LKQ called to account for soot draining into Webster Lake
Damaging runoff like this from the LKQ Auto Parts lot above Webster Lake needs to be contained, Glenn Krevosky of EBT Environmental Consultants in North Oxford says.
By ROD LEE
The folks at LKQ Route 16 Auto Parts on Old Douglas Road in Webster are undoubtedly familiar with Glenn Krevosky and Mr. Krevosky’s concerns about runoff from the company’s property onto land owned by at least one client of his and into Webster Lake.
Mr. Krevosky is the owner of EBT Environmental Consultants Inc., a North Oxford-based firm that has been in business since about 1986. He describes himself as a wetland scientist, a restoration professional and a cold water fishery expert. His forte is ecological science and regulatory policy.
By his own count, Mr. Krevosky is working on more than seventy projects at any given time, while trying to get LKQ to adhere to an Order of Conditions imposed on it by the town of Webster approximately two years ago.
Recently, Mr. Krevosky reached out to The Yankee Xpress in an effort to call new attention to the situation.
“LKQ is the largest polluter of soot that goes into Webster Lake,” he contends. “They have been getting away” with it even though the Webster Conservation Commission, the Webster Lake Association, the EPA and the Commonwealth are aware of the problem.
According to Mr. Krevosky, the Webster Lake Association, of which he is a member, has a “Stream Team” that monitors the condition of such waterways as Mine Brook, Sucker Brook and Brown’s Brook.
The issue involves fifteen acres of “exposed canton soil” from which contamination leaks, especially during periods of heavy rain.
The LKQ property sits high above Webster Lake. As soon as water that is “crystal clear” up to that point hits the LKQ yard “you have chocolate coming out of that site,” Mr. Krevosky says.
“I just want them to comply with the Order of Conditions. You have to stabilize that yard, for heavy, silty, clay soils. This is clay and silt. Bigger basins are needed. I told them they had to crush-stone their yard. When it rains you can’t see a quarter inch into the water, and I have a client just below there. Rocks are coated with silt and algae, out comes a plume of silt on leaves and rocks. It’s truly ‘Brown’s Brook’ during a rain event. This is an ongoing issue.
“Nine, ten years ago, I went there for water-quality testing. A basin was required and the EPA was involved. The basin only receives 1/6 of that drainage.”
There are those who say “it’s all been rectified. Look at it during a rain event and it’s not fixed,” Mr. Krevosky says.
Mr. Krevosky is a veteran of such battles.
In 1979, he said, “I took on the French River, to clean it up in my lifetime, and I’m in my 60s.”
Sadly, he adds, of damaging runoff from the LKQ property, “with rain it will show its ugly head again; and our rain events are now several times a year.”
He identifies LKQ as “a Fortune 500 company” whose principals may not be that alarmed about the matter.
As this is written, messages have gone out to LKQ, to Joseph Wigglesworth and Dawn Portman of the Webster Conservation Commission, and to the EPA, with no response to date.
On Thursday, February 2nd, Dave Deegan in the Office of Public Affairs with the EPA’s New England Region, replying to a follow-up email, wrote “thanks for the reminder—I’ll recheck for you.”
“This is in EPA’s hands right now,” Mr. Krevosky says.
“I don’t trust them.”
In an email on behalf of the US EPA, Dave Deegan wrote “as you know, in 2012 EPA announced a settlement with LKQ Northeast Inc., for alleged violations of federal storm water requirements at several of their facilities, including in Webster. EPA’s enforcement action against the company was for the discharge of pollutants (including sediment). Under the settlement the company is required to implement improvements to their site’s best management practices in order to have pollutant concentrations come below their industrial sector’s benchmark thresholds.
“In addition to taking specific actions to mitigate the excess pollution to the surrounding environment, the settlement requires the company to provide regular reports to EPA documenting the progress and compliance with terms of the settlement agreement.”
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.