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Below are links to examples of problems that occur when rules are not enforced consistently (arranged by watershed, click on name for information):
Occoquan Reservoir Watershed

Occoquan River Watershed

Occoquan Road & Old Bridge Road
Neabsco Creek Watershed
Quantico Creek Watershed

Possum Point Road

Stonewall Manor
Report Violations

Unaddressed Violations Damage Waterways and Send the Wrong Message to Citizens, Developers and Neighboring Localities

In the July 24 2005 Washington Post article Residents Face Environmental Restrictions, Prince William County Watershed Management Chief Wade Hugh said that “the numbers of violations were not immediately available, but ‘it's safe to say that we are seeing an increasing trend.'”

This is alarming news, given the current abundance of known violations in Prince William. A sampling of these unaddressed problems is presented on this webpage. Links to this and additional information are posted on the left menu bar.

These examples include a range of environmental violations that were identified by the County beginning on January 7 2002 and remain unresolved as of spring 2007.

Cardinal Ridge Court

Coles District - Occoquan Reservoir Watershed
This site was largely devastated by excessive clearing and grading activities. A “debris landfill” measuring about 25 feet wide by 200+ feet long by 35-feet deep was constructed. A work road traveled through the protected shoreline and gave trucks access to the area for dumping soils that filled in the natural drainage areas. The protected shoreline was cleared, silt fences are absent or in poor repair and occasionally completely submerged.

No County permits were approved, so there is no information on what was being constructed at this 18-acre site.The problems were first identified on January 7, 2002 and remain unresolved as of spring 2007.

River Heights Lane

Coles District – Occoquan Reservoir Watershed
Homeowner illlegally extended property into the protected Occoquan Reservoir (source of the region's drinking water.) The owner first constructed a cement wall/bulkhead in the Occoquan Reservoir parallel to his property. Trees from the protected shoreline were cleared and placed behind the bulkhead in the reservoir to stabilize soil that was used to fill in the portion of the reservoir behind the bulkhead, effectively expanding the homeowner's property into the Occoquan Reservoir, your drinking water supply. The violations were first identified by the County in August 2003 and remain unresolved as of spring 2007.

River Heights Lane River Heights Lane

Charmed Court

Coles District – Occoquan Reservoir Watershed
This small development was built on steep slopes and erodible soils, and included a main road that was built on top of an intermittant stream. Uncontrolled stormwater quickly caused slope failures and residents were concerned about the high groundwater levels. Although the developer was still responsible, the County had approved the stormwater plan and was reluctant to require the needed improvements: there is virtually no stormwater management at this site.

Souza Lane

Brentsville District – Occoquan Reservoir Watershed
These photos demonstrate how difficult it can be to revegetate some areas after they are completely cleared. Although some landowners are reluctant to honor Prince William's Chesapeake Bay commitments, many hope that this could change if people understood how buffers prevent pollution could be. The violations were first identified by the County in October 2003 and have been only partially resolved in spring 2007.

Souza Lane Souza Lane

South Market

Brentsville District – Occoquan Reservoir Watershed
Rules can be difficult to enforce when clearing and grading activities are allowed before the development plan is finalized. Although the developer does not have an approved site plan or wetland permits, Prince William approved an "early grading plan" to allow road construction to begin at South Market. However, the Army Corps of Engineers and Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality, regulating agencies for wetland permits, are now asking the developer to lose or relocate 73 residential lots, which opens questions about the location of these roads. In addition, Prince William regulations that protect waterways from erosion and other pollutants were not followed. These problems are being addressed only after citizen complaints were filed with state agencies. Click here for more information about South Market.

2004-05 Spriggs Road Widening

Coles and Dumfries Districts –Powell's Creek Watershed
Prince William's Spriggs Road construction project consistently violated the County's rules that protect waterways from erosion and other pollutants. Severe and recurring violations required generated citizen complaints to state agencies. Although the problems were never fully addressed, mitigation needs were not considered. These violations are especially concerning when one considers the significant number of new roads funded by local road bonds and slated for construction by Prince William County.

2004-05 Spriggs Road Widening 2004-05 Spriggs Road Widening 2004-05 Spriggs Road Widening

Occoquan and Old Bridge Road

Occoquan District - Occoquan River Watershed
Clearing and grading at this site, zoned for residential development, occurred without permits or an approved plan. No environmental controls were used to protect the headwaters of the Occoquan River tributary on the northern border of this parcel. The existing house was partially de-constructed. Large trucks carrying automobiles were frequently observed, along with the used cars that were parked at this site. The violations were first identified by the County in November 2005 and are still unresolved in spring 2007.

Wentworth Green

Brentsville District – Occoquan Reservoir Watershed
At the same time a development applicaton for this property was moving through the rezoning process during spring 2005, unpermitted construction activities at this site included the filling in of a wetland without required environmental controls. Although County staff walks this and other properties as part of the rezoning process, the problems were not addressed until citizen complaints were filed with state agencies.

Wentworth Green Wentworth Green Wentworth Green

Lake Terrapin

Dumfries District – Powell's Creek Watershed
The county allowed the Lake Terrapin development project to use Lake Terrapin's 30 year old stormwater infrastructure to trap erosion and manage stormwater generated by new impervious surfaces. The lake breached twice in August 2004 and the lake emptied into Powell's Creek, where damages were evident for a considerable distance. Repairs were funded by Prince William County taxpayers because the County had released the developers bond, although construction was still ongoing at the time of the breach. Click here for more information about Lake Terrapin.

Government Town Center Regional Pond

Coles and Neabsco Districts – Neabsco Creek Watershed
The large pond constructed to manage stormwater from the high density Government Town Center project, connects to two 72-inch diameter pipes that discharge water into a stream that flows to the headwaters of Neabsco Creek. The water flowing over the dam enters a spillway, which is supposed to include structures to control the flow of water into the pipes. However, these controls were absent from this particular spillway in April 2005, allowing water to flow unchecked into the pipes and on to Neabsco Creek.

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