, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 21, 2013

US Foods gets a conditional nod from Seabrook


At the previous meeting, US Foods said its plans include a double-walled, triple-layered 20,000-gallon diesel tank at the fueling depot that will sit in a “concrete bathtub,” large enough to hold more than its entire contents should it leak. The tank is built to sustain itself without failing if there is a fire raging around it for two hours, US Foods’ architect Tim Gibbons explained, and the entire area — including the three maintenance bays, washing facility and fueling depot — will be covered with a canopy to prevent storm water pollution.

In addition, it would take a spill of more than 100,000 gallons to exceed the edge of a concrete containment area that would also construction as a secondary safeguard, company officials said.

Last week, US Foods met with all town department heads, as well as Planning Board members at a technical review session on the conceptual design, according to Town Manager Bill Manzi. Although department heads suggested some additions of the design, US Foods representatives agreed to all of them, he said.

The only issue that gave the board pause this Tuesday was a letter from Salisbury Town Manager Neil Harrington that was hand-delivered that day. Since Salisbury’s wells share the same recharge area, he expressed his community’s concerns about the need for protection.

Initially, Planning Board chairman Don Hawkins wanted final approval conditioned upon addressing all of Salisbury’s issues. But US Foods balked.

The company intends to be “a good neighbor,” Barnes said, but Seabrook is the only entity with jurisdiction over the project. The company shouldn’t be expected to serve two masters, he said.

Seabrook Planner Tom Morgan agreed, advising the condition be removed. Manzi did as well, saying he’d had a good conversation with Harrington earlier in the day, assuring him Seabrook is mindful of the aquifer issue and taking all precautions. In addition, Manzi told Harrington he’d keep Salisbury apprised as the project moves along.

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