Thursday, February 25, 2010

Camden Lake complaint 02/23/10

To: EPA Region 4, Susan Pope and Don Joe,

Please accept the following complaint on behalf of John L. Wathen and Friends of Hurricane Creek concerning Builders Group Dev.
ALR 16B471. (BGD)

On 02/20,21,22,/10, BGD had the following violations…
Failed to properly install and maintain BMPs.
Failed to contain construction debris.
Allowed off-site tracking of mud and construction debris into streets.
Failed to provide adequate ground cover throughout the entire development.
Failed to provide approved gravel drive entrances to construction sites.
Failed to provide adequate stormwater inlet protection.
Failed to provide a retention or detention pond as required.
The basin found on the property is a lake and does not have a stand-pipe, trash screen or any other means of holding any storm surge.
Failed to provide adequate slope grade vegetation.
On 02/22/10, allowed turbid, silt laden water to leave the site into the unnamed tributary to Cottondale Creek.
Turbidity was evident with only 0.16-inch rain total for the day.
There is NO ongoing construction in Williamsburg except one lot that has been idle for months.
There is NO ongoing construction at Abbey Trace where extensive attention has recently been paid to BMPs.
In my opinion, most of the turbidity and sediment entering the unnamed tributary of Cottondale Creek can be directly traced back to BGD, Camden Lake.
On 02/20/10, I flew over the site and photographed many issues unseen from the ground.
1.     Offsite tracking was evident throughout the site

2.     There is a collapsed inlet box directly behind a house under construction. There is a large passage of stormwater under the concrete and causing large erosion rills downgrade.

3.     Multiple inlet boxes throughout with no protection.

4.     Ground cover throughout the entire site is too sparse and has not been kept consistently reseeded.

5.     The area behind Eastview Church on BGD property is in complete non-compliance.

a.     Poor slope cover, bare ground, erosion gullies, failed BPMs, non-existent BMPs, no retention pond before overflow to “pass through pipe”.

 6.    Slopes surrounding the lake are bare in many places with failing or non-existent BMPs.

 On 02/21/10, I visited the site to ground-truth my photos in anticipation of rain and found the same violations listed above.


On 02/22/10, Tuscaloosa received 0.16-inch rain. I visited the Camden Lake site and found the following violations.

1.     Turbidity in the unnamed tributary was slight in comparison to heavier rains but evident.

2.     Many BMPs that were failing on previous visits had not been repaired or replaced.

3.     BMPs that were non-existent were still missing

4.     Construction debris was in the streets and creek

5.     Off site tracking was evident at every construction location.

6.     Inlets that were not protected on previous visits were still unprotected.

In all, I found many of the exact same issues during these last visits that were present in 2007 when I started to document this location in detail. There seems to be an air of complacency with this developer. ADEM has demonstrated the lack of will and or ability to issue adequate enforcement.

ADEM, for the most part has been completely impotent in causing any deterrent to BGD and their consistent non-compliant conditions since at least 2007. Warnings and orders issued are ignored for the most part. Even EPA Region 4 has had little effect of the conditions of the site.

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.

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