A proposed natural gas service pipeline of 4,300 linear feet with six-inch piping intended to service the Quittacas Water Treatment Plant of New Bedford was discussed at the Rochester Conservation Commission’s meeting on Tuesday evening.
The City of New Bedford is proposing the gas service pipeline to supply the plant, located at 1 Negus Way in Rochester, in an effort to achieve greater fuel efficiency and eliminate the need for underground fuel tanks. The new gas pipeline will be connected to the existing gas main on the north side of North Street just west and opposite from the Verizon phone facility at 118 North Avenue.
The planned route for the pipeline will be almost entirely on property owned by the City of New Bedford, but located in Rochester. A spring start date was proposed for the project, which will require excavating a three-foot deep trench and installing a six-inch PVC pipe along an existing fire lane that has grown over with brush and trees.
“We will use prejudice to save trees,” said City of New Bedford engineer David Fredette.
The Board continued the hearing until January 15 and requested that Fredette provide site sketches of erosion control barriers and a rough dewatering plan. The Board did approve the clearing of trees along the proposed pathway.
Next up was a Request for Determination of Applicability filed by the Rochester Land Trust for property located on Quaker Lane. The Trust proposed selective cutting of vegetation to create a four-foot wide walking path. Portions of the path are within the 100-foot buffer zone to a wetland resource area. Representatives David Smith and Noreen Hartley spoke and said that the intention was to improve an already existing path on the 3.5 parcel. One wet area will require an elevated walkway two feet off the ground.
The Board agreed to the proposal with a start date of next week.
A Notice of Intent filed by Harry Riggle for property located at 0 and 107 Cranberry Highway was also discussed. Riggle and his representative, William Madden of G.A.F. Engineering, addressed the Board.
The NOI was filed in response to an Enforcement Order issued on September 4, 2012 for illegal alteration of the 25-foot No Activity Zone, 100-foot Buffer Zone and 200-foot Riverfront Area. Riggle told the Board that much of the concrete had been removed and replaced with topsoil.
“Our plan is restoration of previously disturbed areas,” said Madden. Several of the Board members had walked the property and discussed the ongoing remediation of issues found.
Laurell Farinon, Conservation Commission Agent, recommended that a silt fence be installed by December 1 and that the remaining concrete be removed by June 15. By January 1, all vaults in the riverfront area must be removed and an orange web fence must be placed around the 20-foot riverfront area. The Board agreed with Ms. Farinon’s recommendations.
Lastly, the Board approved an RDA for the town for property located on Mary’s Pond Road. Approved was selective cutting of vegetation and placement of gravel to construct a small parking area near the boat launch. The new parking area will allow four to six automobiles to park at the launch instead of pulling off to the side of the road. A U-shaped driveway will allow residents to back up a small boat trailer without backing onto the road. The cost of the project was funded by a grant initiated by the Conservation Commission and approved by the Makepeace Foundation.
By Joan Hartnett-Barry