|Posted by Michael Brooks on October 3, 2021 at 12:40 AM||comments (429)|
This is the press release, published by the Morgan Messenger in their Sep 29, 2021 edition
The construction of the US Route Bypass involves major earth disturbances and the removal of 300 acres of trees. Warm Springs Watershed Association (WSWA) and WV Rivers Coalition (WV Rivers) have partnered to monitor potential construction impacts on Warm Springs Run.
State regulations require construction projects to control erosion with silt fences and sediment ponds. Erosion control failures can result in increased runoff and sediment deposits in the stream. Increased runoff and sedimentation in the stream have the potential to erode stream banks, harm aquatic life, and exacerbate flooding issues downstream.
WV Rivers, in partnership with Trout Unlimited, developed a program with funding from the WV Department of Environmental Protection to train citizens to monitor large-scale construction activities. This new partnership will provide WSWA with the tools, equipment, and training needed to monitor construction activities and potential water quality impacts. “Our citizen monitoring program equips residents with the knowledge and tools they need to help protect the stream they care about,” says Autumn Crowe, Staff Scientist and Interim Program Director for WV Rivers.
The monitoring program will include training on the use of WV Stream Watch, an app to help WSWA volunteers report erosion control problems. WV Rivers relays information submitted through the app to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. “In the past, there has been little or late follow-up to reports individuals have made about violations,” said WSWA President Kate Lehman. “We welcome assistance from a larger organization in reporting what we observe.”
WSWA supports the construction of the bypass, but strives to insure that the erosion control measures mandated by the WVDEP are properly installed and maintained to prevent damage to the Run.
|Posted by Michael Brooks on March 10, 2021 at 1:25 PM||comments (255)|
West Virginia transportation officials have unveiled several options to improve travel and safety along WV-9 between Berkeley Springs and Martinsburg, with particular emphasis on high-congestion areas around Hedgesville.
Residents can take an online survey about their preferences for different WV-9 improvement options. That survey is found at http://metroquestsurvey.com/eq2n2y and can be found linked off the DOH project website.
"This is likely decades in the future, but the state of West Virginia Highway department has aired plans for a rerouted Route 9 between Berkeley Springs and Berkeley County. All proposed routes would have impact on the Warm Springs Run."
"LuAnn May, Project Manager for Michael Baker International, said Morgan County has “many natural resources” to take into consideration when planning upgrades to WV-9. She said Warm Springs Run and Sleepy Creek Watersheds are on planners’ radar, along with Morgan County Farmland Protection parcels, Spruce Pine Hollow Park and the Tuscarora Trail, which runs through the area. All proposed improvements to WV-9 avoid Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area."
|Posted by Michael Brooks on February 25, 2021 at 4:55 PM||comments (93)|
About the 522 Bypass review request:
Dear Senator Manchin:
The Warm Springs Watershed Association requests your help in urging the Department of Environmental Protection to hold a public hearing in Berkeley Springs so residents can address issues of concern regarding plans for the 522 bypass.
The Association is not opposed to the construction of the 522 bypass; however, the four-lane highway will pass through a long, narrow watershed with an already large amount of impervious surface area that is increasingly prone to flash flooding. The proposed project adds 36 more acres of impervious road and hard shoulder, which will increase the volume and velocity of runoff.
The Association is concerned about apparent inaccuracies included in the permit. Specifically, it states that sediment basins controlling over 500 acres will be installed in the watershed to capture runoff; however, incorrect land cover and soil characteristics are used to calculate sediment basin capacity. About 90% of the area is comprised of very shallow, fragile soils. Not only will increased erosion be a factor, it will be difficult to re-establish vegetation in these soils. As a result, the proposed flood control basins will be inadequate for handling the amount of runoff they are designed to capture. Further, there is no discussion of long-term maintenance of these basins.
Mitigation of stream and wetland impacts is mandated in the permit; however, there is no information what these mitigations might be or where they might be located.
