WPCA Regular Meeting Minutes
March 22nd, 2017
The meeting was called to order at 7:30
Present: Regular Members- Chairman Richard Prendergast, Vice-Chair Donna Bednar, Treasurer Wilkinson, Dimitri Tolchinski, Sal Cancelliere, Robert McCarthy, Frank Chan, Andrea Lombard and Steve Cinami. Joe Carpentino arrived at approximately 7:33. Andrea Lombard and Steve Cinami were both excused. Approximately 5 members of the public were present. Bonnie Reemsynder arrived shortly after 8:00.
Approval of the Minutes: February 14th, 2017:
Mr. Tolchinski made a motion to approve the previous meeting minutes. Mr. Prendergast requested two edits. In public comment Pappalardo was spelled incorrectly. Also in public comment, Rob Breen was spelled incorrectly. Doug Wilkinson seconded the motion. The minutes with amendments were approved unanimously.
- Discussions with DEEP and Wood & Curran on the status of Coastal Waste Water Plans. There were not in person meetings with DEEP, but there were emails (see correspondence). Wood & Curran said that there are a lot of things that need to be changed in the report, but the changes are minor. Wood & Curran will try to finish this by May 2nd. The Costal Wastewater plan comes first then the environmental impact comes second.
Old Lyme Groundwater Monitoring Program for Hawks Nest Beach Sub-Area. Wood & Curran emailed the WPCA of our two responsibilities in the monitoring program. First, we are required to do a well viability assessment. Robert McCarthy, with engineering experience, volunteered to perform this section of the requirement. Second, the town is responsible for a well survey. Mr. Wilkinson made a motion to give the chairman permission to hire a surveyor for a price not to exceed $2,000. Ms. Bednar seconded the motion. All members voted to approve the motion.
Budget Update and Expenses-
- Budget update: Treasurer Wilkinson informed the committee that we are financially sound. He did note that because our plans are being delayed we have not yet been charged for many things in our budget.
- Review of new invoices: None
The first piece of correspondence was from Carlos Esguerra to Amine, Mr. Prendergast, and Ms. Reemsnyder
Below are comments on the planning report document (dated November 2016).· Pages ES-2 and 2-15: Use the following wording: “During these public meetings, a group of Hawks Nest residents expressed concern over the Groundwater quality data used to determine the High Needs Sub-Areas. To address these concerns, the Town and DEEP agreed to perform additional monitoring to more accurately delineate groundwater quality conditions and wastewater management needs. It is anticipated that a recommendation for this subarea will be presented in a subsequent engineering report. This subarea will be further investigated through an additional groundwater monitoring program to be performed in two phases:”
· Total costs for regional alternative listed in tables ES-2 & table 8-2, and Figure ES-3 don’t match. Please double check estimates and update as necessary.
· Page ES-4 (Funding finance considerations paragraph): This section needs to clearly identify the town’s share ($) of the project (Sound View plus town’s share of common infrastructure). Town will use this $ amount for bonding and appropriation purposes.
· Figures ES-2 and 8-1 need to be updated to remove gravity sewers from area 5A. Identify this area as monitoring area to be consistent with planning report recommendation. Updated figure will be used in CEPA-related documents.
· Top of page 2-13. Update as follows: “Table 2-6 shows that Hawks Nest and Sound View have experienced elevated levels of total nitrogen, ammonia and nitrate during the sampling period.”
· Page 2-18: Include picture sources.
· Table 2-6. SV-4 ammonia samples: Please update, maximum = 11 mg/l and average = 7.1 mg/l.
In regards to CEPA, I had a meeting with our internal CEPA liaison (David Fox) who brought to my attention the following statutory requirement pursuant to CGS Sec. 22a-1a-2(c). “Determination of sponsoring agency” .
“(c) The sponsoring agency may delegate the task of preparing environmental impact evaluations and findings of no significant impact. When such a document is prepared under contract for the sponsoring agency, the contractor shall execute a disclosure statement specifying that it has no financial interest in the outcome of the action. If an environmental document is prepared by contract, the sponsoring agency and other participating agencies shall furnish guidance and participate in the preparation and shall independently evaluate the document prior to its general circulation.”
I understand that Woodard & Curran does not work for the State but in order to avoid any controversies, I would suggest taking Woodard & Curran’s name out of the EIE document. Please let me know what concerns you have with this approach. I am available to discuss them with you and Jay (and the Town) at your convenience. The implementation of the CEPA vetting process will still be a joint/collaborative effort but I rather take the name out of the document to avoid any controversies or issues. We followed this approach with the chartered associations EIE also.
At this juncture, please feel free to update the EIE based on the revised planning document and send me an updated draft version in word format for my review and comment. Let me know if you would like to schedule a conference call in two weeks to discuss these comments or any CEPA-related issues moving forward.
The second piece of correspondence was from Mr. Esguerra to Mr. Cancelliere.
I just wanted to send you an email to acknowledge your voice message. My apologies for not getting back to you before as I have been tied up with other projects.
