Duxbury’s town gravel pit is closed for Act 250 permit violation issues and the town is also awaiting word from the Agency of Natural Resources after a town employee illegally dumped diesel fuel in the town gravel pit.
The administrative action from Act 250 came after abutters to the gravel pit raised the issue of permit compliance. The gravel pit was closed by Act 250 enforcement personnel and the town currently has access only to gravel it crushed last fall.
At issue with the Act 250 permit, according to town select board chair Dick Charland, is the fact that the permit called for the town to sequentially develop the pit in three phases, and then close up each part of the pit as it was finished. The town did not follow the process that was laid out in the permit, Charland said.
When Act 250 enforcement personnel made a site visit to the gravel pit they discovered that fuel had been dumped on the site by Duxbury road foreman Steve Manosh. Agency of Natural Resources enforcement personnel met with town officials and employees regarding the dumping (or spilling) of 10 to 15 gallons of diesel fuel on the ground at the pit in April or early May.
ANR enforcement personnel also met with a Duxbury whistle-blower whose name is being kept confidential. According to that whistle-blower, he told ANR that Manosh had been told specifically not to dump the fuel, but rather to wait. Proper town protocols call for diesel fuel to be discarded to be put into steel drums and removed from the site by a contractor or by the town.
The discarded fuel came from a transfer tank that the town uses to bring fuel to other pieces of road equipment deployed throughout the town. The whistle-blower said that the dumping had been witnessed by others and said he was upset that the town select board was not more concerned about what had happened.
According to the May 28 minutes of the Duxbury Select Board, after meeting in executive session the board voted to have the employee, Manosh, pay the $1,500 charged by an environmental consultant to remediate the spill. According to Charland, in a phone interview this week, the diesel spill has been cleaned up. The May 28 minutes show that the town had not pursued an insurance claim for the spill and that town equipment was to be used to clean up the spill.
The select board, at its May 14 meeting after an executive session, issued a letter of reprimand to Manosh that became part of his permanent record. The select board voted 4-1 on that motion with Charland and board members Maureen Harvey, Craig Isvak and Mo Lavanway voting in favor and board member Mike Marshall opposed to the motion.
What remains unknown is whether or not the Agency of Natural Resources will fine the town for the illegal dumping of diesel and how the town will handle that fine. The matter is being investigated by ANR’s chief enforcement officer Sean McVeigh, who could not be reached for comment by press time.
Charland said the town did not yet know if they would be fined, noting that the cleanup was coordinated by the town’s contractor with the state, and he said, “We will have to confront the issue of a fine, if there is a fine.”