Sunday, March 14, 2010

Williamsburg Citizen Complaint

 To: Mr. Jim Giattina, EPA Region 4

 Mr. Giattina,

I am writing this complaint and addressing it to you due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the permit. ADEM claims the permit terminated but no reclamation has occurred and active construction is on-going. Turbid water and sedimentation are still being discharged with every rain event. It should be noted here that this is a site that has been pointed out in the petition to remove ADEM from authority. SDW is a prime example of ADEM failure to adequately enforce.  We respectfully ask EPA Region 4 to require completion of reclamation by SDW and registration of McKinney Pruden.

 From the Petition to Withdraw NPDES Program Approval ...

 "15.       The State of Alabama has failed to ensure that construction stormwater (CSW) dischargers who are engaged in construction disturbance activities or who have not completed reclamation of disturbed areas renew their expired registrations.  For example:

 ALR165846   SDW, Inc.

SDW, Inc. was initially granted NPDES Registration ALR165846 on September 1, 2004 for construction disturbance within the Williamsburg subdivision.  This registration expired on August 31, 2005.  (Exhibit B-2).  NPDES Registration ALR165846 was reissued to SDW, Inc. on August 4, 2005 for construction disturbance on 14.5 acres within the Williamsburg subdivision.  This registration expired on August 31, 2006.  (Exhibit B-3).  A Warning Letter was issued by ADEM on July 9, 2007.  (Exhibit B-4).  A Notice of Violation was issued by ADEM on January 18, 2008.  (Exhibit B-5).  NPDES Registration ALR165846 was granted to SDW, Inc. on January 28, 2008 for construction disturbance on 4.9 acres within the Williamsburg subdivision.  This registration expired on August 31, 2008.  (Exhibit B-6).  Order 08-203-MNPS was issued by ADEM on September 5, 2008 citing failure to maintain a valid registration on one day.  (Exhibit B-7).  NPDES Registration ALR165846 was granted to SDW, Inc. on June 10, 2009 for construction disturbance on 4.9 acres within the Williamsburg subdivision.  This acreage included Lots 1, 18, 19, 23, 28, 30, 31, 46 and 47.  This registration expired on August 31, 2009.  (Exhibit B-8).  SDW, Inc. engaged in construction disturbance activity without a valid registration from September 1, 2006 to January 27, 2008 (514 days) and from September 1, 2008 to June 9, 2009 (282 days).  (Exhibit B-9).  Despite that construction disturbance activity was continuing on-site after August 31, 2009 (Exhibit B-10) and that reclamation remained incomplete (Exhibits B-11 and B-12), the State of Alabama affirmatively released SDW, Inc. from any requirement to maintain a valid registration or to complete reclamation.  (Exhibit B-13)."

SDW Inc. ALR 165846 has been the source of many complaints, enforcement, and law suit for non-compliant activities at the site. A consent order required that SDW remove a certain amount of sediment from Camden Lake. It should be noted that since the deposition of sediment has never stopped, the required amount of sediment to be removed should be increased to include the time from the consent order to the current date of the removal.

In Nov., 2009 William Donald, attorney for SDW, entered a letter certifying that all reclamation had occurred with the exception of one lot belonging to McKinney Pruden Contractors.

At that time I inspected the site 0n 11/03 and 11/10/09. I took photographs of multiple violations and areas lacking reclamation and sediment entering the street and drains leaving multiple locations within the SDW permit boundaries. A ditch was cut in the top section of the property turning sediment-laden run-off to enter Abbey Trace subdivision down-grade.

According to Mr. Steve Jenkins, ADEM, he inspected the site and found it to be in total reclamation with the exception of the lot mentioned above. Mr. Jenkins seems to have worked very hard to allow this permit to be terminated without proper reclamation or permit transfer to Pruden McKinney.

SDW permitted the entire area of disturbance included in the Williamsburg Subdivision, permit ALR 165846. No permit transfer to Pruden McKinney ever took place. Therefore, SDW maintained responsibility for the site until completion and release or complete reclamation and closure of open disturbance. This is obviously not the case today and has always been in a disturbed condition.

On Aug 31 2009 the permit expired. No complete reclamation had occurred on disturbance created by SDW in the excavation of NPDES "SDW Inc. ALR 165846".

On 03/10/10 I took the following photos and wish to register the following complaint.

 ADEM has allowed SDW to terminate the NPDES permit without proper permit transfer of disturbed acreage.

ADEM has allowed the termination of the NPDES without proper reclamation.

SDW has allowed insufficient ground cover to cause erosion and deposition of sediment off-site.

SDW failed to install and maintain proper BMPs.

SDW failed to provide adequate ground cover.

SDW failed to provide adequate slope cover.

SDW allowed erosion gullies to become established through lack of adequate reclamation along the Abbey Trace / Williamsburg property boundaries..

SDW allowed turbid, silt laden water to enter the Camden Lake, located in the unnamed tributary of Cottondale Creek.

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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