Tenney Hill reparation funds meeting

What: Informational Meeting about Groundwater Protection Program

When: Tuesday, May 6, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Where: Casco Community Center

 

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — The Town of Casco is gearing up to receive a portion of the $500,000 that was awarded by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The settlement is called a reparation fund, and it was given to towns that had irreversible groundwater protection from The Portland-Bangor Waste Oil Site facilities that operated in the 1970s and ’80s.

On Tuesday, May 6, an information meeting will be held — providing a forum for public input and giving citizens guidelines for how the money can be spent.

The money will be allotted for projects, including education, that protect the town’s groundwater.

“This money applies to all of Casco,” Casco Board of Selectmen Chairman Mary-Vienessa Fernandes said.

“Everyone has a viable interest because it about protecting our groundwater, and what is the best way to go about this. We will be looking at the short-term and long-term projects,” she said.

“We’d like to hear what townspeople have to say,” she said.

A group of concerned stakeholders met most recently in early March, and also late last year, to outline some of the ways that the money could be allotted. The town enlisted the assistance of Kate McDonald and Heather True, with Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District.

“One thing we talked about is implementing a hazardous material drop-off day twice a year,” Fernandes said.

“We’d probably have the townspeople pay for half of it so that the program could last longer,” she said.

A long-range project will be” looking at sensitive aquifers” for the possibility of setting aside land for “public well water,” she said.

Near the top of the project list is the replacement of residential septic systems that are faulty, leaking, or approaching the end of their lifespan, she said.

“All these things will play a pivotal role in protecting our groundwater,” Fernandes said.

 

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