Author Topic: Sedimentation Control Act, DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO  (Read 1200 times)

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Offline J Hoffa

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Sedimentation Control Act, DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
« on: March 24, 2014, 07:46:22 AM »
In the spring 2014 edition of “The Township Update”, on page 6, there is a paragraph addressing erosion prevention that states “Construction projects near drainage ditches are required to install special silt fencing to prevent soil from eroding in the drainage system”.  It also notes that “If you notice that the material is damaged or missing call the township and we will notify the project owner immediately.” 

A friend of mine, taking note of the article, called Bedford Township about a lack of silt fence or any type of erosion control, and the associated amount of erosion that was occurring on a drain project by the Monroe County Drain Commissioner, Little Lake Drain.  The township did nothing except give my friend the number of the Monroe County Drain Commissioner’s office.  A far cry from “we will notify the project owner immediately”.  When my friend contacted the Drain office, he was advised that they would just clean up the mess in the spring.

The Monroe County Drain Commissioner has a project on Little Lake Drain.  On a portion of this project, between Minx Road and Erie Road, are some of the worse areas that I have ever seen relative to erosion and sediment control.  Lengths of channel have been tore up, stripped of vegetation, and left for months with no erosion protection to stabilize or control the disturbed material. As a direct result of this, there is clear evidence of undercutting of these channel banks caused by flowing water and erosion caused by surface runoff. In some areas, piles of earth sit adjacent to the stream channel with no silt fence protection.  There are other areas where it is clear that free earth has been pushed into the channel.  In addition, there are some shear vertical embankments that have been undercut by flowing water that are now falling off into the stream. 

Now, the real irony of this is that the Monroe Co. Drain Commissioner’s office is the local agency that has responsibility for enforcement of the Sediment Control Act.  That’s right, the local agency in charge of enforcement of the Sediment Control Act, on it's own project, has done little to address sediment and erosion control for certain areas of the noted reach.  In fact, some of this area looks like it could be a demonstration project to show contractors what NOT to do.

The response from the Drain Commissioner’s office that they would simply clean up the mess in the spring, grossly misses the mark.  No one else is granted that kind of irresponsible privilege.  In addition, it ignores the fact that much of the sediment load (of all the eroded material) has been carried to Lake Erie by the flow through the drain during the spring thaw and runoff.  This sediment load, along with other discharges to the lake, directly impact water quality in the near shore area.

The International Great Lakes Commission in September of 2012, amended their Water Quality Agreement to address, among other things, “Water quality and ecosystem health objectives”.   Maybe they need to see how this project is addressing water quality.



Offline PackersFan

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Re: Sedimentation Control Act, DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 01:13:27 PM »
Interesting post, Jimmy.  Thanks.

Over the years, I've had good luck by contacting the Corps of Engineers.  Don't know if this would be appropriate in this case.

Offline J Hoffa

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Re: Sedimentation Control Act, DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 08:29:06 AM »
PackersFan,

Thanks for your thoughts. 

The one thing about the Corps is that they typically don't give a rats behind about local politics and the game of one local official covering the tail of another local official. 

Offline J Hoffa

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Re: Sedimentation Control Act, DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 09:26:26 AM »
On September 27, 2012, EPA announced grants in Ohio and Michigan to improve water quality in the Great Lake. 

See link below

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/8732197CB765D95985257A8600699F13

As noted on the EPA site:

"$265,980 to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to Reduce Sediment and Nutrients Entering the Western Lake Erie Basin: The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will use this funding to increase implementation of effective conservation practices on farm fields to significantly reduce the quantity of sediment and nutrients discharged into the Western Lake Erie Basin. The project will prevent 30,400 tons of sediment, 42 tons of phosphorus and 67 tons of nitrogen from entering Lake Erie tributaries; 176 acres of wetlands will be restored".

On one hand, one government agency in our state is spending over a quarter of a million of our tax dollars to attempt to reduce sediment discharged into the Western Lake Erie Basin.  On the other hand, we have a project by a local county agency, in charge of sediment and erosion control, who's contractor has ripped up channel banks, stripped off vegetation, pushed unstabilized earthen piles to the edge of the channel and left areas unprotected, unstabilized and susceptible to both overland erosion and stream bank erosion.

It reminds me of hole digging duty in the army.  We formed a circle and I dump a shovel dug from my hole into the hole you are digging, you do the same to the next guy, etc. etc. etc. 






Offline waterboy

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Re: Sedimentation Control Act, DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 04:30:21 AM »
Went past that drain yesterday and even as I was driving by, it looked really bad!!

People in this county need to see the mess that has been made by the drain commissioner and hold him accountable.  It is truly a sad day when the enforcement agencies are the worst offenders.