Preti Flaherty Obtains First Long Creek Watershed Plan Modification for WS Development

Preti Flaherty Obtains First Long Creek Watershed Plan Modification for WS Development07.20.2010

July 20, 2010 - Preti Flaherty announced today that it successfully obtained the first Long Creek Watershed Plan modification for client WS Development.

The Long Creek Watershed Plan (the "Plan") is the result of new stormwater permitting regulatory requirements imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MEDEP) under the Clean Water Act. The regulations are designed to restore water quality in the Long Creek Watershed, a three square mile area straddling four municipalities (South Portland, Portland, Westbrook and Scarborough) centered on a major commercial development. Under the new regulations, owners of parcels with one acre or more of impervious surface (parking lots, roads, and rooftops) must control and treat their storm water runoff, develop and maintain various structural improvements and retrofits, monitor watershed conditions, and use best management practices at their properties.

Preti Flaherty assisted WS Development throughout the Plan modification process. Our Environmental Law Group assisted the client in formulating an approach that persuaded the District's governing board and MEDEP that WS's future development plans could be accommodated while still protecting the environment. The District voted unanimously to approve the proposed modification and MEDEP issued its approval shortly thereafter.

The Plan is being implemented by the recently formed Long Creek Watershed Management District. The District is overseen by a governing board consisting of municipal, state, private and non-profit appointees.

The original Plan required WS Development to place a permanent easement on its property for the future construction of a large stormwater treatment basin, effectively precluding WS from expanding its existing building in the future. The governing board's initial resistance to modifying the Plan at this early stage in the Plan's implementation was overcome through utilization of an alternative design and easement strategy.

For more information on the Long Creek Watershed or other EPA and MEDEP stormwater regulatory requirements, please contact Sharon Newman at [email protected] or (207) 791-3241.