, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 9, 2013

US Foods seeks quick approval

Company asks for Planning Board decision by end of month


Garand reminded the board that the previously approved Poland Springs site plan was one of the best Seabrook had seen, and it included light maintenance bays. The board’s role was to approve only the new fueling and truck wash, he said. If not for those two additions to the original site, Garand said, approval wouldn’t be necessary as the project falls under an existing use for the zone.

Planning Board members appeared impressed with the conceptual protections the company promised to provide. They 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.

Barnes asked for “conditional approval” of the project Tuesday night, with the understanding that after the board’s engineer reviewed the plan, US Foods would comply with extra safeguards the board felt were necessary.

The request brought nods from a number of board members, but Hawkins was hesitant.

With the urging of board member Jason Janvrin, it was decided that department heads will meet in a special technical review session with US Foods officials to study the conceptual plans. Any suggested tweaks will be discussed at the next Planning Board meeting on Nov. 19, when conditional review of the project will again be considered.

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