Thursday, February 25, 2010

Camden Lake 09/21/09 Mike Mullen's report

"Please accept the following complaint against BGD, Camden Lake.
This complaint, registered by John L. Wathen, Hurricane Creekkeeper, is based on an inspection performed by Michael William Mullen, CPESC (#2129)

 On 02/21/10 I visited the site at Camden Lake with Michael Mullen, CPESC. He documented many flaws in the overall condition of the development as a whole and many problems associated with the homebuilders.

The following six slides are digital aerial photographs taken

by John Wathen on February 20, 2010.

These images by themselves show ample evidence that large

areas of Camden Lake have never been and are not now

stabilized with vegetation as required for sites where

vegetation has been removed and construction is not going to

take place for 6 months or more.

Note that much if not most of the brown in the images is bare

soil not dormant vegetation. This will be confirmed later in

the ground level images.

Numerous slides (2,3,4,6,9,10,15,17,18,19,20,21,22) show

excessive bare soil and demonstrate the failure to fully

implement or fully maintain Best Management Practices to the

maximum extent practicable.

Numerous slides also show conveyances for concentrated flow

that are not stabilized including slides 3,4,6,9,10,12,13,18,19

also demonstrating failure to fully implement or fully maintain

Best Management Practices to the maximum extent practicable.

Slides 3 and 4 show a rather recently cut drainage conveyance

that has no stabilization.

Slides 7 and 8 show poorly installed erosion control blankets

(ECBs) which should be in contact with the ground. Slide 11

shows (hard to see) silt fences that have failed because they

were improperly erected in concentrated flow areas.

Slide 5 shows an incompletely stabilized soil pile with a

drainage ditch placed immediately adjacent to it. Neither of

these constitute Best Management Practices and are indicative

of an overall failure to implement and maintain Best

Management Practices to the maximum extent practicable.

Additionally, slide 12 shows failure to achieve flow control by

failing to prevent concentrated flow or to put concentrated

flows into stabilized conveyances. This represents a major

failure to employ Best Management Practices to the maximum

extent practicable.

Finally, slides 14 and 23 illustrate that sediment is being

delivered and moved down slope throughout this part of the site

and that treatment of pollutants is not achieved to the maximum

extent practicable by Best Management Practices.

Michael William Mullen, CPESC #2129

The images in the slides in part III of the report show many more

areas with eroding slopes and excessive bare soil areas both of

which show the failure to implement cover (either temporary

cover such as mulch for newly re-graded home sites or permanent

vegetation on sites that have been idle for more than 6 months).

Even worse, sites with large areas of bare soil are found next to

drop inlet structures where the is no current inlet protection BMP

as shown in slides (19, 21, 22, 30, 32-36). Metal posts were

stacked on 3 of the inlets indicating that inlet protection was

probably there earlier. Inlet protection is supposed to be

maintained until vegetative stabilization is achieved. The site

operator failed to implement and maintain Best Management

Practices to the maximum extent practicable by failing to

establish permanent vegetation on areas inactive for more than 6

months and failing to maintain inlet protection Best Management


Numerous slides show little or no effort to control movement of

sediment onto streets via tracking. The gravel used is too small

and does not meet Handbook specifications resulting pollutants

on the road. There were instances where cement-laden water was

drained onto the roadway and there was poor housekeeping

around dumpsters (not visible in picture) with broken glass and

drink containers present. Finally, slides 36-41 and 43 show

problems with slope protection.

Overall, my observations and my professional experience

indicate to me that the Camden Lake subdivision has not

implemented Best Management Practices for erosion and

sediment control to the maximum extent practicable, nor has it

maintained those practices which were implement in a manner

that would be considered anywhere close to achieving best

practicable implementation and maintenance.

Although it was not raining during my inspection the amount of

exposed unstabilized soil, the deposition of sediment in

temporary storage areas in channels and the appearance of the

stream at the site boundary indicates to me that pollutants in

excess of those that would be transported offsite with full and

correct implementation of both erosion and sediment control Best

Management Practices and regular and proper inspection and

maintenance of those measures has and continues to occur upon

significant rain events.

The Camden Lake subdivision in my professional opinion has not

implemented or maintained Best Management Practices for

erosion and sediment control to the maximum extent practicable.

Michael William Mullen, CPESC (#2129)

207 Gail Street

Troy, Alabama 36079

Mr. Mullen’s report indicates some serious issues with the overall condition of the development. While there seems to be limited construction at the site the BMP violations are consistently seen at every home site. The overall condition of the acreage contained in the development is seriously deficient and continuously depositing silt and turbid water to enter waters of the United States.

EPA and ADEM both have spoken with and even tried to “help” the developer overcome these conditions to no avail. Penalties and orders are woefully devoid of any visible deterrent behavior or compliance. It is time for EPA to step in and close this permit completely until all deficiencies have been abated. Meaningful penalties of at least the minimum $100,00 per day, per violation should be imposed at once.

QCP reports on total compliance are greatly exaggerated and not completed by a QCP. In most cases the signer is Mr. Tracy Chris. Mr. Chris is not a QCP. The consent order issued by ADEM clearly states that inspections must be performed by a QCP and reports must be completed also by a QCP. It is my opinion that Mr. Chris has badly misrepresented the conditions at Camden Lake.

"John L. Wathen
Hurricane Creekkeeper,
Friends of Hurricane Creek

Members of

Who has the authority to say someone else
is not being a good steward of the environment?

Anyone who notices.


  1. Based on the picture presented in this blog post, there is a need of a correct implementation of both erosion and sediment control. It is obvious that
    soil settlement
    already happened. In that case, soil stabilization methods is still feasible. Hence, choosing among the soil stabilizing such as the mechanical soil stabilization method and additive soil stabilization method.

  2. That's not a very big lake there but it could definitely benefit from some type of professional grade inlet protection.


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