Editor: Both the 2020-21 soil tests for bioavailable phosphorus and nitrogen, such as performed at Donaldson Run Tributary B by a local scientist, and the city of Alexandria’s recent soil tests for total phosphorus and total nitrogen at three small, headwater streams like Donaldson Run, prove that the Chesapeake Bay Program’s default metric from rich farm soils in Pennsylvania that was used incongruently as the supporting basis for Arlington’s controversial stream-construction projects revealed exactly why the default metric is inapplicable and why the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing stream construction projects throughout the commonwealth, has disallowed default calculations for phosphorus to be used in pollution-reduction crediting since late 2019.
Since then, Virginia requires all stream-construction projects to use sediment and phosphorus calculations based on actual soil samples collected in-stream locally.
No doubt, county staff and consultants have known this all along, especially as some sit on advisory groups to the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Expert Panel.
Needlessly constructing these projects in light of the aforementioned tests and DEQ disallowing default calculations for pollution-reduction crediting constitutes defrauding/abusing state taxpayers, DEQ’s Stormwater Local Assistance Fund and local taxpayers.
The fact that stormwater-management staff were actively propagandizing these projects well after 2019 (to the present day, in some cases) speaks volumes to their lack of honesty, transparency and professionalism in this regard, not to mention an air of disdain for critics of the projects.
Rod Simmons, Arlington