A local contractor is complying with a Department of Environmental Protection order to remove 2,500 cubic yards of asphalt from a storage site.

DEP rules require that a recycling facility be present at storage sites for asphalt, said Linda Butler, an environmental specialist with DEP.

“There is not one at the site, and that is why I’ve asked Mr. Poirier to remove it,” she said.

Roland Poirier, owner of LP Poirier & Son Inc., said that his company had already taken steps to have the asphalt removed before being contacted by DEP.

The site, near the intersection of Route 126 and Pleasant Hill Road, got attention after a concerned resident, David Dalphonse, contacted DEP.

“It’s in the protected zone where the town draws its drinking water,” he said of the asphalt storage area, alleging that it’s approximately 1,500 feet from the wellhead area where the town gets its drinking water.

But Poirier said that his asphalt storage site is not close to the town’s water supply.

And Butler said that Dalphonse’s claim played no role in DEP’s decision to ask Poirier to move the asphalt.

“As he currently has it stored, it doesn’t represent any environmental issues,” she said.

Butler said she could not confirm Dalphonse’s claim that the asphalt is too close to the town’s drinking water and that she had not done any measuring.

“It’s irrelevant,” she said, because Poirier has a proper storage pad that would stymie any runoff of contamination from the asphalt.

A storage pad is a mixture of soil materials with at least 35 percent soils such as silt and clay and 65 percent soils such as sand and gravel, Butler said.

Further, she said, asphalt does not pose a problem of runoff contaminants anyway. “It’s a consolidated material,” she said.

Butler said she didn’t impose a deadline on Poirier to remove the asphalt but that she expects the removal will have taken place by the end of spring.

On Tuesday, Dalphonse said that a significant portion of the asphalt had already been removed.

Butler said that Poirier has contracted with Commercial Paving of Scarborough to have the asphalt recycled.

“It won’t be returned to the site,” she said.

The storage of recyclable asphalt materials is exempted in DEP rules, Butler said.

But that exemption requires that there be a recycling facility on-site, she reiterated.

“The intent of the exemption is to allow for storage by contractors,” Butler said. “At the same time we want to limit the length of the storage time so that they will recycle the materials and keep them moving. That way we don’t have a disposal site.”

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