Wednesday, August 11, 2010

EPA Region 4
Mr. Jim Giattina,
Director, Water Division

Mr. Giattina,
I am sending this complaint to you for dissemination since you signed the Administrative Order dated 05/04/10, now in violation.

The order gave Jamestown Villas (JTV) 30 days to meet certain requirements

The inspection report was dated 12/08/09. This was what the site looked like then.

(previous e-mail)

This is the site on 01/17/10

And these are from yesterday 08/09/10

BMP violations exist throughout the development. Silt fences that had holes and deficiencies during the 12/08/09 inspection still exist today. Conditions have in fact grown worse.

No attempt has been made to mitigate offsite impacts or remove sediment from the receiving stream. The lake below JTV known as Whitley Lake is still filling in with every rain event due to the large amount of soil loss at JTV. The fold plane and wetlands that used to exist along Stone Creek are now covered with sediment from JTV. BMP attempts are littered throughout the Stone Creek bank covering brush piles. Large holes in the fabric and poorly placed material has been discharging sediment since it was installed. Now that it is rotted away and buried in sediment it is doing nothing at all.

A new drop inlet was installed but did not hold. It is badly underscored now and leaning. To fix it Burns filled it with concrete debris.

The sediment in the head of the lake now extends well above the surface as seen in this comparison.



Jamestown Villas has not only allowed the conditions to degrade onsite and surrounding slopes but now is also filling in land outside the permit boundaries. The two houses next to Jamestown Villas along 6th street allowed Burns to fill their land to facilitate his development with the understanding that Burns was going to culvert the stream and fill the entire valley. While I can appreciate their wanting their land filled, there was nothing in the city plan or the approved ADEM plan for such fills outside the permit boundaries. Now he has left them with the burden of repairing their newly created and unwanted slopes on their property.
(The property owners land ends where the red pole is, all to the right is off the ADEM and city permitted area and filled by Burns)

 Burns has also undertaken a landfill operation across the street from the site behind a house located there. It is rumored that he intends to fill both valleys offsite of the ADEM and city approved permitted area. Concrete debris hauled in by Burns was used along with plastic pipe to create an overflow from the new fill. These offsite fills are not permitted and need immediate attention.

Dirt piles throughout the site are not stabilized and are eroding badly. Burns has been warned before about this.

Slopes throughout the development exceed the 3:1 grade cited in the plan and by Joe Robinson, City of Tuscaloosa Engineer. These steep grades are covered in grass that died last year in many places. The grades overlooking Stone Creek were measured at 3:2+. It actually measured 26 inches rise in 36 inches, over twice the permitted slopes. They are eroding in places into badly failing BMPs that haven’t been repaired / replaced since the EPA inspection on 12/08/09. It is my belief that the slopes are too steep to ever maintain over time. The back fill was done over trees, stumps, limbs, and other degradable material making them unstable. Chad Christian, of the city erosion control department said in 09/09 that the woody debris would have to be removed. To date it remains rotting under slopes of 3:1.5 up to over 3:2.

The entire back side of the development along the Stone Creek / Whitley property corner flows into Stone Creek with no retention pond. Slopes in that area are eroding badly and flowing into the creek. Grass on these slopes is dead and sparse where it is present at all. Attempted BMPs along the Stone Creek banks are useless at this time. The tree debris was piled directly in the flood plane for Stone Creek then covered with fabric that was never secured in the ground. Silt laden water has been escaping for the entire length of the property that slopes into the creek.

All drainage from the Vassie Drive entrance flow to culverts that empty directly into Stone Creek as approved by City plan. No retention ponds are in use here. The slopes on both sides of the Vassie entrance are eroded and flowing into failing BMPs.

The overall conditions of the Jamestown Villas has not improved since the inspection or subsequent EPA Administrative Order. Burns made a half measured attempt to get the woody debris out of the creek as ordered but much of the debris was allowed to was downstream and is not in the wetland. I spoke with inspector Don Joe today and was told that Burns had submitted the necessary paperwork to EPA. Those two are the only two points in the Administrative Order that I can see have been fulfilled. We respectfully ask EPA to take more drastic measures to bring this developer into compliance at all due haste. It is obvious from the deteriorating conditions that neither the city inspectors or ADEM have been diligent in their inspections. We respectfully ask for Mr. Don Joe to return for a personal inspection.


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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave a comment. No profanity! No personal attacks please.