Topsham-based Crooker Construction has reached a consent agreement with the Maine Department of Environmental Protections over violations that occurred at a gravel pit owned by the company in Whitefield.
Crooker Construction has paid a fine of about $21,000 for the violations, which included excavating sand and gravel too close a public roadway, according to Maine DEP Enforcement Specialist Ronald Mongeon.
The violations date to June 2014, when officials from state environmental officials inspected the gravel pit along Ben Bailey Road in Whitefield and found crews were excavating within 100 feet of the road, which is against state regulations.
The affected area encompassed about 300 feet along the roadway and the excavation ranged between 30 feet and 90 feet from the road, according to the consent agreement between Crooker and the state. In a September 2014 inspection report, the DEP ordered the company to begin rebuilding the lost “natural buffer strip,” the consent agreement stated.
In a June 14, 2017, inspection, state environmental officials found that crews were still excavating within the prohibited area and that a berm had been constructed within 14 feet of the road.
The following day, the DEP ordered that Crooker cease operations along Ben Bailey Road. But four days later, DEP inspectors found that crews were still excavating sand and gravel along the road.
After the DEP sent a notice of violation to the company in September 2017, a consent agreement was reached last month, Mongeon said.
As part of the agreement, the company was required to pay a $21,567 fine and finish rebuilding a 75-foot-wide buffer between the gravel pit and the roadway. By June 1, the buffer must be seeded with grass and pine trees must be planted, according to the agreement.
Last spring, the company began rebuilding the natural buffer, Mongeon said. The consent agreement stipulates that a 75 percent survival rate for trees planted in the buffer area must be maintained.
A message left for a representative from Crooker Construction was not returned by Friday afternoon.