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James W. Sewall

 

Bangor moves to clean up streams

BANGOR (WLBZ Channel 2 NEWS CENTER) -- Bangor's environmental coordinator, Wendy Warren, is working with an environmental consultant from Sewall Company, Chet Bigelow, to assess the city's streams.

The five streams in Bangor are not in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act. In the past, the city's stream cleaning efforts have focused more on cleaning waste from the waters.

Now that focus is shifting to storm water, the city hopes to put together a plan to clean the waters up by the end of the year. They expect the initial cost of cleaning storm water damage could be anywhere from 2 to 4 million dollars. They hope to fund much of the work through Department of Environmental Protection grants.

"We haven't devised a plan yet. We're trying to gather stake holders or interested people to assist us in helping devise solutions that we can put into a plan," said Warren.

Bigelow has found that the three main problems with the city's streams now are chloride from road salt mixing in the water, an anti-freezing agent from Bangor's airport flowing into the streams, and erosion shifting the natural flow of the stream into a different course.

Bigelow is brainstorming ways to fix the problems.

"We come up with ways to begin to absorb the water into the landscape without it running off," he said.

Last week Warren held a public meeting to inform the community about the streams. Charles Birkel lives near Birch Stream and attended the meeting.

"It's going to affect all of us. If we all work together as a team, I believe that we can help clean up the pollution that exists in our city," Birkel said.

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