For Immediate Release
April 30, 2008
Assistant Attorney General K. Allen Brooks
Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte and Assistant Commissioner Michael J. Walls, of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES"), announce that the Merrimack County Superior Court ruled Friday that Concord developer Kevin Guay must stop polluting Penacook Lake. The Court found that the State provided enough evidence to merit a temporary restraining order against Mr. Guay and scheduled a full hearing for Monday, May 5, 2008. The ruling comes in a civil enforcement action filed by the Office of the Attorney General on Friday that requests, among other things, a permanent injunction against Mr. Guay and significant civil penalties.
Mr. Guay owns property in Concord upstream of Penacook Lake. By using heavy machinery, Mr. Guay exposed much of his land to erosion. Mr. Guay cleared vegetation and moved a significant amount of dirt and soil. As a result, water running off of the property has been filled with sediment. This water has been leaving the site and entering a nearby brook and wetland. Eventually, this water reached Penacook Lake. Because the particles are very fine, they remain suspended in the water for a long time. This dirty water damages the water quality of Penacook Lake and can carry with it other pollutants such as phosphates. Penacook Lake is the drinking water supply for Concord and has been determined by the legislature to be a "Class A" waterbody, meaning it is subject to the highest level of protection. Sediment-laden water is considered a pollutant under state law. No discharge of a pollutant is allowed into a Class A waterbody. Mr. Guay was the subject of a previous enforcement action by the State several years ago at the same site that included allegations of similar violations. That case resulted in a settlement requiring a $30,000 cash penalty.
Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte said: "Protecting public water supplies is of critical importance to the people of New Hampshire. My Office will continue to vigorously pursue those who disregard the laws designed to protect our drinking water."
In its order, the Court ruled that Mr. Guay must immediately stabilize the site and is responsible for assuring that no further water quality violations occur. The Court order also requires Mr. Guay to hire a "Certified Professional in Sediment and Erosion Control" by Tuesday, April 29, 2008.
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