A Sunoco gas station at the corner of Bridge Street and Ames Street seeks a permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals to build two structures to help filter contaminated ground water, but residents spoke out against the plan last week.
Residents complained that the new structures would drag down the area’s aesthetic appeal, and they voices concerns about the noise of the filter’s engine.
Elie Rachmani, a Bridge Street resident, lives directly behind the gas station said, "My living room is 40 feet from where it’s going to be," and wanted to know if the sound would reach him.
Mike Decoteau, one of the environmental project managers from Groundwater and Environmental Service Inc. in Westford, Mass., said that there would be one 20 horsepower pump forcing the water through carbon to clean it and another to pump the filtered water into the town’s storm water system.
The station plans to construct a 8-foot-by-30-foot building that will house the filtration pump and the other will be a 8-by-20 that contains the pumping system that puts the water into the storm water system, said Brian Horan, also a project manager from Groundwater and Environmental Service. Currently a truck visits the site once a month to filter the groundwater, Horan said. At its current rate of filtration, it would take 50 years to filter the site completely. If they install these two pumps, it would take three to five years, he said.
One design for the buildings is similar in aesthetics to a large portable dumpster. Upon seeing it Rachmani said, "No one would want to look out their window and see that."
Horan then showed a design that looked similar to barn-style shed-like structure.
The board did not approve the permit. Jim McGrail, chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals, said that he wanted an acoustical engineer and a landscape architect to be consulted before Horan and Decoteau made another presentation before the board.
In a statement to the Dedham Patch, Amy Blanchard, a public and government affairs advisor at ExxonMobil said the proposed filtration system is being sought because, "Station equipment upgrades were conducted prior to transferring property ownership. At that time, impacts to soil and groundwater were detected."
She added, "Groundwater and Environmental Services, on behalf of ExxonMobil Environmental Services Co., is working under the direction of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as it performs an investigation. Presently, GES is also in discussions with the Town of Dedham Zoning Board regarding the possible installation of a remedial system at a former Mobil station on 19 Ames Street to address gasoline constituents detected in soil and groundwater. GES takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and will work with the local community as its investigation progresses".