State Department of Environmental Protection fines Williamsburg gravel pit owner for wetlands violations

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
WILLIAMSBURG — The owner of riverside land in Williamsburg must repair damage to wetlands and pay up to a $24,000 fine, the state Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday.

The agency cited Hull Forestlands LP for violating the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act.

Based on aerial photos, the DEP found that Hull Forestlands expanded a gravel pit off Old Goshen Road into protected land — about an acre in size — without proper permits.

The affected area includes riverfront land along the Mill River and Rogers Brook, the DEP said. Both are cold-water fisheries.

Though the property owner had earlier marked the boundary of the protected riverside area, its boundaries were not properly identified for contractors who cut and cleared vegetation.

The DEP said the company has worked with it to shape a restoration plan. If the work is completed, the DEP will suspend $10,200 of the penalty.

“This violation could have been avoided,” Michael Gorski, director of DEP’s Springfield office, said in a statement. “Property owners must ensure that site contractors are aware of the presence of protected areas prior to beginning work.”