Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Our "Friend" Needs Our Help

Our beloved native is again coming under fire from a source that is of mans doing. I generally don't like to bring attention to a fragile wild trout stream for reasons I'll not throw out here. I feel that this is one that can be rethought and perhaps better plans and safeguards put into place to help prevent a possible death of a wild trout stream. I have fished this stream and have been welcomed by it's inhabitants. I want to bring some attention to this stream for the sake of all who have found pleasure within it's flows.

I have received many emails from folks who have the same feelings on the lovely stream in eastern Connecticut. Please take a few minutes to read what is linked here....our friend is counting on us.We have been contacted by our friend Gary Steinmiller, President of CFFA regarding the negative environmental impact resulting from the development of Love's Travel Center and Country Store on Polster Road in Willington, off exit 71 on interstate 84. Please take a minute or Two to review my ramblings below as well as the 2 attachments. The proposed facility would be comprised of 1 sit down restaurant, 1 fast food restaurant, comfort stations (toilets), separate gas station and parking for 54 cars and 56 trucks. Roaring Brook lies on the southwestern part of the site and flows off property into the Nipmuck State Forest, close to the site's northwest boundary. Site con tains 2 wetlands that flow directly into Roaring Brook. In 2012 Willington's Inland Wetland Commission (IWWC) gave approval to the proposed site in an effort to bolster the tax base. In 2013 Willington's Planning and zoning commission (PZC) approved a zone change and permit to build in an effort to bolster the tax base. The project developers are now applying to the DEEP for a Subsurface Wastewater Absorption System (SWAS) permit, Application #201503113 Permit to discharge wastewater from sewage treatment and subsurface disposal system to groundwater Design capacity 9,000 gallons per day (Average 6,000 gal/day) Uses pre-treatment for high strength waste water, then flows to a leaching bed near northwest border of the site. Leaching bed and drainage system (to control groundwater under bed's liner) is 120' wide 130' long X 12' deep. Considerably larger than preliminary design noted on drawings submitted for IWWC and PZC review. End of leaching bed 120 from Wetland Excavation, fill and regrading is within 20 feet of wetland From Wetland to Roaring Brook is 250 feet. Facts about Roaring Brook in Willington Head Waters are in Union and Stafford Springs In Willington, portions flow through Nipmuck state forest and alongside and under I84. Is a class 3 wild Trout Management Area (contains native and stocked brook and brown trout) Is a tributary of the Willimantic River. Potential Environmental impacts to Wetland and Roaring Brook due to Proximity of Leaching Bed Will Effluent be fully renovated before discharging to ground water uphill from wetland Will the cutting and filling and use of a bed liner and drains to redirect groundwater change hydrology and affect the volume, velocity and temperature of groundwater that recharges the wetland and ultimately roaring Brook? If waterflow decreases and temperature increases could it degrade the wetland as a spawning ground? Will construction additives lead to an increased runoff and sedimentation in the wetland and Roaring Brook? Notice of Hearing Applicant: Love's Travel Stop & Country Store Application No. 201503113 City/Town: Willington The Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection ("DEEP") hereby gives notice of a public hearing concerning an application by Love's Travel Stop & Country Store for a permit to discharge wastewaters from a sewage treatment and subsurface disposal system. The public hearing will be held on April 24, 2018 and is more thoroughly described herein. Application No 201503113 Applicant's Name and Address: Love's Travel Stop & Country Store, 10601 North Pennsylvania Avenue, P.O. Box 26210 Oklahoma City, OK 73120 Type of Permit/Activity: Discharge of wastewaters from sewage treatment and subsurface disposal system to groundwater Facility/Site Location: 3 Polster Road, Willington CT Facility Design Capacity: 9,000 gallons per day DEEP will hold a public hearing on this application on April 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm in the Community Room at the Willington Public Library, 7 Ruby Road in Willington. The hearing room will be open at 5:30 pm for members of the public to view exhibits that will be on display and talk to representatives of the applicant and DEEP staff. The public hearing will consist of informational presentations by the parties and the collection of public comment on the record. Written comments will be accepted at the public hearing, and until the close of business on May 4, 2018. Written comments may be submitted by mail to Janice Deshais, Hearing Officer, Office of Adjudications, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT or by electronic mail to deep.adjudications@ct.gov. Any written comments should reference the applicant name and application number. This matter will continue with an evidentiary hearing, for the presentation of testimony and documentary evidence by the parties on this matter, on April 26, 2018 at 9:00 am in the Russell Room, 3rd Floor, at DEEP Headquarters, 79 Elm St., Hartford. If necessary, the hearing will continue on May 2, 2018. A site visit will be held on April 23, 2018 at 10:00 am. The site walk will begin at about 0.2 miles from 3 Polster Road on the left side. The public is welcome to attend but is advised that parking and access to the site is limited. The site visit is a public meeting, but not for the collection of public comment on the record. Members of the public should refer to the DEEP Calendar of Events at www.ct.gov/deep/calendar or contact the Office of Adjudications at (860) 424-3037 for additional information. Interested persons who wish to obtain more information regarding the application and draft permit may do so by contacting Lauren Jones of the Water Permitting and Enforcement Division by mail at the address above, by electronic mail to Lauren.Jones@ct.gov, or by calling (860) 424-3155. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request an accommodation contact us at (860) 418-5910 or deep.accommodations@ct.gov. Members of the public should refer to the DEEP Calendar of Events at www.ct.gov/deep/calendar for the official schedule in this matter, including cancellations, or other schedule alterations. Please consider either attending the hearing or sending a letter. While everyone is encourage to speak their peace, facts rather than emotions will have a better chance of impacting the outcome. Nectar Community Fact Sheet DEEP Permit Draft Feel Free to use the following link to download a form letter to comment on the above actions; Comment Letter Form Warm Regards, John Divenere President, FVTU JOIN or RENEW Find us on Facebook www.fvtu.org Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved. Farmington Valley Trout Unlimited, 139 Hopmeadow Rd, Bristol, CT 06010 SafeUnsubscribe™ uppahdam@aol.com Forward this email | Update Profile | About our service provider Sent by carl.fvtu@gmail.com in collaboration with Try it free today Reply Reply All Forward © 2018 Oath Inc. All Rights Reserved Get breaking news and all your emails instantly. Make AOL your homepage now. Get Started


