Friday, January 12, 2007

Parole Site Pollutes Church Creek...Again

Today's Capital reports that the the Parole Towne Center is once again the source of serious sediment loading into Church Creek, a tributary of the South River.

While pumping out a sediment control pond, a contractor on the site failed to use the proper filtration devices to prevent muddy water from leaving the project area. While the "de-watering" operation was halted as soon as the South Riverkeeper gave County inspectors notification that the violation was occuring, the contractor, Reliable, was given a $500 fine, a slap on the wrist.

Both Greenberg-Gibbons, the developer, and Reliable, the contractor claim not to be responsible. Greenberg-Gibbons' Senior Vice President Kim Potember claimed, "We did not see what the county saw. We did not see the overflow ... We don't agree with the reason the fine was levied."

Perhaps they didn't see it because they don't have their own environmental inspector on site monitoring such activities.

Reliable President, Jay Baldwin was in similar disbelief: "We are not sure the county has all the facts. We treated the pond that was being drained. Our guys were watching the operation and the water was not going over the bio-filter. No water was going into that outfall."

This has only happened 3 or 5 times before. Surely it's a case of mistaken identity.

The developers are touting this leaky site as "state-of-the-art," the County is promising to crack down on environmental offenders (and levying piddling fines), and the Riverkeepers are doing the job of County inspectors. There are many things wrong with this picture. John Leopold is currently the only person in the County with the capacity to correct all three.

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