LINCOLN, Maine — A Massachusetts man avoided several thousand dollars in fines by removing a sunken boat and an illegal septic system from Mattanawcook Lake and his shoreline property, a town official said Tuesday.
Steven Magos of Peabody, Mass., responded quickly to a letter from Jerry Davis, the town’s code enforcement officer, informing him of the serious violations, Davis said. The removals occurred last weekend.
Magos “cooperated within the 15 days and took care of the violations, so there will be no fines,” Davis said Tuesday.
Environmental damage was minimal, Davis said.
“It really didn’t go on long enough,” Davis said. “As it was a seasonal cabin, the waste was taken care of in the barrel that was set up. The boat was pumped out and made seaworthy.”
Davis found four violations on Mattanawcook Lake during a late August shoreline inspection, including the sunken boat with its eight-cylinder engine immersed, oil slowly leaking from it. The septic system was a PVC pipe stuck into a barrel that was half-buried in the ground, Davis said.
Davis located the property and boat owner and mailed him a certified letter on Sept. 1.
Under state law, violators have 15 days to correct or provide a plan for correcting violations or they could face civil court action and daily fines. Fines range from $100 to $2,500 a day.
Davis uses a boat to inspect the town’s 14 lakes and ponds, which include 13 bodies of water entirely within town lines, plus the Penobscot River and tributaries. He does inspections twice a year.
Among other things, Davis searches for violations, including erosion, overcutting of trees and shrubs, gravel set too close to shorelines within the state-required setbacks, new buildings or septic systems built without permits and water pollution.
Davis plans to finish his fall inspections today with inspections of four bodies of water. He declined to identify those ponds or lakes.
Preferring a corrective rather than punitive approach to problems, Davis encourages residents to telephone 794-3372 if they have questions about potential violations or work they want to do on their properties.
Previous violations this year include a McGregor Road resident who cut at least eight trees from her Upper Cold Stream Pond property — a violation of Maine Department of Environmental Protection regulations — and a dumping of gravel within 75 feet of the pond’s shoreline.
The McGregor Road resident has planted 10 of the 26 replacement trees and shrubs required under DEP rules, while the gravel has been removed, Davis said.