We have already brought our concerns to the following department:
Division of Water and Management, DEP
Sharon Mullins, Permitting Section
Application No. WVR110602
Since there was no response, we have also reached out to the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District and the Morgan County Commission to address these concerns.
Your attention to this matter, and any help you can give is greatly appreciated.
Kate Lehman, President
|Posted by Michael Brooks on September 24, 2020 at 11:25 AM||comments (226)|
This is the text of a letter to WV DEP requesting a public hearing in Berkeley Springs about the 522 ByPass.
Director, Division of Water and Management, DEP
ATTN: Sharon Mullins, Permitting Section
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304-2345
Re: Application No. WVR110602
Berkeley Springs Bypass Construction
We are writing to request that a public hearing be held in Berkeley Springs regarding the NPDES permit application by WVDOH to construct a bypass in the Warm Springs Run watershed. The Warm Springs Watershed Association has been active in the Berkeley Springs community since 2008. We annually monitor and report to WVDEP the water quality of Warm Springs Run, have commissioned a number of watershed assessments, and have installed numerous best management practices and demonstration projects in the watershed that will be affected by the proposed activity. A few of our concerns raised by the WVDOH NPDES application include:
The construction disturbs a significant amount of land, impacts 14,650 feet of stream and 14.8 acres of floodplain. This amount of disturbance in a watershed already subject to flash flooding requires additional information not found in the permit application.
The application places the burden on the successful low bidder to the project to interpret the necessary protections to streams and wetlands in the area. This seems deficient and an abdication of necessary guidance.
Over 89% of the area is comprised of Weikert or Weikert -Berks Soils, with highly erodible fine and usually with less than 18 to bedrock. The soil has severe limitations for construction of embankments and ability to establish vegetation.
The calculations used for sizing sediment basins uses a woods/grass combination in good or fair condition and a Hydrologic Soil Group B infiltration as the basis for sizing all basins. The soil is Hydrologic Group D, and there are many areas that would be considered poor cover due to the documented depletion of top soil and organic matter.
The watershed hydrology is increasingly subject to flash flooding resulting from lower amounts of rain than previously caused such events. It is a narrow watershed with a large amount of impervious area. The addition of a number of sediment basins have altered the time of concentration and appear to increase the number of out of bank occurrences resulting in increased flood damage. Adding additional basins without improving infiltration of collected runoff will exacerbate flooding for the community.
Forested areas and urban tree canopy are important flood control methods for the community. The removal of over 100 acres of trees and conversion to impervious area will alter the stream conditions.
The opportunity to discuss mitigation was not afforded to the community because the WVDOH completed a renewal of a 20 year old Environmental Impact Statement. As a result residents are in the dark as to what, if any, mitigation will be done to offset the negative environmental effects of construction. We are concerned that issues that have been raised during public meetings have gone unheeded by WVDOH. The minimal thought and process in this NPDES application seems to verify that.
We are requesting that a public hearing be held in Berkeley Springs to provide the opportunity to provide more detailed information regarding our concerns and afford the community residents more time to discuss mitigation needed as a result of this project.
Katherine Lehman, President
Post Office Box 757
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
|Posted by Michael Brooks on November 15, 2019 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
Our Watershed Association, the Sleepy Creek Watershed Association and the Friends of the Cacapon River are hosting a year-end gathering at Angus and Ale beginning at 6pm with buffet dinner served at 6:30. There will be door prizes.
Come on down, meet old friends and make some new ones while we talk about accomplishments and plans. The cost is $20 per person.
You can register and pay on the Sleepy Creek website ( https://sleepycreekwatershed.org/3watershedceleration/) or you may call Susan Jones to RSVP. She can be reached at [email protected] and at 304-258-6122. Mail payments to to SCWA, PO Box 991, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.
Angus and Ale is located at 146 Southridge Dr, Berkeley Springs.
Hope to see you there.
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