Another Approval for Covanta’s CNG

Representatives of Covanta Clean Energy found themselves at Rochester Town Hall for the third time in two weeks on Tuesday evening, this time with a plan to tap into an existing condensed natural gas (CNG) line, which was approved.

Last week, Covanta was given permission from both the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals to go forward with the construction of a CNG Fueling Station, which will eventually be open to the public. Covanta is still in the process of obtaining permits from both the town and the state before construction can begin.

According to Phillip Jagoda, Project Manager for Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. on behalf of Covanta, the gas line was installed in 2012. Jagoda said that certain parts of the line are within 100 feet of a nearby riverfront and also within the 100-foot buffer zone to wetlands, but Rochester Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon endorsed the project.

“[It’s a] really straightforward project,” said Farinon, noting that the proximity to the riverfront required at least an RDA filing. ”[We’re] really pleased with the working relation we have with [Covanta and their consultants].”

The only stipulation from the board was a requirement for hay bales or waddles along the boundaries of the digging. The Board issued a negative Determination of Applicability, which allows Covanta to proceed with the work without issuing a more detailed engineering plan.

The Board also issued a negative Determination of Applicability for an addition to the home of Ryan Motta on property located at 689 Walnut Plain Road. Only a proposed driveway leading to the addition fell within the 100-foot buffer zone to a nearby reservoir, but Farinon and company approved the project with the same hay bale/waddle stipulation as aforementioned.

Farinon also discussed the status of the Town Forest/Old Colony Forest Management project, saying that the Old Colony School Committee recently approved a newly-formulated pilot program after there had been some backlash from abutters on the original plans for a controlled cut on both properties.

The pilot program will include about one-third of the cutting from the original plan, and Farinon said that future stages of the project would not be completed without further discussions with the general public. Farinon added that the decision to move forward with a pilot project came as a result of some of the prior complaints.

“They felt left out,” she said of some of the abutters. “They felt like it was a done deal, and they were upset about that.”

No date has been set for the start of the pilot program.

By Nick Walecka


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