Eel Pond Sewer Line Project Given Green Light

It has been a very long time in coming, but now emerging and advancing forward after years of planning is the repair and upgrades of the Eel Pond Sewer line. In attendance at the June 27 meeting of the Mattapoisett’s Conservation Commission were Mattapoisett’s Water and Sewer Department Superintendent Henri Renauld and from the town’s engineering consultants, Tighe and Bond, Jessica Roberts.

            Roberts gave a nearly one-hour presentation, the Notice of Intent including a brief history of the sewer-line location and concerns that future storms might rupture the sewer line with catastrophic results not only for the town but for the surrounding communities along Buzzards Bay.

            Among the details shared by Roberts, 1,500 linear feet of sewer line will be replaced in parallel, expanding to the existing main but at a greater depth. Directional boring, which was successfully used in the beach community Pease’s Point several years ago, would again be employed to minimize site impact to jurisdictional wetlands.

            Renauld said that 1,340 feet of the existing sewer line would be cleaned and left in place. He said that this project has been flagged by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. CZM’s stated mission is to “…balance human activity with the protection of coastal and marine resources.”

Renauld stated that early this year CZM funded the final plan now being discussed.

            Roberts said that environmental impacts to surrounding wetlands that include marsh areas would be exclusively at the entrance and exit areas used for the drilling equipment. Remediation of those areas was also included in the plan.

            There will be no lack of oversight on this project. Involved or to be involved were listed: MESA (Massachusetts Endangered Species Act); NHESP (Natural Heritage Endangered Species Program); MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act); Army Corp of Engineers; and 401 Water Quality Certification (Massachusetts 314 CMR:9 401 for permitting of dredging projects) as well as CZM and Massachusetts Historical Commission.

            Not to be forgotten is Mattapoisett’s Conservation Commission, which will be responsible for jurisdictional areas defined in the Massachusetts Wetland’s Protection Act by way of written construction conditions. Contingency plans were also discussed.

            After the commission asked questions of the engineering team and Renauld, Chairman Mike King asked for public comments of which there were none. The public hearing was closed. King asked for a two-week continuance to give the commission time to prepare an Order of Conditions. Renauld will return on July 11.

            In other business, a Request for Determination of Applicability filed by Dennis Arsenault for certification that there are no jurisdictional areas on property located at 0 Brandt Island Road received a negative determination. Also receiving a negative determination for a similar request was Jacinto Mendes for 0 Dupont Drive. A RDA filed by Michael and Virginia Morhardt for 10 West Silver Shell Avenue for improvements under a raised residence received a negative determination as well.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for Monday, July 11, at 6:30 pm.

Mattapoisett Conservation Commission

By Marilou Newell

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