HOPKINTON — Sen. Elaine J. Morgan, R-Ashaway, has requested that the Blue Pond dam in Hopkinton be fixed after almost nine years of being in a state of disrepair.
The dam is just north of Canonchet Road.
On March 31, 2010, the Blue Pond dam burst, flooding many roads and damaging the properties of Rhode Island residents with 180 million gallons of water. The dam owners had been warned of the impending breakage for many years before the incident, the senator said.
In a letter to the Janet L. Coit, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management director, Morgan said that she had received “concerns from constituents worried about how a broken dam is affecting their water quality and driving down property values.”
Late last year, the DEM permanently protected 58 acres of forestland which encompasses Blue Pond, and has opened the land up for public recreation. Now that Blue Pond sits in completely protected territory, Morgan said that she could find no reason why the dam should remain unfixed.
Repairing the Blue Pond Dam would benefit Hopkinton residents and all those who visit to enjoy the trails, foliage, and serenity that the land surrounding it has to offer,Morgan said.
The DEM announced in August 2010 that it had issued a notice of violation to the Ashville Corporation and its parent company, Green Plastics Corporation, for failing to maintain the dam in a safe condition. The notice included a $59,747 penalty, the department said.
DEM said it took the enforcement action because the dam owners had been warned repeatedly by DEM and by engineers retained by the owners that the dam was unsafe and required repair. The owners failed to act to correct the unsafe condition which led to the rupture, DEM said.
The property that DEM acquired om December in features 1,300 feet of frontage on Blue Pond and was the last remaining unprotected frontage on the pond. DEM purchased the property for $250,000 from Marjorie and Christopher R. Allen, with funding provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program.