Thursday, September 24, 2009

Camden Lake 09/23/09

This update was sent to EPA region 4 this morning.



Here is an update to the Camden Lake complaint.

I have been watching a site in Camden Lake where there was an approved plumbing inspection on a foundation ready to pour with concrete on a site where no building permit had been issued. I turned this site in 2 weeks ago to the city 311 line. Nothing changed. I sent the complaint directly to Joe Robinson and Chad Christian pointing out that there were 7 house construction sites disturbed there with either failing BMPs or non-existent BMPs. Warnings were written for two and removed while the sites were still in noncompliance. I was there yesterday doing follow-up to a previous complaint and saw a city truck I took to be an inspector. I did not get a good look at his face but the tag # was a municipal tag 45400. I encountered him at 2:35 in the afternoon. As he drove through the subdivision, he never stopped to get out, he never issued any warnings, he did not consult with the concrete contractors who had made the mess even bigger since I left earlier. For once in a very long time, I did not have my camera with me. The reason I find the inspectors presence mentionable is this... The city inspectors have been trained and according to Joe Robinson have been ordered to cite infractions and post warnings first then stop work orders. None of this is taking place here as it should.

I went home and picked up my camera and returned. The inspector was gone but I documented where at least three cement trucks backed out into poorly grassed areas and washed out their trucks. The toxic cement residual washed down the streets and into the drains. It looked like two of the trucks stopped in the street and finished washing out their chutes and truck bed IN THE STREET. The inspector drove through the wet cement residue and passed right by. No warning, no stop work order, no action at all. When I first turned this site in there had been significant disturbance with off site tracking of mud. There was NO city permit or adequate BMPs. Yesterday there was a permit dated "issued: 09/17/09", the same day I called in the complaint to Joe. No permit, no warning, no stop work order, no action at all.

The BMPs at that location have never been properly installed and have been turned into Joe and Chad. I showed them the photo of the passing inspection card on the failing site, no action has been taken. The water leaving Camden Lake had a gray color similar to the cement residue seen entering the drains.

Joe sent an inspector out on 09/18/09 who wrote up two warning notices out of seven that were in violation. I also sent Joe a complaint on Covington Villas, owned by Jimmy Burns of Jamestown Villas. Houses there have been out of compliance for months. In fact, every house on every subdivision owned by this person is in the same condition. There was no warning filed to date. To date it is still in terrible condition.

It is obvious, once again that Tuscaloosa has no intention of enforcing the law in regards to their permit.

I should also mention again that this location is under "Consent Order" with ADEM and this letter was marked received from EPA region 4 on 04/20/09. I wish to ask EPA to take action now for both the complaint at Camden Lake but also against Tuscaloosa for not enforcing the permit requirements as written, and not updating their permit to show compliance with the TMDL for Hurricane Creek.

Your Servant,
John L. Wathen,
Hurricane Creekkeeper
Friends of Hurricane Creek

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