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Drinking Water in New England

North Haven Island FR

Updated Contact Information
Ted Lavery • (617) 918-1683

(Cite as: 54 FR 29934)

NOTICES

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-3617-1]

Sole Source Aquifer Designation for the North Haven Island Aquifer System, Maine

Monday, July 17, 1989

*29936 AGENCY: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: In response to a petition from the State of Maine, notice is hereby given that the Regional Administrator, Region I, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the North Haven Island Aquifer System satisfies all determination criteria for designation as a sole source aquifer, pursuant to section 1424(e) of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The following findings were made in accordance with the designation criteria: North Haven Island Aquifer System is the principal source of drinking water for the residents of North Haven Island; there are no vialbe alternative sources of sufficient supply; the boundaries of the designated area and project review area have been reviewed and approved by EPA; and, if contamination were to occur, it would pose a significant public health hazard and a serious financial burden to the State of Maine. As a result of this action, all federal financially assisted projects proposed for construction or modification to take place on North Haven Island will be subject to EPA review to minimize the risk of ground water contamination from these projects.

DATES: This determination shall be promulgated for purposes of judicial review at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time two weeks after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: The data upon which these findings are based are available to the public and may be inspected during *29935 normal business hours at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I, JFK Federal Building, Water Management Division, WGP 2113, Boston, MA 02203. The designation petition submitted may also be inspected at the Maine State Planning Office in Augusta, Maine.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert E. Mendoza, Chief of the Ground Water Management Section, EPA Region I, JFK Federal Building, WGP-2113, Boston, MA 02203, 617-565-3600.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Section 1424(e) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C.) 300f, 300f-3(e), Pub. L. 93-523) states:
If the Administrator determines, on his own initiative or upon petition, that an area has an aquifer which is the sole or principal drinking water source for the area and which, if contaminated, would create a significant hazard to public health, he shall publish notice of that determination in the Federal Register. After the publication of any such notice, no commitment for federal financial assistance (through a grant, contract, loan guarantee, or otherwise) may be entered into for any project which the Administrator determines may contaminate such aquifer through a recharge zone so as to create significant hazard to public health, but a commitment for Federal financial assistance may, if authorized under another provision of law, be entered into to plan or design the project to assure that it will not so contaminate the aquifer. On June 3, 1988, EPA received a petition from the State of Maine requesting the designation of the North Haven Island Aquifer System as a sole source aquifer. EPA determined that the petition fully satisfied the Completeness Determination Checklist. A public meeting was then scheduled and held on March 7, 1989, on North Haven Island, Maine, in accordance with all applicable notification and procedural requriements. A one month comment period followed the meeting.

II. Basis for Determination

Among the factors considered by the Regional Administrator as part of the detailed review and technical verification process for designating an area under Section 1424(e) were:

(1) Whether the aquifer is the sole or principal source of drinking water for the defined aquifer service area, and that the volume of water from an alternative source is insufficient to replace the petitioned aquifer; (2) whether contamination of the aquifer would cause significant hazard to public health; and (3) whether the boundaries of the aquifer, its recharge area and streamflow source area, the project designation area, and the project review area are appropriate. On the basis of technical information available to EPA at this time, the Regional Administrator has made the following findings in favor of designating the North Haven Island Aquifer System as a sole source aquifer:

  1. The North Haven Island Aquifer System is the principal source (directly or indirectly through recharge to surface water) of drinking water to all of the residents within the service area.
  2. There exists no reasonable alternative drinking water source or combination of sources of sufficient quantity to supply the designated service area.
  3. EPA has found that the State of Maine has appropriately delineated the boundaries of the aquifer recharge area, project designation area and project review area.
  4. Although the quality of the Island's ground water is considered adequate, it is vulnerable to contamination due to the Island's geological characteristics and possible landuse activities. Because of this, contaminants can be rapidly introduced into the aquifer system from many sources with minimal assimilation.

Since the aquifier serves as the principal source of drinking water for the residents, a serious contamination incident could pose a significant public health hazard.

III. Description of the North Haven Island Aquifer System, Designated Area and Project Review Area

The North Haven Island Aquifer System is a 10.5 square mile ocean island located in the mid-coastal region of Maine, approximately 10 miles east of Rockport, the nearest mainland town. The aquifer system is comprised of an inter-connected bedrock aquifer. The aquifer material consists of basaltic volcanics known as the North Haven Formation. The Island has relief of 155 feet, with an irregular topographic profile. Some of the residents are served directly by ground water. In addition, a pond on the island serves as the public drinking water supply. This pond is hydrologically connected to the island's aquifer system and a majority of the pond's water supply is derived from ground water. The aquifer is, therefore, the principal source of drinking water for the island. For the North Haven Island Aquifer System the boundary of the designated area coincides with the boundary of the watershed basin. The watershed boundary is the surface water divide based on topography, which corresponds to the ground water divide. The designated area, project review area and service area are conterminous, encompassing all of North Haven Island.

IV. Information Utilized in Determination

The information utilized in this determination includes: the petition submitted to EPA Region I by the State of Maine; a letter of support reflecting public comment. This information is available to the public and may be inspected at the address listed above.

V. Project Review

EPA Region I is working with the federal agencies most likely to provide financial assistance to projects in the project review area. Interagency procedures and Memoranda of Understanding have been developed through which EPA will be notified of proposed commitments by federal agencies to projects which could contaminate the North Haven Island Aquifer System. EPA will evaluate such projects and, where necessary, conduct an in-depth review, including soliciting public comments when appropriate. Should the Regional Administrator determine that a project may contaminate the aquifer through its recharge zone so as to create a significant hazard to public health, no commitment for federal financial assistance may be entered into. However, a commitment for federal financial assistance may, if authorized under another provision of law, be entered into to plan or design the project to ensure that it will not contaminate the aquifer. Included in the review of any federal financially assisted project will be the coordination with state and local agencies and the project's developers. Their comments will be given full consideration and EPA's review will attempt to complement and support state and local ground water protection measures. Although the project review process cannot be delegated, EPA will rely to the maximum extent possible on any existing or future state and/or local control measures to protect the quality of ground water in the North Haven Island Aquifer System.

VI. Summary and Discussion of Public Comments

No comments were received by EPA that opposes the SSA proposal. One letter of support was received. Comment during the public meeting focused upon how designation can afford additional protection of the Island's water resources.

Dated: June 21, 1989.

Paul G. Keough,

Acting Regional Administrator.

[FR Doc. 89-16686 Filed 7-14-89; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-M

54 FR 29934-04, 1989 WL 279842 (F.R.)

END OF DOCUMENT

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