The RI Dept. of Environmental Management (DEM) has issued new requirements for the company capping Portsmouth's former town dump, according to documents released by DEM this afternoon.
In a letter dated July 8, AP Enterprise, the firm engaged in the capping project, had requested RI DEM allow another one-year extension on the project back in July, citing delays in getting a CRMC approval and limited availability of suitable soil from construction projects. Similar arguments about the "weak economy" and lack of construction were featured in a similar request a year ago.
Today's response from DEM Principal Environmental Scientist Mark Dennen took a tougher line than the prior request, requiring a plan to address two major concerns before it will allow work to proceed. DEM said that while it recognizes the reasons AP Enterprise is struggling to complete the work, it notes
As these are not under the Department’s control, we are concerned that extending an approval based on economic factors will result in a BUD with no foreseeable conclusion and ultimately no closure. Our main concern is to minimize the impact to the surrounding neighborhood. To that end, the Department needs some assurance that work at the site will lead to a conclusion of capping activities in a reasonable time frame.
Additionally, DEM asks AP Enterprise to complete work on areas of the site which are already suitable for final covering operations.
[L]ocations in the eastern portion of the site that abut residential properties could be brought to final grade and loamed and seeded at any time. The Department believes that final capping activities should proceed as quickly as possible.