UPS Conceptual Design Gets Conservation Commission OK

TF Moran chief engineer Bob Duval had the answers to several questions raised at a previous Conservation Commission meeting about the planned UPS distribution center on Pettengill Road.

UPS plans to build a Northeast Logistics Center to serve as a centralized distribution center for Pratt & Whitney parts, tooling and supplies, to serve its manufacturing and global engine assembly and test sites.

Duval told the commission at its Tuesday, June 24 meeting that they had spoken with New Hampshire Fish and Game officials and have worked out an agreement for biologist Mark West to conduct a wildlife study on the site.

Duval also said in response to a question about how the project relates to known aquifers, that the best aquifer is near the Merrimack River and the Pettengill Road project itself straddled a low and very low producing aquifer.

“The good stuff is closer to the river,” he said. “Now that we’ve actually completed our designs for review, we have made sure that we are infiltrating a very large proportion of the rain water into the soil and we are taking roof water and infiltrating it.”

He also said they will be using aquifer protection best management practices in their design.

West said a state endangered plant, the bluet, was found in one small corner of the property to the northwest. “They are growing right on the edge of a forest,” West said. “There are about eight plants total, so Melissa Coppola from the New Hampshire Heritage Bureau wants us to prepare a plant record so they have a record of it and try to preserve it if we can, and if we can’t, to transplant it.”

Duval said it might not have to be relocated but if it does, it will only be about 100 feet away.

West said he had been looking for other species, specifically Blanding’s Turtle, spotted turtle, hognose snake and black racer.

“I have to go back and forth through the woods and I’ve been out five times and all I’ve found is garter snakes so far,” he said. “Basically I’ve been unsuccessful in finding the snakes and finding rabbits on this site.”

Commissioner Mike Speltz asked if West’s study was confined solely to the boundary of the parcel and West said he looks at the parcel and the areas around it but the focus of his results are what he finds on the parcel.

Speltz asked how West’s study fit in with the Fish and Game study.

“The agreement that we have with Fish and Game is that in order for this project to proceed, there would be a payment to Fish and Game for contributing to wildlife studies, a separate payment to Fish and Game for some habitat restoration for cottontails elsewhere, and that we would do a predestructive survey of our particular site,” Duval said. “That’s where Mark’s scope is.”

Duval said there are ongoing discussions between the town administration and Fish and Game about where to go next to bring the greater area to resolution.

“They specifically exempted us from that larger discussion so we could move ahead,” Duval said.

Chairman Deb Lievens asked what would be planted in the area of the buffer impact. Duval said it would be oak and red maple.

Lievens suggested slippery elm.

She asked if there was an arrangement to make sure the trees stay alive and was told that there was a one-year maintenance agreement. She said that wasn’t enough, as some trees die after a year.

“One thing we are doing is that this is a well capitalized project between Prologis and UPS and Pratt & Whitney, and I am sure that will be well maintained and we will put appropriate notes in the landscape plan,” Duval said.

The Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the Conditional Use Permit and to recommend approval of the wetlands impact to the wetlands board.

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