  1. Man, I'd heard of this via, I think, RM's blog... But this "update" is super frustrating. Occasionally I stop there for gas when archery hunting Nipmuc, while I've not fished the stream, I often look at it and think that I should come back in the spring to do so. Ill work up a letter! Not sure it will have any sway given I'm not a CT resident... But it's worth a shot.

  2. I am by no means an expert, but one idea is to research similar projects in the region and see how they affected the stream system once under construction and after they were finished. Use that information - in part - to make a case. I would think the fact the stream flows into a park will be a major factor. However, with the public meeting on the 26th and closure for comments on May 4, those concerned do not have a lot of time. Local fishermen might be able to jog their collective memories to identified wild trout streams gone bad because of development projects like the one proposed.

  3. I hope it gets shot down but I have my doubts :-/

    Here in NM they poison out brookies. Used to fish them in my home state of WI.


  4. Developers count on people not taking the time to plead their case. People MUST show up to every hearing and testify, it's essential. I know what you're up against; we're fighting a Canadian mining company on multiple fronts up here and if you let up and take your eye off the ball for a second you're toast. Write letters to everyone you can think of ...and then write a couple more. Kudos to you, Alan, for taking up the sword and letting everybody know what is at stake. Bang the drum. Loudly.

  5. First, let me say I believe this situation is tragic. All government is essentially local. The two local boards involved Planning & Zoning and Inland Wetlands have already spoken and given their approval. I would imagine they were in contact with CT, DEEP regarding this matter, probably for years. Its precooked. The upcoming meeting is a farce. But please understand I would love to be proven wrong. I am a retired registered engineer (PE) and I have served on the Madison, CT WPCA (water pollution control board). Just my two cents, for what its worth.

  6. Will 'they' never learn. We have the same problems in the UK and I do feel that anglers are the guardians of water and fish but also a whole lot more because everything is a chain and totally interlinked. Money talks and moneys glows for some just like a beacon. Local, national or International politicians none of them see a bigger picture.

