Petition to ensure Old Town Alexandria's air is safe
This petition had 46 supporters
Don’t let Alexandria become Flint, Michigan on the Potomac…
You, your children, your pets and any visitors to Old Town may be in harms way without your or their knowledge if you live in or visit the vicinity of the Robinson Terminal South (RTS) demolition project. The RTS site has a long history as an industrial site proven to have harmful compounds in the ground. These compounds can be released into the air with the ongoing demolition, excavation and other development activities that can produce unacceptable levels of AIRBORNE EMISSIONS, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which have short- and long-term adverse health effects. The EPA has established air-monitoring protocols to warn people when VOCs are present at an unacceptable level so precautions can be taken to protect vulnerable citizens.
On April 18, 2015 the City Council approved the Development Special Use Permit #2014-0006 for the Robinson Terminal South project. Paragraph VIII. 122 (d) of that DSUP states the applicant (EYA) will:
“Submit a Health and Safety Plan indicating measures to be taken during remediation and/or construction activities to minimize the potential risks to workers, the neighborhood, and the environment…”
EYA’s Health and Safety Plan, dated November 20, 2015 is very generic concentrating only on worker safety on the job site with absolutely no provisions for monitoring health and safety impacts to the community or our neighborhoods. The DSUP specifically requires that the plan minimize the potential risks to workers, the neighborhood, and the environment.
The issues surrounding EYA's air monitoring protocol are serious. EYA has been allowed by the city to conduct demolition operations WITHOUT monitoring the air quality off-site in the surrounding neighborhoods. They have installed some air monitors on site but have admitted to “moving them around.” It is NOT acceptable EPA practice to change the location of site perimeter monitors that record pollution leaving the site.
More importantly, there are no off-site monitors posted where we live. