Photo above, flood tide, Winthrop, Mass., USA., Tues. January 20, 2018.
To say I need a manicure would probably be kind. Between work on the seawall, the floods and cleaning of debris (that floats in because we don’t have a fence any more) plus the usual wear and tear on my hands at work — paper cuts from lots of hand-sanitzer, ink from the bates and other stamps, wrestling with toner — my hands are not in great shape.
Then again, was never a manicure kind of girl.
Don’t think would be considered presentable despite my best efforts, tonight I’m planning on more scrubbing, trimming and a layer of clear polish protector or something.
After January 4, 2018, we were out of a washer and dryer — I spent this weekend catching up on loads of laundry. Our new machines were delivered last week, platforms built by a friend/handyman to protect us from future floods.
Tuesday, I spent cleaning up from the flood in our yard, dragging large pieces of lumber up our drive way. The fire chief stopped taking pictures for the state disaster relief agency, and so we had a little chat.
Also on Tues., via my permitting engineers, the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) a state agency, informed me I three (3) choices regarding my request for a seawall permit: 1) be denied, 2) withdraw, & 3) amend and request a variance.
My permitting engineers and I are going for option #3 but were duly told the clock will be reset as it will take from 180-360 days/one(1) year for a response, because the legal department must review the variance request.
This has been a long and painful process trying to rebuild this seawall legal, but as the photo shows — we are in a dire situation.
And it would have been nice back in June 2017, when my permitting folks reached out to DEP — if they had advised that mostly like with a pre-1984 former seawall I wasn’t going to meet the reg. requirements and would need to do the non-water compliant application and would also need the variance request.
Yes that would have been helpful.
In December 2017, I had a conference call with four (4) agencies, three (3) state and one(1) federal and they all declined my request for a site visit. (And I have a confirmation/documentation of their denials in email by the woman from the agency that organized the call.)
This is permitting site — unseen.
During that December conference call, the DEP Waterways chief had no idea I had even filed for a new seawall permit. Insert eye roll, heavy sigh, any combination here.
The fact is — we’re not going to be here in a year without a seawall.
So I’m reaching out for help. Going to the mattresses if you will.
We’re also adjacent to our town’s evacuation route so if there is a major storm like a Sandy or a Katrina — this is a public safety issue as our house will be destroyed but so will the major road. Our town is a former island so there are only two (2) ways out of town and the other route historically floods as well.
My elderly, widowed, cancer survivor with many heart conditions mother would like to speak to whoever will listen — she is very afraid of our destruction.
If you know of an environmental reporter/public interest reporter that would like to do a climate change story on death by red tape? Please let me know.