In response to complaints filed on October 23, 2019, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Houston Region Office issued a Notice of Violation to the developers of Woodridge Village. Figure Four Partners, LTD, a Perry Homes subsidiary, owns Woodridge Village, which contributed to the flooding of Elm Grove Village and North Kingwood Forest in May and September of 2019.
History of Uncorrected Violations by Perry Homes
The TCEQ originally investigated Woodridge Village in response to complaints filed after the May 7, 2019, flood. At that time, the Commission found that Perry Homes, et. al., had failed to implement and maintain effective Best Management Practices. They found that sediment-laden discharges had affected at least 2.5 miles of Taylor Gully. TCEQ sent that violation to its enforcement division.
Findings of a second investigation released today indicate that the violations continued after the first investigation.
Page 5 of the report states that pollution prevention measures implemented after the first investigation “did not appear sufficient to prevent sediment-laden discharge…”
The investigator observed tainted discharge 2.5 miles down Taylor Gully to the point where it disappears into woods and then joins White Oak Creek, Caney Creek, the East Fork, and Lake Houston. Said another way, the discharge appears to be polluting waters of the State of Texas and the drinking water for 2 million people.
Investigations, such as the TCEQ’s, represent a snapshot in time. The investigator in this case visited the site on October 25, 2019. Unfortunately, observations by local residents indicate that the sediment-laden discharge continues.
TCEQ Requiring Structural Controls for Sediment
TCEQ is requiring Perry Homes, its subsidiaries and contractors to install sediment controls on all areas under their operational control at Woodridge. “There must be adequate structural controls to minimize sediment discharges from the site,” says the TCEQ in “Recommended Corrective Action” on page 7 of the 77 page report.
Perry Contractors Also Investigated
The release of findings today indicates that four Perry contractors at this site were also investigated by the TCEQ: D&J Construction Inc., Rebel Contractors Inc, Texassite LLC, and Double Oak Construction Inc.
No New Structural Controls Appear To Be In Place Yet
No additional structural controls appear to have been installed since the last investigation on October 25th. Sediment-laden runoff from the area of wetlands on the northern section of property continues unabated, although grass planted in other areas may be helping slightly.
Unfortunately, grass planted last summer has been destroyed by new construction activity around the southern detention ponds – the area of highest concern, where water from the site enters Taylor Gully through the double culvert seen in the picture below.
What Next for Troubled Perry Homes and Woodridge Village?
A story in the Houston Chronicle earlier this week reported that Perry Homes was seeking a bailout for this “floodplain property” from Harris County, Montgomery County and the City of Houston. Harris County commissioners reportedly considered the proposition in executive session on Tuesday this week. However, no decision or action has yet been announced. It should also be noted that Perry Homes’ engineering company, LJA, denies a floodplain even exists on this property.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/30/2020
884 Days After Hurricane Harvey 133 After Imelda
The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.