LURC fines and stops construction of Rangeley Plantation camp

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RANGELEY PLANTATION – A landowner and contractor were fined $16,000 and ordered to stop the construction of a seasonal camp on the shore of Rangeley Lake by the Land Use Regulation Commission following the discovery of permit violations.

In March of 2007, while conducting site preparation work for a permit-approved seasonal camp on a lot owned by Janice Douglass of Phillips, LURC found that Steven W. Sargent of Rangeley, had excavated or scarified over 14,000 square feet of the Douglass’ lot on steep slopes. The clearing work was within 250 feet of Rangeley Lake and during frozen and saturated ground conditions.

“Sargent did so in violation of the terms of the permit approval and without having properly installed erosion and sedimentation control measures,” according to a statement released by LURC today.

Sargent’s clearing of the lot resulted in a discharge of silt-laden surface water runoff into Rangeley Lake, which continued throughout the month of April 2007 until Sargent was able to temporarily stabilize and re-vegetate the site. Sargent’s activities also destabilized an existing access road into the property, causing damage to several adjacent properties along the shoreline in the process.

Sargent acted as agent for the landowner Douglass in submitting the application to LURC for the building permit and as the contractor conducting the activities found to be in violation. As a result, he was made a party to the settlement along with the landowner.

The settlement agreement requires Douglass and Sargent to pay a civil penalty of $16,000, and to develop and implement a remedial action plan to correct deficiencies in the damaged roadway and adjacent properties. It also requires Sargent to permanently stabilize the site. Douglass/Sargent are prohibited from further construction on the property until they have applied for and obtained an amendment to the building permit.

In doing so, they are required to submit detailed specifications as to how the proposed development and subsequent permanent stabilization and landscaping of the property will comply with the commission’s requirements. The application must include a plan for the planting of trees and shrubs that will reduce phosphorus run-off and provide visual screening of the proposed structures from the lake.

LURC Director, Catherine Carroll, encourages landowners within LURC jurisdiction to carefully review and comply with all terms and conditions of their permits prior to beginning construction. For those who propose to conduct land use activities near lakes and other waterways, Carroll encourages landowners to consider utilizing contractors who have been certified by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s Voluntary Contractor Certification Program. The voluntary DEP certification program provides training to contractors in erosion and sedimentation control planning and the proper implementation of erosion and sedimentation control Best Management Practices.

The proper installation and maintenance of BMPs helps to prevent the introduction of phosphorus and other pollutants into lakes and streams. When BMPs are not implemented, pollutants entering the water can cause algae blooms and the associated degradation of water quality. The resulting blooms can reduce property values, harm native fish and wildlife populations, and impair recreation and tourism.

Contractors interested in obtaining training and/or certification through the DEP’s Voluntary Contractor Certification Program may contact Bill LaFlamme at the DEP’s Nonpoint Source Training and Resource Center, at 287-7726, or by email at mailto:William.N.LaFlamme@maine.gov Information about the program can be found on the DEP’s Web site at http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/training/ip-vccp.htm .

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