CAMDEN — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has issued a notice to School Administrative District 28 (Camden-Rockport K-8), Ledgewood Construction, of South Portland, and Jake Barbour Inc., of Rockland for allegedly violating the state’s Erosion and Sedimentation Control Law at the Camden site where a new school is under construction. Meanwhile, the three entities worked over the weekend to improve the conditions.
Before Thanksgiving, the DEP had ordered construction site managers to stop sediment runoff into the Megunticook River from the construction site on Knowlton Street.
By Monday morning, Dec. 3, contractors have implementing additional corrective measures, including the placement of 150 yards of bark mulch spread three inches thick over the site, closing the construction site to all vehicle parking, building two sediment ponds and bolstering the check dams with filter fabric and stones to slow any running water down.
Contractors had stationed a water truck at the site over the weekend, which produced a heavy rain, but Mary Beth Van Keuren, who is the owner’s representative for the SAD 28 project said there was no need to use it.
“Yesterday, JBI, Ledgewood and I walked it and the site ways doing well,” she said. “The culverts are running clear.”
She said the contractors have done a lot of work over the past week to improve the drainage control.
DEP personnel, as well as Camden code enforcement officer Jeremy Martin met last week at the site with contractors to assess the runoff, which earlier in November had been leaching soil and clay sediment into Megunticook River.
“On November 27, 2018, Department staff conducted an on-site investigation at 34 Knowlton Street in Camden, identified as Lot 59 on Map 120 of the municipality’s tax maps,” wrote DEP Enforcement Case Manager Dustin Dorr, on Nov. 30. ”The investigation was conducted in response to a complaint received by the department.”
Prior to site work last summer, DEP had issued the project a storm water permit, but after visiting Camden, Dorr told project managers to: “Immediately install and maintain adequate temporary erosion and sedimentation controls in accordance with the plans approved in Department Order L-27850-NI-A-N and the Maine Erosion and Sedimentation Control Handbook for Construction: Best Management Practices (Maine ESC Manual). In addition, create and maintain a daily erosion and sedimentation control maintenance log, with site photographs, to be made available at the request of the Department.”
During the site visit, the DEP cited pollutant discharge of soil into the Megunticook River and a freshwater wetland.
“After review, staff determined that the erosion and sedimentation control plan approved by the Department in Order L-27850-NI-A-N was not adequately followed by the licensee (MSAD #28), Ledgewood Construction and Jake Barbour Inc.,” the violation notice. “Erosion and sedimentation controls on-site were not adequate or timely to prevent an unreasonable amount of erosion and sedimentation from occurring, and the activities of the applicant or those of its agents resulted in noticeable erosion of soils on the site during construction, which were observed discharging off-site and into protected natural resources.”
According to state environmental law, any earth work involving exposing and displacing soil is to be accompanied by erosion control that must be in place before the work begins.
“Measures must remain in place and functional until the site is permanently stabilized,” wrote Dorr. “Adequate and timely temporary and permanent stabilization measures must be taken and the site must be maintained to prevent unreasonable erosion and sedimentation.”
The project managers are to get a plan in place within five days of the notice violation (Nov. 30).
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