Since flooding in Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest last year, the TCEQ has completed half a dozen investigations of Woodridge Village with more in the works. Woodridge Village is the troubled Perry Homes development where contractors clearcut 268 acres while installing less than 25% of the required detention capacity.
The TCEQ has repeatedly charged Perry contractors and subsidiaries with stormwater pollution violations and unauthorized discharge of sediment. Below are results of six investigations that led to a total of 13 citations. Together the 449 pages of these investigations indicate a lax attitude toward regulations, repeated failures to comply, poor coordination among vendors, and lack of awareness of responsibilities.
Investigation 1571093 of Figure Four Partners in June 2019
On June 17 and 18, 2019, TCEQ investigators cited Figure Four Partners, LTD for “failure to prevent the unauthorized discharge of sediment-laden water from the construction site which could contribute to pollution in waters of the state of Texas.” (See Investigation 1571093 and attachments.)
Investigators found Figure Four failed to implement and maintain best management practices. They tracked the illegal discharge 2.5 miles down Taylor Gully. Where the stream entered woods, lack of access prevented tracking the discharge further.
TCEQ ordered the operator to install adequate sediment controls to minimize discharges from the site.
Investigation 1579654 of Rebel Contractors in June 2019
This was an investigation of Rebel Contractors, which had responsibility for the southern 80 acres of the site.
The TCEQ report starts by noting that two previous complaints about Rebel Contractors had been referred to Montgomery County for investigation.
In this investigation, TCEQ collected water samples upstream and adjacent to the development that were not impacted. They also collected samples above the outfall from the development and downstream of it that were.
They found that total suspended solids (TSS) in the non-impacted samples ranged from 29 to 45 milligrams/liter. The impacted samples, however, ranged from 245 to 620 milligrams per liter.
Investigators also looked at total dissolved solids (TDS). Non-impacted samples ranged from 128 to 158 milligrams per liter. Impacted samples ranged from 2053 to 2804 milligrams per liter.
Water from and below the site had significantly higher TSS and TDS.
Investigators allege Rebel failed to implement and maintain effective Best Management Practices. They cited Rebel for “failure to prevent the unauthorized discharge of sediment-laden water from the construction site which could contribute to pollution in waters of the state of Texas.” They also cited Rebel for failure to prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. It took Rebel six weeks to prepare and submit the plan to the TCEQ.
Investigation 1604733 of Figure Four Partners in October 2019
On October 25, 2019, investigators returned to the site and found Figure Four had violations similar to June. They ordered Figure Four, once again, to install adequate sediment controls that minimized discharges from the site. (See Investigation 1604733 and attachments.) They ordered Figure Four to install adequate controls that reduced discharges.
Investigation 1579655 of Double Oak Construction in June 2019
Double Oak Construction is responsible for clearing and grubbing on the Woodridge site. In June, TCEQ conducted an investigation during which they collected the previously mentioned water samples. They cited Double Oak for failure to prevent unauthorized discharges of sediment-laden water and failure to prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan.
They also found that Double Oak could not identify where discharges went. They thought it was Galveston Bay.
By the end of August last year, Double Oak still had not submitted a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan.
Investigation 1604738 of Rebel Contractors in October 2019
Second verse same as the first. Investigators found elevated levels of suspended and dissolves solids from the site relative to non-impacted areas. TCEQ alleges Rebel failed to implement and maintain Best Management Practices. They also allege discharge of pollutants, i.e., sediment-laden stormwater and failure to post a construction permit.
TCEQ ordered Rebel to control discharges and post a permit. It took Rebel 7 weeks to post the permit.
Investigation 1604741 of D&J Construction in October 2019
TCEQ cited D&J for failure to prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and failure to include required information on their construction site notice.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/1/2020
886 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 135 since 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.