Local officials respond to environmental study for expansion of Tilcon operations

Local officials respond to environmental study for expansion of Tilcon operations

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PLAINVILLE – The Tilcon Inc. quarry expansion proposal is one step closer to a decision after the recent release of an environmental study of New Britain water company land located in Plainville.

The state legislature called for the nearly 500-page study in 2016. 

“City staff is in receipt of the comprehensive report from Lenard Engineering,” New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said in a statement. “We invite individuals interested in learning more about the study to view the report at www.newbritainct.gov. We look forward to the process."

Plainville Town Manager Robert Lee said he feels Tilcon’s proposal has several benefits for Plainville, Southington, New Britain and Berlin.

“I think there are a lot of positives in the study,” Lee said. “I think it will address some concerns.”

The study addresses the impact on water quality in the Shuttle Meadow area, which, according to the report, will not be degraded if the Tilcon quarry is expanded. The report also said that neither air pollution nor noise pollution will increase.

Tilcon’s proposal calls for a new water storage reservoir on New Britain land that will address water demands in the future for  Plainville, Berlin and Southington.

Lee said the plan may be an opportunity for a potential partnership between the New Britain water company and Valley Water Systems in Plainville.

“New Britain reservoirs are a lot softer,” Lee said. “We can work together.”

Valley Water is currently going through a water softening study due to complaints about hard water in Plainville.

Plainville would also gain over 170 acres of open space, according to Tilcon’s proposal.

Tilcon’s plan will require several state and local permits and come before the local Planning and Zoning Commisison.

Though study also identifies negative impacts on New Britain, Plainville, Southington and Berlin.

The project would result in the clearing of of more than 70 acres of woodland and 4.7 acres of wetlands, as well as the temporary loss of 13.6 acres of watershed land. The report also mentions long-term harm to wildlife due to the loss of acreage. 

“Although no federally listed endangered species were detected during the study, several state listed species of concern were found to be present, and potentially impacted by the project”, including the Jefferson Salamander, the Spotted Turtle, the Eastern Box Turtle and Fir Club Moss, the report said.

Breeding and habitat disruptions could put the species at risk.

In the past, residents have been vocal about their concerns for the natural resources on the land.

Twitter: @KusReporter

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