dawson or his employees skidded trees down trails, disturbed more than one acre of land, disturbed freshwater wetlands, and that sediment accumulated both in Hosmer Brook and Hosmer Pond, as well as in the woods between the skidding activity and the brook.

The DEP said in its consent agreement, which was signed April 24 by the Maine Office of the Attorney General, that neither Camden nor Dawson obtained permits for the above-mentioned activities.

The $6,000 Dawson fine will go into the state’s general fund, which is the repository for environmental penalties, unless otherwise directed.

The DEP fines imposed on both Dawson and Camden will conclude a three-year environmental review of the Ragged Mountain redevelopment earthworks, which resulted in concern and alarm, especially by Hosmer Pond landowners, as the sediment colllected in the water.

Related stories: 

• Hosmer Pond project emerges as alternative to paying DEP fine (May 16, 2017)

• Camden considers new project to mitigate 2014 Hosmer Pond contamination (May 15, 2017)

• Ragged Mountain Foundation pays half of Camden's $743,134 Snow Bowl shortfall

• Camden waits for $743,143 reimbursement for Ragged Mountain redevelopment

• Camden Snow Bowl forensic audit report delayed, again (March 17, 2017)

• Camden's Snow Bowl audit results delayed, no decision on DEP consent agreement, yet

• Camden and the Snow Bowl redevelopment: One citizen's inquiry into the cash flow (Feb. 2, 2017) 

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• Camden Snow Bowl Redevelopment Committee, Ragged Mountain Foundation hold community meeting (March 2, 2015)

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• Camden Planning Board approves Snow Bowl lighting plan as proposed (Oct. 6)

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• Camden to contract with South Portland firm to manage Snow Bowl lodge, base area (July 24, 2014)

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• Snow Bowl mountain mud runoff causes headache for neighbors, town (July 1)

• Camden Snow Bowl anticipates ending season in the black; work begins on Ragged Mountain (March 19)

• Homage to Camden’s Big T (March 15, 2014)

 By wide margin, Camden voters approve Snow Bowl improvement bond (Nov. 5, 2013)

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Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at lyndaclancy@penbaypilot.com; 207-706-6657