I will look into the water quality information that you requested for Swan Brook, Sheffield Brook and Mile Creek. Typically this information can be available with the local health departments but based on my conversation with you from a few weeks ago, I understand that the town did not have this information available. I will look in our records to see if we have any water quality information for these streams and will get back to you asap.
You also asked if HN is under order from DEEP to install sewers, as we discussed last time, the town is proposing to perform additional Groundwater testing within this community to have a better understanding of wastewater management needs in this area. A solution is not expected to be recommended for HN in the planning report that is currently being finalized.
The third piece of correspondence was from Rocco Todaro to Mr. Predergast.
There are approximately 140 private wells located in the area known as Hawks Nest Beach. It would be most cost effective and there could be no better places to test than these wells which are already in place. Why not set up a chain of custody with the home owner’s permission and assistance, then have a reputable lab perform the tests. This is basically what the Town and WPCA asked us to do on our own but refused to believe our good results because of the chain of custody issue. The Town can save an a ton of money and there is no better testing wells than our drinking water wells.
Sandy Garvin also wrote to the committee.
To WPCA Chair Rich Prendergast and Committee members, In the spirit of positive problem solving, I wish to suggest a fact finding mission where data already exists within our own Health Department. With every septic pumpout, the technician is required to record the condition of the system and problems that exist. The Sanitation engineer then follows up to make sure corrections are made. This is a valuable resource that would help pinpoint how many problems actually exist and where. When the sewer concept was first introduced, the assumption was that all the beaches would be happy to go along with it making the cost per edu more affordable. There was a concerted effort
made by the previous Chair Mr. Zemba, the former Health Director Dr. Sikand and former Sanitarian John Siviec, to convince the public that we had a serious pollution problem in all the beaches that would become a perfect storm causing a health crisis. This was a contrived public health scare that was unsubstantiated by ANY real data from HNB or White Sands Beach or Sound View. In addition, Ellen Blaschinski, Director of the State Public Health Dept. Had NEVER received any communications from Dr. Sikand that any health and pollution concerns existed in the Old Lyme beach areas. Further, what is troubling is that the "book of data" compiled by John Sieviec is still being referred to as the basis of need for sewers with indisputable truth. Brian Curtis of Jacobsen Engineering called John Seviec's distorted graphs and selective data and conclusions baseless and faulty. Dr. Sikand stated to me that he got his data from John Sieviec. Dr. Sikand refused to answer the questions
of why after 12 years of groundwater testing in all beach areas, that suddenly we are high needs. He also stated to me that his speech was not about specifics. The public has been led astray throughout the entire sewer saga. The significant cost per edu in Sound View is most likely where this train is coming off the tracks and Woodard and Curren are trying to figure how to save their plan. When the cost benefit assessment is figured out, and property owners see what this will cost them, they will vote it down. However, the Sound View residents have not had any real communication about why sewers are needed or what the cost will be. Again, site specific problem areas should be identified. And site specific solutions be offered. Several times I have asked for a second opinion from new technology based engineers who are cutting edge..but the powers that be in charge of decision making In the Town Hall do not want to entertain anything other than sewers. The savings
to the Town and residents who have to pay for this project would substantially be reduced, keep our groundwater in place, and we would not be contributing to the sewer pollution that happens every time the storm drains are opened into the rivers and Sound. > > Rather than dig up the dirt from the past, let's open our minds to a different concept based on real facts and real need. New technology IS available, and it was Woodard and Curren who dismissed that notion as a viable alternative...does anyone see a conflict of interest here? Please consider a needs and cost analysis after identifying a problem and its scope. It may cost Old Lyme the return of CWF to the state, but that is a whole lot less than what is being considered a solution to a questionable problem. Sandy Garvin
There was ample discussion over the correspondence. Ms. Bednar suggested that in the future all members should read the correspondence, but we only need to discuss it if there is something we would like to respond to.
Mr. Cancelliere wanted to know who was driving the project the DEEP or the town of Old Lyme. The other committee members assured him that the DEEP is driving the project. In fact, we our under administrative order to comply. Mr. Cancelliere wants to be involved in more discussions so he knows what he is voting for.
Old Business: None
- Sewer education planning: We have already created the FAQ for the sewer education. Mr. Chan volunteered to help create tri-folds explaining the goal of the project to the public.
Rocco Todaro: Most of the wells are 15-20 feet deep at Hawk’s Nest Beach. These wells could be used for testing.
Sandy Garvin: Why would we not get a second opinion on what technology we could use in Soundview? Would the committee be open to talking to Dave Potts?
Laura Parents is confused by a comment from Ms. Bednar. She believed that tests already showed Hawk’s nest pollution.
Mr. Prendergast thanked all members of the public for their comments. He explained that the state is very thorough on vetting and Mr. Potts’ observation would not be sufficient. He also explained to Ms. Parents that more testing is necessary to show where the pollution is coming from.
Joe Carpentino made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Dimitri Tolchinski. The meeting was adjourned.