Conservation Commission Addresses Proposed Expansion Of Whiting Street Gas Station
By Kristen Arute, Hingham Current Staff; September 27, 2020
Proposed Plan For Gas Station Expansion at 19 & 27 Whiting Street
The Conservation Commission continued discussion about a proposal for 19 and 27 Whiting Street. This project involves the demolition of a single family home at 27 Whiting Street and the construction of a retail building with associated site improvements at both 19 and 27 Whiting Street for the purpose of expanding an existing gas station. Issues of concern raised during the meeting pertained to the storm water plan and sewer installation.
Since the site borders vegetative wetlands, is located in both the Accord Pond Watershed and Hingham Aquifer Protection District and is considered to be Land Use of Potential Pollutant Load ("LUPPL") due to the fact that it is a gas station, special precautions would need to be put into place. As a result, the plan for the collection of storm water was expanded based upon conversations with Assistant Conservation Officer Heather Charles Lis and John Chessia of Chessia Consulting Services. In the plan, the engineers designed catch basins, put oil/water separators in place and added two underground systems for additional treatment. The treated water would then be recharged, which is when water is slowly released into "good" soil. However, there is limited recharge on the site because one side has poor soil.
Rose was asked what the most catastrophic scenario would be with regard to gas. "The tanker truck has a significant amount of gallonage, but usually there is only a certain amount that is usually dropped by it," he answered. "That would flow into the catch basin, and it would be caught into the oil/water separator." After the separator, a valve would prevent the release of gas. "We don't want it getting into the ground water," explained Rose.
In designing the septic system, the engineering consultant needed to address two conflicting setbacks. "We've got to deal with 175 feet from a tributary to a drinking water supply," said Rose, "and we've got a similar setback in conservation land." Combining the two lots allows the project to have a septic system as far away from the two setbacks as possible.
However, the septic system would not end up entirely outside of the setback. "My understanding is this is as far as you can possibly get it based on what you were just saying," said Freeman. "My understanding is from staff we're not going to end up seeing fecal matter in Accord Pond." The proposed location for the system would stay within the exceptions to the Town's regulations. "I don't have any further concerns," Freeman added
Since conditions had not been prepared, an order could not be approved. The subject will be taken up again at a future meeting tentatively scheduled for October 5th when a vote could potentially be taken. "If we want to put it on for the 5th and then if we don't have enough time, just continue behind the scenes," said the developer's attorney Jeff Tocchio, "that would be fine with us." The motion to continue the matter to October 5th was unanimously approved.
Conservation Commission members:
Laurie Freeman, Chair
Jacqueline Zane, Vice Chair
Henry Hidell, Member
Crystal Kelly, Member
John Mooney, Member
Robert Mosher, Member
Thomas Roby, Member
Planning Board members:
Kevin M. Ellis, Chairman
Gary Tondorf-Dick, Clerk
Gordon M. Carr