Town Cleared for Wastewater Upgrades

The Town of Marion cleared its wetlands hurtle with the Marion Conservation Commission on August 23 with approval to move ahead with its overhaul of the wastewater treatment plant’s sludge lagoon 1.

As ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, lagoon 1 will be drained, the sludge removed and disposed of off-site, and then lined before continuing its use to store the solid waste separated from the wastewater.

The Town of Marion had been working with the EPA and its engineer CDM Smith to find less financially impactful alternatives to the EPA’s original NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit that called for the closing of the three unlined lagoons at the wastewater treatment plan on Benson Brook Road. Alternatively, lagoon 1 will be lined to prevent leeching of Nitrogen and other water contaminants, and the two remaining unlined lagoons will be used strictly for emergency overflow, for example, during storms, and only lagoon 1 will store the solid waste that will be pumped directly to it via a new pumping house.

Danielle Jackson of CDM Smith addressed the commission on behalf of the Town along with a wetlands specialist who delineated the wetlands.

The pumping house is slated for placement within the 100-foot buffer zone to the wetlands, and associated piping will be installed linking it to lagoon 1.

The EPA ordered the work to be completed by December 1, 2019. The project will go out to bid no later than early winter this year.

This phase of the wastewater treatment plan upgrades is part of the $2 million approved by voters during this year’s Annual Town Meeting.

The project received a Negative 3 determination, meaning that the work will take place within the buffer zone, but will not alter any wetlands areas subject to the Wetlands Protection Act.

Also during the meeting, John Tracy of 0 Ridgewood Lane received approval and an Order of Conditions to construct a single-family house with driveway, utilities, and grading.

The hearing was continued from July 25 to give the applicant time to have a qualified wetlands specialist review the wetlands delineation, which was performed in 2006, too long ago for the commission’s preference.

Engineer Bob Rogers told the commission on August 23 that the line was reviewed and, in fact, was ultimately altered to reflect data collected from soil samples.

“There was such a variation that they went ahead and made delineation adjustments,” said Rogers, “… but we’re confident in the new line.”

Rogers said he also looked at the proposed placement of the house on the plan, which was flipped to a mirror image, now placing the garage on the opposite side of the property on the “neighbor side,” which Rogers said was more agreeable to the property owner than the previous plan.

In other matters, George Tinkham of 57 Oakdale Avenue received a negative 2 determination for his RDA to repair and stabilize a seawall.

Anne and Scott Robertson received a Negative 3 for their RDA to install an 18-foot by 36-foot in-ground pool at 1 Deer Run.

The commission continued the public hearing for James Miranda’s Request for Determination of Applicability to store equipment and park vehicles behind the building at 133 Wareham Road until September 12 at the applicant’s request.

Virginia and Robert Beams received a Certificate of Compliance for 35 Holly Road.

Sue Reamer also received a Certificate of Compliance for 25 Holly Road.

The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for September 12 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

Marion Conservation Commission

By Jean Perry

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