For Immediate Release - March 05, 2014

Webster Resident Must Restore Wetland Resources, Pay $3,000 Penalty for Violations

BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed a $3,000 penalty to David M. Audette of Webster to address unapproved filling violations of the Wetlands Protection Act that occurred in the right-of-way to Webster Lake, located between 4 and 6 Fairfield Street in Webster.

Back in 2012, Mr. Audette had applied for and received a Waterways License from MassDEP for construction of a private residential, seasonal dock on Webster Lake. However, his project also required approval from the Webster Conservation Commission before he could proceed.

Following a request for assistance from the Conservation Commission, MassDEP inspected the area in July 2013 and observed that unapproved filling of wetland resource areas along the lake shore had taken place. There was also ongoing erosion of a steep slope in the buffer zone of the lake. Mr. Audette had not applied for the appropriate permits from the Conservation Commission. The commission issued an enforcement order requiring Mr. Audette to cease work in areas under the jurisdiction of the Wetlands Protection Act, which he ignored.  

The order requires Mr. Audette to prevent any further violation of the Wetlands Protection Act, file for and obtain the appropriate permits from the Conservation Commission, submit a wetlands restoration plan to MassDEP for review and approval, submit a soil stabilization plan to address slope erosion to MassDEP for review and approval and implement the approved plans to remediate and restore the site by May 14, 2014.

"Residents working near wetland resources should always check with their local Conservation Commission to assure that they have obtained the proper permits and their work complies with the Wetlands Protection Act," said Marielle Stone, deputy director for MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester.  "The wetland protection requirements are in place to ensure that the benefits wetlands provide are sustained for the Commonwealth's residents and wildlife."  

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.