Demand WVDEP Take Action on Stormwater Violations at NJES

Demand WVDEP Take Action on Stormwater Violations at NJES

Permit #WVR109150 is the Stormwater Construction Permit for the Jefferson Utility, Inc (JUI) waterline being partly constructed on North Jefferson Elementary School (NJES) property in Jefferson County, WV.

For many months, beginning in November 2018, the appearance of a large sinkhole on the side of the parent drop-off parking lot at NJES has concerned parents and the community. It seems that the sinkhole may not have been properly remediated.

Over the summer months, water began to pool in this same area. With the start of school at NJES on 8/19/2019, many parents and neighbors were concerned that the pooled water had dramatically increased in size and depth. With no fences around this dangerous pool, many are concerned for children’s safety and the potential for groundwater contamination.

On Wednesday, 8/28/2019, RAD submitted an electronic violation complaint to WVDEP’s Environmental Enforcement Division and followed it up with a detailed letter and photographic evidence. The Jefferson County Board of Education and the Principal of NJES were also alerted to the violation complaint.

No construction project should put the public at risk from harm, especially children on school property. Now is the time to apply pressure! Please support the 5 actions RAD demands of WVDEP by signing the Petition. The petition and the collected signatures will be sent to WVDEP demonstrate the community’s knowledge and interest in this important issue! We Demand Action!

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ACTION PROGRESS:

8/28/2019 – RAD submits a stormwater violation complaint and sends a letter to WVDEP regarding Stormwater Permit #WVR109150. Learn more about the specifics of this issue by reading the full text of RAD’s Letter and Photographic Evidence of #WVR109150 Violations.

8/28/2019 – WVDEP responds: “I wanted to provide you an initial reply and then will respond in greater detail once I have an opportunity to fully review the content of your email. One of our Construction Stormwater Environmental Inspectors took an updated look at the site this afternoon to assess onsite conditions in response to your complaint. Once the inspector has an opportunity to write a report of his observations, we will provide a copy of that report to you.”

8/30/2019 – Further deterioration is noted at NJES. RAD requests an update from WVDEP, noting that conditions have worsened and no report had yet been filed.

9/2/2019 – RAD calls on the public to apply additional pressure the WVDEP by signing the petition!

9/2/2019 – We reached our goal of 75 signers in only 4 hours! Let’s see if we can’t double it, new goal 150!

9/3/2019 – Petition collects over 200 signatures in 24 hours!

9/3/2019 –  RAD re-contacts WVDEP with new photos and requests an update on the inspection report status. RAD contacts the Jefferson County Department of Health regarding potentially connected water issues in the school yard. WVDEP provides RAD with the Inspection Report.

9/4/2019 – RAD files a  Complaint with the Jefferson County WV Health Department.

9/6/2019Read the Update Here

Stormwater Violations at North Jefferson Elementary School

Dear Assistant Chief Inspector Wright,

We are concerned about violations occurring in regard to Reissued NPDES/State Storm Water Construction Permit #WVR109150 (Jefferson Utility Inc, (JUI) Waterline, Tank, Booster, and Altitude Valve). The violations are occurring along the JUI easement at North Jefferson Elementary School (NJES), 6996 Charles Town Road, Kearneysville, WV 25430 (Photo 1). The violations were reported using the Environmental Enforcement Internet Complaint Form on August 28, 2019 at 1:55 pm.

We demand that WVDEP take the following actions:

1) The WVDEP must inspect and report on the status of the violations occurring at NJES, and compel JUI and/or the other consultants and contractors noted on permit #WVR109150 (Thrasher Engineering, Snyder Environmental Services, Inc. and Mid Atlantic Storage Systems, Inc.) to properly remediate the area.

2) WVDEP must confirm that the area has been remediated properly with a post-remediation inspection and report. This inspection and report must be made available to the public in order to reassure parents and the community that the construction work being performed so close to the school is safe.

3) WVDEP must review this permit’s Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), Ground Water Pollution Prevention Plan (GWPPP) and Karst Mitigation Plan for adequacy to protect our WV rivers, streams, and groundwater.

4) We urge WVDEP to consider other actions, such as increased inspection frequency and reporting.

5) We request that WVDEP provide a completion report on the sinkhole identified at NJES. It is very concerning, as the sinkhole appears to coincide with the exact location where water is ponding along the easement.

We submit this violation complaint out of concern for the students attending NJES. The water-logged area is not secured with a fence or other structure to prevent children from entering this dangerous area, and it was noted by photographers that the ground near the water was soft and unstable. The school year at NJES began on Monday, August 19, 2019, and this water issue was noted by a number of parents during the first week of school as this water pooling area is clearly visible from the parent drop-off area. We have also been informed that the grass area to the left of the parent drop-off area is used by the school during fire drills and emergencies. In its current state, students would not be able to safely evacuate the school without risking students potentially entering the water or coming into contact with it.

No construction project should put the general public at risk from harm. WVDEP’s permitting regulations seek to minimize these risks by requiring construction sites to conform to standards. We ask you to hold JUI and the other companies associated with this work site to those standards, especially when they are operating in close proximity to children.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to hearing how the WVDEP plans to proceed in light of these violations.

**your signature**

288 signatures = 115% of goal
0
250

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Latest Signatures
288 Ms Catherine B. Sep 16, 2019
287 Ms Janis S. Sep 08, 2019
286 Mrs Alana F. Sep 07, 2019
285 Dr. Paxton M. Sep 07, 2019
284 Ms Deana M. Sep 07, 2019
283 Ms Nihan D. Sep 07, 2019
282 Ms Craig S. Sep 05, 2019
281 Ms Danielle H. Sep 05, 2019
280 Ms Jenifer S. Sep 05, 2019
279 Ms Bertha W. Sep 05, 2019

There are 2 comments

  1. Wilson H White III
    September 3, 2019

    This problem must be addressed immediately. I would not be surprised if the construction across the road contributed to this.

  2. Rebecca Phipps
    September 3, 2019

    VW DEP, give the people an honest assessment. Think of the children.

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