Repeated Wetlands Violations in Amesbury by New England Power Co. Lead to $15,156 Penalty, Require Restoration of Wetland Resource Areas

depBOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) penalized the New England Power Company $15,156.25 after an inspection found repeated instances of erosion from the company’s substation in Amesbury. The erosion caused unpermitted filling and alteration of a bordering vegetated wetland and other wetland resource areas. This is the second consent order with the company, which operates as National Grid, for work at this substation at 102 Middle Road.

The company had a valid order of conditions dating back to 2007 from the Amesbury Conservation Commission permitting the construction of a substation.  Erosion and sedimentation from the site occurred in 2010 and resulted in a consent order with MassDEP that included a $7,500 penalty and an agreement to repair the damage to the wetland resource area.

This year, on April 8 and 9, MassDEP conducted inspections and observed slumping of the slope at the site that was causing erosion and the deposition of sediment into a bordering vegetated wetland and intermittent stream. The company and its engineering consultant met with MassDEP on-site to devise a stabilization plan as well as to discuss long-term solutions.

“New England Power Company needs to stabilize the situation at this site,” said Eric Worrall, director of MassDEP’s Northeast Regional Office in Wilmington. “The repeated failure to do so has led to significant erosion that needs to be corrected and prevented from reoccurring, and the damage has to be repaired as well.” 

Under today’s order, the company will submit for approval a delineation of all nearby wetland resource areas within 30 days, a restoration plan and schedule within 45 days and provide a revised stormwater management engineering design plan within 60 days. If all the terms of the order are met – but not until five growing seasons have passed – MassDEP will suspend $5,156.25 of the penalty. National Grid must pay the balance of $10,000 within 30 days.     

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.