Mears Dock Being Constructed During Spring Migration

You may have seen a barge with a derrick and heard pilings being driven in Ash Creek between March 17 and March 24.  Several members of the Ash Creek Conservation Association witnessed this and took photos.  ACCA contacted the DEP on March 21, March 22, and March 23, but it wasn't until March 24 that ACCA got a response from the DEP thanking us for for the photos and verification of the dates of the violations.  They said they would review Mr. Mears’ permit and then decide how they would proceed.  As it stands right now ACCA won’t have a formal role (i.e. intervenor) because there is no formal enforcement action pending such as an order signed by the Commissioner.  If a formal action is pursued ACCA can decide whether they would like to become a party if the action is challenged.  That process is similar to the permit hearing requirements.  There are several options at the DEP's disposal and not all of them are considered “formal."     The Mears dock is being built on the Fairfield side of Ash Creek not far from the Toner property (almost directly across from the Ganim dock).    Michael Mears had applied for a dock permit in 2001, but was delayed by the proceedings on the Ganim dock, so his permit was not granted until 2008.  He was given a three year period in which to build his dock, but could apply for a one-year extension, which he did apply for and it was granted by the DEP.   Construction is not allowed between March 15 through June 1 or July 1 through September 30.  This timeframe for construction was a direct result of ACCA's intervention in the Ganim dock permit and has been carried through subsequent dock permits by the DEP.   ACCA is filing a formal complaint to the DEP as construction activities clearly occurred after March 15.  Some of our members observed the dock being constructed on St. Patrick's Day, March 17 and today on March 25. The Connecticut Post is currently investigating this issue and is likely to run a story on it.   Attachments:  Mears Dock Final Draft Decision and Final Decision, which includes permit conditions

Mears Dock Construction March 24, 2011