Washington man settles with DEP for filling in wetland
Rockland — A Washington man has agreed to pay $1,500 to the Department of Environmental Protection after the agency took him to court for filling in more than 9,000 feet of wetlands on a Rockland property he owns.
The state agency took legal action against Gregory Boynton under a land use citation and a hearing on the matter was held in Sixth District Court in November. At the hearing, Boynton, a construction company owner, denied the allegations against him, but a settlement was reached between the parties last month.
The agreement states Boynton will submit a restoration plan to the department no later than June 14, 2014, or an-after-the-fact application for a Natural Resource Protection Act permit. If a restoration plan is submitted, it must include how to remove the fill and restore the area to its former condition. Both the application and restoration plan would be reviewed by the department staff.
Boynton owns property at 63 Holmes Street, which contains a freshwater wetland, a protected resource.
Maine's Natural Resources Protection Act requires an individual to obtain a permit from the Department before filling in property if it is located on or near a protected site.
In June 2011, the DEP conducted a field determination on Boynton's property. Department staff reviewed the property at Boynton's request, according to court documents.
According to the DEP, Boynton was informed of the freshwater wetlands on the property, and was told no more than 4,300 square feet could be filled in without a permit from the agency.
DEP staff also told Boynton soil erosion controls must be installed on the site during any soil disturbance activity, said court papers.
In July 2012, the department received a complaint about the property and inspected the lot to discover 9,438 square feet of the wetland had been filled in without a permit, and no soil erosion controls had been installed. This remained the case during a series of inspections until September 2013.
A message for Boynton seeking comment was not immediately returned.
If a restoration plan is submitted, it must be implemented by September 2014.
Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at Juliette Laaka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.