Restoration work being done in Chickley River
Recorder/Paul Franz Boulders and trees stumps are placed in the Chickley River in Hawley on Tuesday to create habitat for aquatic life. ETL contractors are trying to replace natural eddies and pools they destroyed in their overzealous repairing and channeling of the river after Tropical Storm Irene.
HAWLEY—Crew members of E.T. & L. construction company spent part of this week laying boulders and tree stumps into the streambed of the Chickley River, to create meandering pools and natural eddies to replace those destroyed in repairs made immediately after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The work in the river is part of the river restoration plan agreed to by the contractor, the town and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, who reached a settlement agreement on Nov. 14.
A copy of the settlement documents, final decision and the restoration plan is available for viewing at the Town Office, during regular business hours.
E.T. & L. agreed to follow a comprehensive restoration plan for the Chickley River, valued at $400,000, and to contribute to a $150,000 escrow account to be used for post-restoration monitoring and tree plantings.
E.T. & L. was also fined $175,000 by DEP, but the environmental protection agency will suspend $66,000 of the penalty if E.T. & L. completes restoration work in compliance with the settlement.
Hawley is to pay at least $184,000 towards an escrow account and towards the restoration effort.
According to DEP, the 2011 emergency work in the Chickley River “vastly exceeded” the activities allowed under an emergency work permit, and violated the Wetlands Protection Act.
E.T. & L. hopes to complete the riverbed stability work by January, weather permitting.