Conservation Commission reviews plans for 18,000-gallon fuel tank for Onset marina

May 3, 2018

An 18,000-gallon above-ground fuel tank planned for Brewer Onset Bay Marina has neighbors concerned about safety and nuisances.

On May 2, marina manager Greg Galvin and Mark Smith, the project’s engineer, appeared before the Conservation Commission during a public hearing. Both presented the plans and addressed questions from abutters.

Plans call for building a 32-foot long tank that will be 10.5 feet in diameter on the property, located at 3 Green St.

Glavin and Smith said the new tank will replace three underground tanks that each hold 6,000 gallons. Smith said the project is in line with similar efforts being undertaken by marinas across the country.

“Overall, we think this is pretty significant environmental upgrade,” said Smith.

The new tank will be double-walled and have leak sensors that will alert fire officials in the event of a problem, he noted.

Approximately 20 people attended the hearing with questions and concerns.

Ultimately, the project requires Zoning Board of Appeals approval because the tank does not conform to zoning regulations in the area. Conservation Commission member Ken Baptiste noted that his board is limited to considering the environmental impact of the project in its determination.

Deb Alfonso, an abutter, asked about the potential for damage during a hurricane.

Smith said that the tank will be bolted to a concrete slab and because the valves are above the flood zone there is little danger of fuel leaking.

Mike Besse suggested keeping boats away from the area near the tank. That would prevent it from being punctured, he said.

“If you broach that tank you will get serious runoff,” said Besse.

Smith said that may be considered, but it’s unlikely a boat would break through the double-walled tank.

“The boat would suffer most of the damage if that were to happen,” said Smith.

Board members said they believed when Glavin and Smith returned, the project would receive the board’s approval. The Conservation Commission hearing was continued to May 16 at 7 p.m. in the Multi-Service Center.