Camden considers new project to mitigate 2014 Hosmer Pond contamination

Camden considers new project to mitigate 2014 Hosmer Pond contamination

Source: http://www.penbaypilot.com, May 15, 2017
By: Lynda Clancy

Almost three years ago, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued a violation notice to Camden for severely disturbing soil on Ragged Mountain, and the resulting sedimentary contamination of Hosmer Brook and Pond. Contractor crews remediated the erosion during Summer 2014, but the town faced an enforcement action, including a monetary fine. Since February, Town Attorney Bill Kelly has been talking with the DEP about a consent agreement, and/or a mitigation project.

Little has been said publicly about the proposed project, although there have been references to Hosmer Pond improvements as part of such a mitigation effort. Likewise, the draft consent agreement has yet to be publicly discussed, while it remains under negotiation. That is per agency policy, according to DEP spokesman Dave Madore.

But on May 16, at least some portion of the mitigation project is to be discussed as the first order of business at the regularly scheduled Camden Select Board meeting.

The agenda item says:

1) Hosmer Pond Boat Launch/DEP Project
a. Bid Award b. Approval of withdrawal funds from restricted funds for ADA dock.

According to Attorney Kelly: “The item on the agenda is for the approval of the plan and expenditure of funds for the dock and improvements construction. This is within the discretion of the Select Board as the funding comes from a fund over which they have discretion for such things. Of course, this is also a project that is being wrapped into the DEP enforcement action Consent Agreement, and I am expecting to get a final version of that Consent Agreement from DEP soon, which will be shared with the public and presented at a Special Town meeting for approval in the near future. That said, there was no good reason not to get the project advertised for bid before the season was too far along.”

On May 15, Madore said: “Camden has asked for a supplemental environmental project (SEP) as part of the consent agreement. The proposal has not been formally presented to DEP for review. Any documents should be available through the Town of Camden.”

The final plan documents are expected to be presented at the May 16 meeting by Will Gartley, of the engineering firm Gartley and Dorsky, said Kelly.

The 2014 violation notice (see attached PDF) was issued after the DEP approved the alteration of 7,028 acres of wet meadow and forested wetlands in order for the Snow Bowl ski trail expansion project. During the logging, however, trees were skidded down several pre-existing trails, severely disturbing soils without erosion controls, the DEP said. Up to an acre of land was disturbed in various locations on the mountain, according to the DEP violation notice.

The May 16 Select Board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., and the agenda also includes talking about renovation work on the town clock at the top of the Chestnut Street Baptist Church, a discussion with the Maine Department of Transportation about the Route 1 North project, withdrawing funds from accounts to purchase a new lawn mower and fire hose, approving victualer licenses, and other municipal business.

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