Planning Board Hears From Water Sampling Expert

The application for the Keene pit was reviewed by the Planning Board. Under the current gravel ordinance, Keene is required to maintain a 100′ buffer. Keene does not have a waiver from his current neighbor who owns the abutting property. Keene was under the impression that the Planning Board had the authority to grant this waiver; however Chrm. Holt explained that the Planning Board must follow the current ordinance and can’t waive performance standards in the gravel ordinance. Keene was also advised that the restoration plan for his pit must be completed to the boundary of the 100′ setback within the next three years or life of his gravel permit. The requirement for water quality data from the now-existing wells in the Keene pit was waived by the Planning Board because they are on ledge and groundwater can’t be obtained at the site. The Planning Board will grant Keene’s permit when he files a map with his application showing the 100′ setback and provides a statement that restoration will be completed within three years.

quote5At its prior meeting the Planning Board had concerns that three permits that were required to provide water quality data from drilled wells did not meet the required industry standards for obtaining accurate water quality data. Michael Deyling from CES Inc. (former Summit Engineering) was the water quality expert representing the wells in question. He provided a detailed report that demonstrated how with current standards and methods for water quality sampling, the three wells in question could be used to provide accurate data. He also stated that these wells could be modified to bring them up to current standards. Deyling stated that of key importance was stable parameters and using a professional engineer to take samples. The Planning Board found this information very helpful and said they would be using it in their upcoming gravel ordinance workshop on Sept. 17th.

quote4Of great concern to the Planning Board was that the CEO had gone ahead and approved the three wells in question. As these were conditions required for getting permits, or Administration application issues which is under the purview of the Planning Board rather than Performance issues required in operation under the gravel permit, the Planning Board told the CEO that he had gone beyond his authority. (See Chrm, Holt’s statement) The CEO stated that in his opinion he had the power to make these decisions.

Kathryn Gaianguest addressed the Planning Board, representing the citizens of Lamoine, saying that the CEO and Steve Salisbury (representative for the gravel operators) should be taking their concerns directly to the Planning Board rather making complaints to the Board of Selectmen as this was a waste of time and energy for everyone and counterproductive.

Steve Salisbury made a request to the Planning Board to amend the Consent Agreements that had been signed by the Board of Selectmen and the gravel operators, with no input from the Planning Board. Salisbury stated that they wanted to present a water quality testing plan to the Planning Board. Chrm. Holt said that they had not been included in any part of the Consent Agreements and that the Board of Selectmen would have to be consulted with regard to this matter.

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