Maine DEP Offers Free Workshops For Forming Road Associations

May 18, 2011

CONTACT:
Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Spokesperson/Director of Education and Outreach samantha.depoy-warren@maine.gov 287-5842 (office) or 592-0427 (cell)

-The workshops, which are free and open to the public, will be held in Bangor on June 10 and in Belgrade on June 24-

AUGUSTA – Forming road associations will be the focus of workshops in Bangor and Belgrade next month led by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and local Soil & Water Conservation Districts.

Well-organized road associations are the driving force behind ensuring that Maine’s many unpaved private and camp roads are well maintained so they are not a threat to the environment, specifically waterways.

Most private gravel roads need repair every spring as winter washouts and spring rains often send rocks rolling into nearby brooks, streams and lakes. The cost to replace what washed away is high to both the pocketbook and the environment, say experts with the Maine DEP.

“Each year our department assists local water associations with watershed surveys documenting pollution sites in lake watersheds and continually, the most common problems are related to roads. On Maine’s lakes, the single largest pollutant is soil with private, unpaved roads being the greatest source of that soil runoff. If we are going to protect and improve our lakes, we need to address erosion from our roads,” said Kathy Hoppe, an environmental specialist with Maine DEP.

Private roads that are not governed by a road association are particularly problematic as they do not have a formal organization to plan and then raise funds to get needed work done, explained Kristin Feindel, also of the Maine DEP.

The June workshops being put on by Maine DEP and local Soil & Water Conservation Districts are for those interested in organizing or strengthening a road association and will cover the relationship between road and water quality, types of road associations and associated benefits, steps to forming a formal road association and common road association concerns.

In addition to Maine DEP staff, there will also be an attorney available to answer questions at each workshop.

The workshops are free and open to the public and will be held on Friday, June 10 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer and on Friday, June 24 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Center for All Seasons in Belgrade. To RSVP for either workshop, please contact Kristin Feindel of the Maine DEP at kristin.b.feindel@maine.gov or 287-5586.

In addition to the workshops, the Maine DEP and Soil & Water Conversation Districts are piloting a program that will offer complimentary technical assistance to a limited number of road associations in evaluating and developing a plan for maintenance issues for private unpaved roads in lake watersheds. For more information on technical assistance available to road association, please contact Kathy Hoppe at Maine DEP at kathy.m.hoppe@maine.gov or 760-3134.

Maine DEP also publishes a “Guide to Forming Road Associations” that is available for download at http://www.mainedep.com.

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