Watershed Alliance appeals Westport ConComm ruling

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The Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA) is appealing the town Conservation Commission's approval of a wetlands boundary plan involving the Prestige Auto Mart property at 1058 State Road. In a document filed Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, the Alliance requested that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issue a Superseding Order of Resource Area Delineation based on the wetland boundaries accepted by the Westport Conservation Commission. WRWA state that it believes the boundaries order did not adequately address filled wetlands on the property.  Fill has been placed on the property in the past, the Alliance said, and the location of filled wetlands has a bearing on proposed activities on the site and the application of state wetland laws and regulations. Matt Patrick, the WRWA’s executive director, said, “The Prestige Auto project sets a bad precedent for this area which recharges Bread and Cheese Brook, a major tributary to the East Branch of the Westport River.  The Mass Estuaries Report attributes 33 percent of the East Branch’s total nitrogen to sub watershed 3.  Eventually, the taxpayer is going to get a bill for cleaning up the river so we don’t want the nitrogen pollution to get any worse than it is already.  Any development in this area will get a great deal of scrutiny from us.” Lisabeth White, WRWA’s director of advocacy, added in a letter to Westport’s Planning Board, Conservation Commission and Board of Health, added, "There already exists numerous flooding and stormwater problems in that vicinity along Route 6 due to lack of adequate stormwater controls. Property on Bower Avenue in particular has been severely impacted by storm waters entering and flooding the property, including the house.”  

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.