    I hope that your voice is loud enough to make people stop and think. An oxymoron I know. John

  7. I have not responded to your comments, the feeling being that your views will stand by themselves.
    These views have been seen by more than a few interested people, both from the angling community as well as the political community.

  8. Alan, I'm a regular reader and big fan. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Please continue your efforts to coordinate a response to this project from the fishing community.

  9. Alan,
    Echoing Two Terriers comments above, we have same here in the UK. On my local River there is a barrage and water sports centre for white water rafting and canoeing/kayaking (The River Tees Barrage). When the barrage was constructed the river Tees was being brought back to life as it had been abused by local industry for well over a century and millions of £'s where spent cleaning the water and re-stocking with Salmon and Migratory Trout. It was quickly realised that the design for the barrage did not include a pass or ladder for the fish to use to navigate the obstruction so a pass was included retrospectively early in the construction phase. However this pass has been found to be wholey inadequate - the fish get held up at the barrage and are slaughtered by the local (burgeoning) Seal population. Despite the failings at the barrage being highlighted by angling groups, The River Tees Trust, Fish Legal and local press,The Environment Agency and the Angling Trust appear to be either unwilling to or unable to get the CanalRiver Trust to provide a suitable fish pass that will spead the passage of Salmon and Sea Trout passed the gathering Seals!
    Before industrialisation of the Tees estuary in the mid to late 1800's, the river had excellent stocks of migratory fish, something that two local rivers (the Tyne and the Wear) have managed to recover and foster. I hope similar apathy to nature doesn't happen on your patch Alan.
    Good luck in your fight.

  10. I sent my email to the DEEP, for what it is worth. I hope it is worth something and that this nonsense truck stop can be stopped. I saw where RM Lytle wrote about this too, and frankly it must be stopped.

  11. i grew up on this brook. i rode my bike to this brook all the time. when it was time to settle down, i bought a house within spitting distance of it. i wanted my kids to be able to ride to the brook as i had done. i'm not too keen on them riding to a truckstop.

    to me, it is just hard to get your head around the truck stop doing anything very good where it is planned. the septic is certainly the only issue up for debate currently and readers are correct that the inland wetlands and planning and zoning have indeed approved the project, in the state it was presented (unfinished) in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

    now that there is a full septic design what is happening now is that the owner / operator, love's travel stops, must apply to DEEP for approval to install and operate the septic.

    septic aside, for the sake of argument i personally feel the build site is far too steep to contain effectively. i also feel that to create the structure the surrounding habitat will be deeply compromised. i can't see the water getting any colder or cleaner in this case. and above all a portion of bucolic countryside (albeit beside a highway) will be flattened and a 40 acre truck stop will be installed.

    the hope is that now with plans finalized the folks from love's may have to go back through PNZ. if they've changed the original approved design outside boundaries they'll need to do just this.

    as a resident and activist i have secured over 1300 signatures on a petition against this project over three weeks. the DEEP hearing officer has received letters from 11 states against this project. more important than any of these were the thirty signatures i hand secured this past weekend, opening day of trout season, on the banks of roaring brook. the local people need to turn out on 4/24/18 at the willington public library. local is a relative term, all of you who appreciate alan's blog are in essence locals.

    come up for the meeting and i'll show you my local. we'll be happy to have any who agree to stand up with us on tuesday and let our voices be heard. after all, it is the least we can do. for more information, feel free to seek me out. my name is chad wilde and i'd be happy to speak with you about this issue that i have studied closely.

  12. I walked the site and attended the public hearing. There was a decent turnout to it and many questions were asked. I hope that future permits also get public hearings. This project is scary. Unfortunately, F&O's design plans exceed anything the state demands so I'm concerned that the swas plan " passes " regulations. Another battle will be on stormwater runoff which could be even more damaging. This area as you know is prestine with hemlocks, medium slope of natural soils, and three wetlands. The plan as is does not even address wetlands I or J that much either. There are other " issues " that come to mind but too detailed to enurate or explain here. Thanks for getting involved.