OXFORD — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is expected to fine the Oxford County Agricultural Society, Black Bear Entertainment LLC, several of its individual principals and a West Gardiner Construction company more than $75,000 for alleged environmental violations at the fairgrounds last spring.

DEP spokeswoman Samantha DePoy-Warren said Monday afternoon that a draft consent agreement has been written for “significant” environmental violations. It names the Oxford County Agricultural Society, Black Bear Entertainment LLC, Rupert and Suzanne Grover, Steven Barber of Black Bear Realty Co. LLC, and McGee Construction LLC as parties. It proposes a total fine of $69,925 for the named violators, plus an additional $4,843 for the society.

Lance Bean of the Oxford County Agricultural Society said late Monday afternoon that Steven Barber, Black Bear Entertainment LLC, and Black Bear Realty Co. LLC have been “wrongly identified” as being responsible for any environmental damage that occurred on a portion of the fairgrounds off Pottle Road near the Norway town line. The fairgrounds was used in part by the Nateva Festival last year.

“The OCAS is responsible. We’re not trying to get around it,” Bean said.

Bean said the society has a lease agreement with Black Bear Realty Co. LLC that allows the fair to conduct its activities on the fairgrounds as long as the grounds are not used for any unlawful or hazardous activity or for storage of any hazardous, toxic or highly combustible material. The lease agreement allowed the fairgrounds to hold the Nateva Festival last year, he said.

OCAS was cited June 28, 2010, for violating the Stormwater Management Law, the Natural Resources Protection Act, the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Law and illegally discharging sediment for work that was done on the fairgrounds to clear a 21-acre site, including a large hillside located in both Oxford and Norway.

Bean said the society has apologized to Barber and both Black Bear entities and met with the DEP on Thursday primarily to discuss removing those names from the consent agreement before it is finalized. At least one more meeting with DEP is expected to be held before the agreement is finalized.

“We have promised all of them that we will do our utmost to make it clear to the general public that Mr. Barber, Black Bear Entertainment LLC and Black Bear Realty LLC had absolutely nothing to do with any action at the fairgrounds that resulted in sanctions by the Maine DEP,” Bean said.

Bean said society President Suzanne Grover, a principal with her husband in Black Bear Entertainment, was acting only on behalf of the society. “To be clear, Suzanne Grover never had, and does not now have, the ability to sign any contract on behalf of Black Bear Realty or Black Bear Entertainment,” Bean said. “During this chain of events, Suzanne Grover acted in an official capacity only as a representative of OCAS.”

Bean said OCAS will pay the entire fine regardless of whether Barber, Black Bear Entertainment or Black Bear Realty are removed from the agreement.

McGee Construction of West Gardiner was hired last spring by the society directors to clear the site. Some of the site work was intended to clear land for camping during the July Nateva Festival.

Bean said that neither Barber, Black Bear Entertainment nor Black Bear Realty contracted, supervised or paid for the work to be done. They did not know environmental issues had arisen nor did they know that DEP considered them culpable at the time.

Bean said they are trying to mediate the situation, but there are several outstanding issues such as the reseeding that must be addressed before the DEP considered the parties to be in compliance with the order.

Bean said the issue is not expected to have any bearing on this year’s Nateva Festival. “Right now, OCAS plans to host the Nateva Festival on the fairgrounds in 2011,” he said. The parties have until June 30 to implement a restoration plan for the land.

Last summer, Michael Mullen of the DEP enforcement division said a consent agreement was being drafted after efforts were made to restore the land.

Scott McGee, project manager for the site job, confirmed at the time of the alleged violation that the DEP “suggested” McGee Construction stop working on the project until it received the proper storm water permitting. The lack of a permit is in violation of DEP regulations and a town ordinance that requires the company go before the Planning Board for site plan review if earth is going to be moved under certain conditions.

McGee was not available for comment Monday.

The issue surfaced in May when abutters to the fairgrounds saw a nearby pond becoming filled with silt from site work there. It was determined that the responsible parties had not obtained a permit from the Norway Planning Board for that work.

But when Norway Planning Board members did a site inspection as part of the agricultural society’s application to use some of the land for camping during the July festival, they found trees excavated to the point of making the ground unstable, according to state and local officials.

Planning Board Chairman Dennis Gray called the site at that time, “a muddy mess” and an “ecological disaster waiting to happen.” About 15 acres of the 21-acre site that was under construction are in Norway. Another six acres are in Oxford, according to Norway Building Inspector Jeff Van Decker.

Gray said Monday that the board has not been made aware of the consent agreement. The board tabled the society’s permit request last year and, as of Monday, there had been no arrangement made to reopen that application, he said.

Gray said he anticipates at some point the application will be reopened whether the land is going to be used for the Nateva Festival camping this summer or for another purpose.

“Our job as a Planning Board is to assist them in making sure those (environmental) standards are met,” he said.

It is unclear why the agreement took so long to write up but the chief accountant for McGee Construction, Art Robbins, said Monday that owner Steve McGee is out of state and could not make last week’s meeting where the parties met with DEP to discuss the agreement. He said all parties agreed that they would meet again next week when McGee returns.

McGee Construction has been cited previously by the DEP for past environmental violations, including a 2006 citation resulting from the operation of an Augusta quarry that drained externally without a variance, according to a May 23, 2007, report in the Kennebec Journal. The agreement required the training of employees by state instructors in correct environmental practices. Until the fairground site work, there appears to have been no further environmental breaches requiring consent agreements by the company, according to DEP records.

Bean said the Oxford County Agricultural Society was not aware of previous environmental violations by McGee but said the company had worked for them before without any problems.

The consent agreement is a proposal by the DEP to resolve the matter without court action. It is a legally binding document with the state that must be approved by all parties, according to information from the DEP.

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