Here is a chronology of some of the pollution discharge events we have had at Quiet Waters Park, due to the failure of the contrator, Reliable Contracting Inc, to follow our environmental regulations, and also due to a failure of the City's enforcement arm (Department of Public Works) to do effective enforcement to achieve compliance. Besides the environmental impacts, they have also failed to comply with our traffic control (dangerous to residents), noise restrictions (impacts residents), work hour restrictions (residents kept up at night), and pavement standards (danger to cars).
This is a DEFCON 1 situation environmentally. We have laws to prevent sediment pollution for a reason. It contributes to the creation of dead zones (areas devoid of all oxygen and life) in our waterways, toxic algal blooms, and flesh-eating bacteria. I'm an environmental scientist. I know very well the impacts this pollution causes; hence my sense of outrage. And now we have our most sacred public park that has been impacted.
Before Reliable's pollution (this is what clean water in the park should look like):
February 28, 2011
Illegal pollution of Quiet Waters Park
January 17, 2022
October 26, 2021
September 30, 2021
September 12, 2020
This is caused by...
On day 1, the contractor failed to install proper sediment control measures
Reliable is making a joke of our City/State environmental regulations.
This inlet protection is in no way compliant with our laws and standards:
Nor is this silt fence protection (yes, you see that right. Sticks are being used to prop up the silt fence)
Failure to properly stabilize their construction entrance
Failure to stabilize their heavy use areas
Older picture but shows how they have and continue to leave large areas improperly stabilized.
Should be little to no mud/bare soil visible
Failure to install/maintain proper silt fence
Improperly maintained sediment traps
They can't be this full of water and sediment and must be cleaned out.
Where is the City's enforcement agency?
Unfortunately they are not only asleep at the wheel they have crashed the car. These violations have continued repeatedly for the past two years. Often time the City has not even caught these problems as they have lax standards themselves that do not comply with what we have written/required in our code and the MDE standards and specifications.
Reliable has ignored and missed the deadlines given by the City. The City has also given them deadlines that are 5-7 days out, when the law requires they need to fix these things every single day. Not tomorrow, not next week. But today. Yet the Department has continued for years to give these long "comply by" dates, even after ordered to do otherwise by the Deputy City Manager.
They also have failed to do any kind of effective escalation of enforcement. When I essentially ran the City's sediment control enforcement for 6-7 years over a decade ago, I used to issue at least 1-2 dozen stop work orders a year. Now the City is lucky to issue one a year. There is no sense of urgency from staff and so can we be surprised there is no urgency from the contractor?
The permit clearly needs to be suspended, if not revoked, and reset pending a transparent review of their permit/project with public comment.
As you will see, the issues extend well beyond environmental woes. This contractor has been flouting many of our laws and permit/plan requirements.
Examples of what our neighbors have to endure, besides just environmental woes
Improperly surfaced roadways. Would you want to drive down this?
Can you believe this is a City street we are expected to drive down?
Blocking traffic -in violation of our code and plans
No traffic control - danger to residents
City Code requirements
Purpose of the sediment control law
(which the City is not utilizing to it's fullest extent)
City needs to revoke or suspend the permit. Clearly this is a repeat violator who has a complete disregard for our laws and our environment
What can you do?
On January 24th, at 7pm, I will be introducing an emergency Resolution, R-7-22 "An Emergency Declaration Concerning Pollution Discharges" - For the purpose of declaring that any amount of pollution, including but not limited to, sediment, muddy water, cloudy water, turbid water, that is discharged from a construction site is unacceptable and clearly prohibited under the Annapolis City Code and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) sediment and erosion control standards and regulations; and affirming the imposition of stricter enforcement for violations of the City Code and the MDE sediment and erosion control standards and regulations.
I need your help to get this passed. Please contact the Mayor and your Alderperson. Our meetings are virtual now so you can easily provide testimony in support this Monday night at 7pm. Just fill out this form and check the box for live testimony.