The city of Westbrook will likely fine Pike Industries for twice blasting outside the parameters set in a court-approved consent agreement.

A blast on May 17 exceeded the 129-decibel noise limit by 0.3 decibels. On Friday, Pike blasted 37 minutes after its daily 3 p.m. deadline.

Pike has blasted five times during the past two weeks for the purpose of creating an access road to its Spring Street quarry and is allowed five more blasts before June 9. Once that date has passed, all blasts will count toward the eight production blasts allowed in the quarry per year under the agreement.

Pike’s attorney says the quarrying company has been working hard to meet the requirements of the consent agreement. But Jack Wood, facilities manager for neighbor Artel Inc., said the violations show the agreement “is just a piece of paper.”

The consent agreement was reached in November by the city, Pike and Idexx Laboratories — the largest nearby business to oppose the quarrying company’s expansion plans.

Other businesses, namely Artel and Smiling Hill Farm, are appealing the agreement in court.

Artel has been publicly critical of the recent blasting, claiming that it shouldn’t have started before Pike met with Artel — one of the requirements of the agreement.

The company, which conducts precise measurements of liquids, said it idled employees on Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when Pike had said it would conduct the blast.

Work done at Artel between 2 p.m. and 3:37 p.m. had to be redone, because each blast forces the company to recalibrate its instruments, the company said.

An electrical problem delayed Pike’s ability to blast on schedule, said Tony Buxton of Preti Flaherty, a lawyer for Pike.

Once the problem was fixed, Buxton said, the daily blasting deadline had passed. The city and Pike agreed, however, that it wouldn’t be safe to leave live explosives in the ground over the weekend. So the city allowed the blast and issued a second notice to Pike for violating the agreement.

The city issued the May 17 noise violation notice to Pike on Thursday. According to the notices, each violation could result in a fine of $100 to $2,500.

Westbrook Code Enforcement Officer Rick Gouzie said the city will review Pike’s blasting reports and then determine the appropriate fine for the two violations.

“We think we’ve done a good job,” Buxton said. “We’re acutely aware we’re doing this under at least a few hostile microscopes.”

Meanwhile, Pike and Artel are scheduled to meet Thursday, as required by the consent agreement, to come up with ways to minimize the blasting’s effect on Artel’s operations.

“We’re always hopeful,” Wood said about the two companies working together. “The more recent experience dampens that hopefulness a little bit.”

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at

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