Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Decisions next month on tonight's Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Meeting

Two potentially hot topics were forwarded for decisions next month at tonight's meeting of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency Meeting.

Discussion of a proposed pipeline for low-sulfur diesel fuel for the under-construction Kleen Energy Plant on River Road in Maromas was forwarded for action next month at the request of Kleen Energy. But the proposal to move action until December couldn't discourage more than one agency member from questionning the lack of details in Kleen Energy's application, and the need to build a pipeline when, under the original proposal, low-sulfur burning would only occur on less than two dozen days per year.

The pipeline would extend from just Northwest of the Arrigoni Bridge, along the Connecticut River, through wetlands, and to the plant down river.

In a separate matter, an ongoing neighbor against neighbor land use and zoning dispute continued at the IWW Agency meeting tonight.

Ed and Andrea Hills who run a horse farm on Brooks Road had been issued a show cause order to halt backfill of an area which has been declared wetlands. Construction of a horse arena had previously been excepted from wetland application because the building was 50 feet from affected wetlands. The current backfilling operation encroaches on the wetland area. Neighbors Stephanie and Ron Borrelli, represented by their attorney, requested "intervener" status in the matter, and offered testimony that the Hills had allegedly filled wetlands, avoided a required application for wetlands encroachment, and may have used road millings for fill. The Hills' attorney disputed the charges.

In the end, the Agency continued enforcement of the show cause, requiring the Hills to install staked hay bales and silt fences to prevent contamination of waterways. They were also ordered the Hills to avoid animal traffic in the affected area.

The Agency decided to rule on encroachment on wetlands in the case next month after all evidence presented this evening was examined, and agency members had a chance to tour the site.

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