Solar farm updates East Lyme on measures to prevent flooding

East Lyme - Representatives of a solar farm that experienced a stormwater control failure this spring updated the Inland Wetlands Agency Monday on the steps it has taken so far to correct the problem.

Centerplan Construction and a limited liability company created by Greenskies Renewable Energy are under a cease-desist-and-correct order, following a breach of a stormwater control system at a solar farm. The overflow from the solar farm by Grassy Hill Road silted nearby wetlands and a tributary of Cranberry Meadow Brook.

Responding to a July 9 list of questions from the commission, Michael Lombardi, Centerplan's president, said the companies have hand-seeded the site and hydro-seeded areas prone to erosion. They have repaired the retention basins, installed stone check dams and used a polymer to separate mud from water so clear water flows from the basins. An environmental consultant will walk the site on Wednesday and prepare a report on areas off site that need to be remediated, he said.

Lombardi said engineers for the project, based on their experience, consider it unnecessary to install additional measures to control water dripping off the solar panels' edges.

But Chairwoman Cheryl Lozanov said sedimentation control plans vary for each site, based on factors including soil types and proximity to wetlands.

Commission members also reminded the construction company that they had requested the state Siting Council, which approved the project, receive a copy of the plans to confirm that additional measures weren't needed around the edges of the solar panels.

Lombardi agreed to do that and have a third-party engineer review the issue.

The commission will walk the site on Aug. 9 prior to its 7 p.m. Aug. 11 meeting at Town Hall. The companies have until Sept. 30 to completely correct the problems on the site.

k.drelich@theday.com

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