Construction is underway for additional parking that will accommodate guests at the hotel at the Oxford Casino.

OXFORD — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has approved a permit for BB Development LLC to begin construction of a $1.05 million parking lot at the Oxford Casino.

The lot will contain 401 parking spaces, and will be constructed on 4.8 acres of the 35½ acre site that includes the hotel and pub.

The permit application was approved with conditions by the DEP on Sept. 14.

“We’re hoping to have Phase I completed this fall, but it is weather-dependent,” said Jane McClay Hoyt, advertising and public relations coordinator for the casino.

Hoyt said the project will be constructed in two phases — about 200 spaces in each phase — and parking will be in the northeast portion of the property between the casino and water tower. 

Phase I is expected to be completed in mid-November, at the time the casino’s hotel and pub open for business.

“Our plans are to build the first phase now to accommodate guests, and we will continue to evaluate the need for the second 200 spots,” she said. 

According to information from DEP, the Little Androscoggin River and Whitney Pond watersheds are most at risk from the project, but a discharge “will not pose an unreasonable risk” to the aquifer.

According to the approved permit, the treated stormwater runoff from Phase I will be directed into an existing stormwater management pond. The DEP has already approved this and the applicant will also use it for Phase II.

The DEP also stated in its approval that the applicant will remove phosphorous from the stormwater because of the runoff to Whitney and Hogan ponds.

“It will be able to reduce the phosphorous below the maximum allowable,” the permit states. The department said the project meets the minimum requirements for phosphorous runoff.

The applicant’s stormwater management plan includes treatment plans to reduce the number and duration of channel erosive flows due to runoff during smaller storms.

As a condition of approval, the applicant must retain its design engineer or a third-party engineer to oversee conditions during construction.

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