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A large group of fans watch Spencer Massey warm up his dragster during qualifying for the National Hot Rod Association's New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping in August 2015. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader file)

New England Dragway assessed $250k penalty for environmental violations


CONCORD — New England Dragway Inc. will pay $100,000 over a five-year period to settle violations of the state’s Wetland Act, Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and Assistant Commissioner Clark B. Freise of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services announced Tuesday.

A Rockingham County Superior Court judge approved a consent decree between the state and the dragway resolving allegations of violations of the Wetlands Act, the Water Pollution and Waste Disposal Act and associated administrative rules at the Epping property.

The decree assesses a total civil penalty of $250,000 with $150,000 suspended for a period of five years.

New England Dragway owns and operates a quarter-mile commercial drag strip on property in Epping and Brentwood.

Beginning in June 2012, the dragway began the tree clearing, stumping and grading of more than nine acres for facility upgrades. The disturbed area included over 3.56 acres of wetlands. These activities were conducted without the required wetlands and alteration of terrain permits.

The dragway subsequently self-reported its violations and cooperated with NHDES to restore 3.08 acres of disturbed wetlands and to obtain after-the-fact permits for the retained disturbances.

It is now in full compliance with applicable law and has agreed to pay civil penalties in accordance with the consent decree for its failure to obtain the required permits before beginning the work.