Town Collaborating with Coalition on Bogs

            On May 7, Mattapoisett Conservation Commission Chairman Mike King read into the minutes a letter from the Select Board regarding its decision to seek professional advice regarding any possible contamination of soils at The Bogs.

            The Bogs, located off Acushnet Road, are former agricultural bogs which had been farmed for decades. When the land became available for purchase, the Buzzards Bay Coalition spearheaded an effort to restore the acreage and conserve it for passive recreational uses.

            Massive earthmoving activities and former manmade waterways were being reconfigured when winter storms overtopped the stormwater system, allowing soils from the site to migrate off site. At commission meetings, the red flag went up that possibly contaminated soils had left the site, soils containing legacy chemicals used in the cranberry industry. Therefore, the commission asked the Select Board for guidance on the issue of chemicals, while it placed an Enforcement Order on the work taking place.

            Now the commission has its answer. The Select Board letter in essence stated that the town is working collaboratively with the BBC in engaging a third party to analyze the situation. In the meantime, work has continued at The Bogs, and BBC team member Sara Quintal said, “We are about 90-percent done.”

            But what about that Enforcement Order?

            After some discussion, the commission asked for two weeks, time that will be used to confirm that the lifting of the Enforcement Order doesn’t somehow limit the independent study about to get underway. All were in agreement.

            In business handled earlier in the meeting, abutters located at 36 and 40 Water Street joined in two Request for Determination of Applicability filings in order to replace storm damage to seaward-facing properties. Craters and other landscape damages wrought by winter storms created a hazard especially for small children, it was noted. The two filings received positive determinations.

            Receiving negative determinations for RDA filings were: Devin Sprague, 3 Byrne Avenue, for the removal of invasive brush and trees; Chase Wingate, 42 River Road, for a one-story addition in the 100-foot buffer zone; Wayne Tirrell, 16 Winnatuxett Beach Road, for improvements to a patio and 15 Seamarsh Way Family Trust, 15 Seamarsh Way, for landscape repairs after winter storms.

            Also receiving a Negative determination was a RDA filed by Raymond Silveira, 0 Foster Street, for the confirmation of wetland boundaries that were completed by Environmental Consulting and Restoration, presented by Bill Madden of G.A.F. Engineering and verified by Mattapoisett Environmental Agent Samantha Carew. Neighbors’ concerns over possible development of the properties was not heard, given the limited scope of the filing.

            The last RDA heard was filed by Richard and Darla Tenglin, 96 Aucoot Road, for a septic repair.

            Notice of Intent filings were up next. A NOI filed by Lawrence and Charlotte Oliveira for landscape repairs due to storm damage was conditioned, as was a NOI filed by William Mansfield for roadway improvements to Harbor Acres Lane.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission was not scheduled at adjournment.

Mattapoisett Conservation Commission

By Marilou Newell

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