Fairfax County has taken exception to the post in the Annandale Blog on Nov. 13 that described the failures of Inova’s contractors to keep sediment out of the Holmes Run watershed during the construction of the Inova Center for Personalized Health on Gallows Road.
To start, the title of the piece is an opinion, not a fact. Our inspectors have not found evidence that large amounts of silt have damaged the watershed or have been “dumped into Holmes Run for months.” The pictures are misleading as well, like the first picture, which is captioned “Sediment from the Inova construction site is flowing into streams.” There are two issues with this caption:
The following response was submitted by Anne Cissel, public information officer at Land Development Services/Fairfax First:
Fairfax County Land Development Services takes its role as stewards of land development codes and regulations very seriously. We would like to offer a more complete picture of the erosion and sediment control issues that have occurred at the Inova site, which you discuss in your recent blog post, “Sediment from Inova project is damaging the watershed.”
- If the picture had been taken a bit further back, it would have captured several “check dams,” which are erosion and sediment controls that further filter the water coming off the site.
- You cannot judge whether water is sediment-heavy by its color. Erosion and sediment controls are not meant to produce crystal clear water.
Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality has been involved at every step of our efforts to improve the erosion and sediment controls on this site, and they are satisfied that the property owner has responded appropriately and quickly to the complaints. The developer has completed the requested improvements, including removing the silt build up, installing berms and additional silt fences, and stabilizing the area over the outfall pipe. They are in compliance with state regulations at this time.
Our area has received a record amount of rain this year – by Oct. 31, we already received more than 10 inches above the average yearly rainfall. The volume of water – and the lack of time to remedy problems in between events – has challenged many of the over 1,500 active construction sites in Fairfax County. On this particular site, the rain events have delayed the installation of sod, which would stabilize the site further.
The county is continuing to work diligently with the developer of the site and the civic groups that have raised concerns about the erosion and sediment controls. Your blog seeks to educate our community about the potential impacts of local development. In the future, please contact us before publishing so that your audience can benefit from hearing the county’s perspective on the issue.