Nov. 21, 2011 04:38

News Business Talk

IECA Calls for Nominations

The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) has put out a call for nominations for its 21st annual Awards of Environmental Excellence. The awards program recognizes industry professionals and organizations for their contributions to the erosion and sediment control community. Honorees may be nominated by a colleague or be self-nominated, however, they must be a member of IECA. The deadline to submit a nomination is November 11, 2011.

IECA will honor the winners during its awards program at Environmental Connection 2012 (EC12) February 26-29, 2012.

Developer Ordered to Pay For Erosion

Developer Pulte Homes was ordered by a court to fix erosion problems in Forsyth County, Georgia. They will also have to pay landowners near the development site a total of $2.5 million for the damage caused by silt and runoff.

Court documents show that the company continued work, ignoring warnings from their own consultants. Many problems went unfixed despite multiple stop work orders from the county as well.

The landowners say that they offered to settle earlier for $300,000. An attorney said losing the trial will likely cost Pulte $5 million. The judge gave Pulte 90 days to make repairs.

Pulte says they’re disappointed in the verdict, and that they plan to appeal the decision.

Watershed to Receive Grants

Environmental projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will be getting a boost in the form of $10.9 million in federal grants. The cash infusion is part of the “Chesapeake Bay Program,” an effort to reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment runoff pouring into the bay’s area.

Grant recipients will also match the amount they’re given, bringing the total allocated to the projects to a cool $27 million.

The grants will support 55 projects across the area. Grants include $400,000 to the University of Maryland to reduce their fertilizer runoff from lawns; another $600,000 will go to Water Stewardship Inc., who will use the funds to reduce nutrient pollution on Virginia farms.

Homeowner Fined for Removing Trees

Maryland’s attorney general is pressing criminal charges against a homeowner who, allegedly, illegally removed trees from a community property along the Severn River. According to the county, William E. Clark, whose property abuts the waterfront land, cleared trees without a permit and, in addition, lacked a sediment control plan. Other charges include malicious destruction of property of less than $500, and theft of less than $1,000.

According to the county’s attorney, the man went on community property and cleared trees and vegetation, doing “significant damage to the environment” by exposing sensitive shorelines. These actions were performed in a ‘critical area,’ Maryland’s designation for protected areas along the waterfront.

Clark’s first court appearance is scheduled for next month. The maximum penalties for the charges total $23,000 in fines and 47 months in jail.

Landowner Dredges Illegally

A landowner in Osage County, Missouri, has been penalized for dredging and filling without a permit, impacting roughly 1,490 feet of Baileys Creek.

Pushing gravel or sediment against the banks of a stream in an attempt to stabilize them is actually detrimental to the river’s quality. Gravel pushing destroys aquatic habitats and increases sediment in streams, thereby decreasing water quality. The damage can accumulate downstream causing increased erosion and flooding.

In settlement of the matter, in addition to paying the penalty, the man agreed to perform restoration work on the impacted site to compensate for lost stream functions.

Erosion Control Project Receives Grant

The California Tahoe Conservancy approved a $688,526 grant designed to improve Lake Tahoe’s clarity by reducing the run-off into Lake Tahoe from the Bijou Creek watershed.

The plan includes construction of a stormwater management system for the Bijou Creek and Bijou Center areas. Other improvements to the area include the replacement of a culvert leading to Lake Tahoe, and the placement of erosion control measures around the shopping center.

The conservancy’s grant is a milestone for the project. Next summer, they plan to apply for an additional $4.7 million grant from Caltrans. Other contributors are expected to include South Lake Tahoe, the U.S. Forest Service, and local private property owners.

Property owners who contribute to the funding will receive a certificate for completing Best Management Practices, and will not be required to construct their own treatment facilities.

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