Mass. Resident Fined for Erecting Coastal Barriers

By ecoRI News staff

FAIRHAVEN, Mass. — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has fined local resident Anwar Faisal $46,950 for unauthorized work performed at his Bella Vista Island property.

The violations included the construction of 93 linear feet of new unpermitted seawall, 170 feet of improperly reconstructed seawall, unpermitted placement of stone revetment within a coastal beach, removal of large stones from a coastal beach that were utilized for a seawall, and the clearing of a wetlands buffer zone.

The Fairhaven Conservation Commission had issued three enforcement orders relative to unauthorized work on the property in 2010 and 2011. In June 2012, commission officials issued an order of conditions to Faisal for site improvements and stabilization and restoration work. However, the commission informed DEP officials in 2013 that additional violations on the property had been observed.

In addition to the violations noted, DEP found 526 square feet of coastal beach and 263 linear feet of coastal bank had been altered without approval.

“Regulations clearly forbid new, unpermitted engineering structures on a coastal beach, the unpermitted placement of toe stones and the alteration of coastal wetland resource areas,” said Millie Garcia-Serrano, director of DEP’s Southeast Regional Office in Lakeville. “Extending the seawall well beyond the dwelling was unnecessary to protect it from erosion.”

In an agreement with DEP, Faisel must submit a plan for approval that includes construction according to what was previously approved by the local commission, removal of the expanded revetment, details and dredging work necessary to ensure that no part of the work shall be reconstructed seaward of the present position, construction of the existing seawall to curve landward and be integrated into the lawn area, and revegetation of the coastal bank disturbed by the work.