Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ConCom questions sand pipes

Reader Bubba has written in to ask about Newburyport's Conservation Commission (or ConCom) and whether it has, in fact, denied access to Newburyport's beach for this beach nourishment effort in Newbury.

According to Mary Reilly, the conservation person in the Planning Dept., the discussion on the Notice of Intent filed with the city has, in fact, been continued to ConCom's next meeting, July 21.

Reilly said they hope someone from the Army Corps of Engineers will be there to answer questions.

She said commissioners had 'a lot of questions' about the pipe that will carry the sand from the mouth of the river to the Newbury town beach. These are some or all of the questions/concerns:

  1. The pipe, which I understand will be of some kind of plastic material (couldn't get a confirmation on its width, although 2-3 ft. was suggested), will be on the beach for 2-3 months, during winter when of course they are a lot of coastal storms. Will the pipe be able to withstand a storm?
  2. What happens if it should break?
  3. Exactly where will the pipe be placed? The Notice says above mean high water, but erosion around 55th St. makes that kind of sketchy.

Reilly said there were also concerns about the barge(s), which will necessarily be in the channel at the mouth of the river and will have floating pipes through which the sand will flow to the on-shore pipe.

The Merrimack River Beach Alliance has a meeting scheduled for this Friday at 10 a.m. at PITA Hall (Plum Island).

You'd think someone from the ACOE would have been there on July 7, which is when the last meeting of ConCom was held.

I like our ConCom - they are not a rubber stamp.


Bubba said...

Sounds like Bubba needs to add this to his calendar.

Actually, when the DEP originally wanted to send all the sand to Salisbury, the permit was rubber stamped by the ConCom.

Ari Herzog said...

I'm adding this to my calendar, too. Thanks for the heads-up, Gillian!