NORWALK, Conn. – The state is planning to levy a $1,000 a day fine due to violations made by a contractor working for Norwalk in Veterans Park.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) “will be seeking a consent order with civil penalty” because Norwalk violated two sections of its Certificate of Permission for the Veterans Park boat ramp work, being performed by Holzner Electric, DEEP Communications Director Dennis Schain said in a Friday email to NancyOnNorwalk.
The Recreation and Parks Department was issued a Field Notice of Violation on Feb. 24 after a Norwalker called to complain about the stockpile of sediment on the park’s parking lot, just next to the boat ramp, Schain said. This was followed up on Wednesday with a Notice of Violation, ordering, among other things, that the sediment be tested for contaminants before it is put back into the water.
DEEP had already “made it clear that they could not just put this material back in water or under boat launch without having it tested,” Schain said.
“Organic sediment was removed from the Norwalk Harbor for the boat ramp reconstruction and placed within the upland parking lot created an on-site approximately 78′ long x 56′ wide x 7′ high stockpile area housing approximately 1,040 cubic yards of material which was not authorized in the COP,” Wednesday’s notice said.
Proper sedimentation and erosion (S&E) control measures were not installed or maintained along the shoreline; equipment and excavated material were within the tidal wetlands, the notice said.
Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department Director Mike Mocciae did not reply to a Friday email.
“They are getting testing done. We hope to have results to discuss with them next week,” Schain said. “…If materials do not meet standard they cannot go back in water or under boat ramp and must be taken off site for proper disposal.”
“We are currently drafting the Consent Order,” Schain said. “No set time yet for issuance – although we will finalize and seek to have city/contractor sign before we issue any authorization for reuse of the stockpiled material (if testing even shows that can be done).”
Lastly, he said, “No indication yet of what/how much penalties could be.”
A restoration plan must be submitted within 30 days.