Vol. IV No. 13 7/1/2023
Notes from the Conservation Commission, June 13, 2023, Hybrid
Lisa Buzzuto, Vice Chair, called the meeting to order. There were four Requests for Determination of Applicability (RDAs). Three were approved: Mullen property on East Street, Mahkeenac Shores lake community, and Hatch property at 6 Old Colonial Road. The fourth was from the railroad, and it was continued.
Parker Rodriguez, attorney for the Housatonic RR, was adamant that he wanted approval to move forward. It was withheld because, for years, ConCom requested removal of the old ties, some treated with creosote, left by the side of the tracks within feet of the river. When it rains, it leaches into the resource area and the river. Further they had used herbicide for weed control along the tracks. The mix of creosote and herbicide was more dangerous.
Rodriguez asked what authority ConCom had. Their authority is granted to ConCom under the WPA — protection of waterways.
Rodriguez said it was unrealistic to pick up all the discarded ties — there were 100s of them.
Consultant David Cameron said ConCom had several methods of enforcement including issuing an Order of Enforcement — issuing fines for noncompliance — continue matter to further discuss compliance. ConCom adopted the latter. The vote was 6 to 1. Chair Ron Brouker was absent, and Jamie Minacci voted no.
Editor's note: Under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, there are three steps to approval of a project. 1. Request an RDA to help an applicant find out if the Wetlands Protection Act applies to their project. 2. If yes, submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) describing the work to be done and seek approval. 3. Request an Order of Conditions (OOC) at completion of work.
Photo: Lionel Delevingne