Meeting on Cat Dam NOI Feb. 10, 7PM

The first public hearing on the Cohasset Cat Dam Notice of Intent (NOI), engineered and paid for by a citizen’s abutters group called the (self-styled) Environmental 20, will go before the Cohasset Conservation Commission Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7PM, in the basement meeting room of Town Hall.

Cohasset Selecmen jerry-rigged the NOI,  recommending that a Cat Dam Advisory committee  be comprised of 6 Cat Dam abutters (4 from the E-20 group and 2 from the other side), and 3 citizens at  large who have backgrounds in engineering or marine science. However, if no qualified residents can be found, those seats would not be filled. Also, Selectmen stipulated that they alone would select members to be on the committee and this committee would ‘liaise’ with Selectmen on an on-going basis, bypassing Town regulatory boards.  Note that no one from a regulatory board would sit on the committee.

By contrast, Cohasset’s Jacob’s Meadow Tidal Gate Advisory Group is comprised only of regulatory people; Cohasset Town Manager or his designee, Special Assistant to the Town Manager (Mark Brennan/Tom Gruber), Paul Shea – Conservation Commission Agent, Jason Burtner – CZm Designated Representation, NOAA Restoration Coordinator, DPW superintendent Carol Sestito, Karen Quigley -Board of Selectmen Representative, MA DEP Restoration corodinator James Sprague, CZM Wetland Restoration program, Ed  Reiner – USEPA Office of Ecosystem, Ed Reiner.

Hull’s Strait’s Pond Advisory Committee is comprised of both Hull and Cohasset Conservation Commissions, NOAA, Hull and Cohasset DPWs, Hull,  Cohasset and Hingham Conservation Commissions and agents, the MA DEP Restoration Coordinator, the South Shore Regional Coordinator or Wetland Restoration program and one member of the Straits Pond Association.

A worse case scenerio would have a six-member advisory group, with four of those members in favor of only minimal flushing in the spring/summer/fall. The E-20 maintains that the natural tides could adversely affect shellfish, salt marshes, etc., and that minimal flushing will protect Inner Little Harbor.

Selectman chairman Karen Quigley voted against the NOI. Selectman Ted Carr was not in favor of the process, but voted to move the NOI along to the Conservation Commission.

Selectmen Paul Carlson, Leland Jenkins and Fred Koed voted to adopt the E-20’s engineering reports without having any benefit of regulatory peer review, and publicly stated they were a political board and they voted for political reasons. Accordingly, this is viewed by many as a “Selectman take-over” of the entire process and a major and dangerous departure from past practices.

Click below to read the entire document being discussed on February 10. According to town officials, the Conservation Commission is in the process of obtaining peer review from regulatory people.

CatDamEnv20January2011 When you click on the link to the left, a page will pop up. The link on the page to the pdf is the second CatDamEnv20January2011  – not the title. You will note the link.

© Copyright 2011 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed