For Immediate Release
April 9, 2010
Assistant Attorney General Evan J. Mulholland
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney and Commissioner Thomas S. Burack, of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES"), announce that the Hillsborough County Superior Court, Northern District issued a preliminary injunction in the case of DES v. Ellen Druan on April 8, 2010. The preliminary injunction incorporates the terms of a temporary restraining order that the State had obtained on March 31, 2010. The TRO granted the Town of Antrim permission to remove an illegal culvert that the State alleges caused the washout of a Class VI road.
The preliminary injunction allows the Town of Antrim to enter property owned by Ellen Druan, of Bennington, NH, to make road repairs resulting from an illegally installed culvert. The State requested that the Court issue the order in connection with a lawsuit, also filed on March 31, 2010, seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief against Ellen Druan for violations of the State wetland protection laws. The State alleges that Ms. Druan installed an undersized culvert in a stream on her property without first obtaining a wetlands permit. As a result of the improper culvert installation, the State alleges that a stream was diverted onto a Class VI road in Antrim, rendering the road impassable. In places, the diverted water had caused gullies in the road several feet deep.
Over the past few days, the Town of Antrim has been repairing the road, known as Logging Road, and will remove the illegal culvert and restore the stream to its original channel.
"We moved quickly in Superior Court to ensure that this unlawful structure is removed." Attorney General Delaney said.
Commissioner Burack said, "State law requires that individuals apply for and receive permits before conducting any work in wetlands or stream channels. Improperly installed culverts can result in channel alteration and property damage, on top of the damage to the natural habitat that streams provide."
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