Park Authority cannot protect environmental resources at Hellwig Park

Two months ago we wrote an article and posted photos showing how the Park Authority is protecting environmental resources at Hellwig Park…  which is to say, not at all. You can see this for yourself in the video above, which was filmed by a neighboring landowner yesterday.

Two months ago we also filed complaints with the County, the state agency that oversees stormwater issues (DCR) and the VA Dept. of Environmental Quality. All three agencies found violations and the Park Authority received a list of action items needed to fix the problems.

To date, the Park Authority has failed to address the problems and uncontrolled stormwater runoff continues to damage wetlands, woods and ponds on both Park Authority land and neighboring properties.

Despite all this, the Park Authority is moving forward with a proposal to build an unnecessary new road in this same area – right between the wetlands their poor development practices are currently damaging. The Planning Commission voted to deny the proposal but the Park Authority filed an appeal with the BOCS. Supervisors are scheduled to vote on this on September 14.

Should County construction projects be held to the same standard as developers and other private property owners? And, given the Park Authority’s consistent poor stewardship, can we rely on them to protect publicly-owned environmental resources? Should the BOCS transfer County-owned natural areas to an agency that has the expertise to protect publicly owned environmental resources?

Email BOCS@pwcgov.org to share your views with Supervisors today.

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3 comments so far

  1. Al Alborn on

    Should County construction projects be held to the same standard as developers and other private property owners? Yes.

    And, given the Park Authority’s consistent poor stewardship, can we rely on them to protect publicly-owned environmental resources? No.

    Should the BOCS transfer County-owned natural areas to an agency that has the expertise to protect publicly owned environmental resources? No.

    Have you considered asking the States Attorney General to enforce the law? http://www.deq.virginia.gov/enforcement/criminal.html It’s h is responsibility (if it is reported as a crime) and he might appreciate picking up a few points with environmentalists (such as myself). The RESOURCE GUIDE FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES (on the same website) is also a handbook on how to proceed. (From the RESOURCE GUIDE… These crimes typically involve the intentional, knowing, reckless, or criminally negligent violation of environmental laws and regulations.)

    I am under the impression that any citizen may report violations to their local VA DEQ Regional office. Perhaps a number of citizen reports with copies to their respective Delegates (my Delegate, Scott Lingamfelter, is up for mid-term re-election so he might just “listen” to lots of constituents. Just a few votes decide the winner in mid-term elections). We are fortunate that the Northern Regional Office is in Woodbridge http://www.deq.state.va.us/regions/northern.html

    Good reporting, by the way…

  2. Al Alborn on

    Correction…

    Should the BOCS transfer County-owned natural areas to an agency that has the expertise to protect publicly owned environmental resources? Yes (changed from no, above). Feel free to edit the previous post for me to avoid confusion.

  3. […] capable stewards of environmental resources. Considering the extensive impacts documented at both Hellwig Park and Sudley/Catharpin Park, this is similar to claims that Enron is a good […]


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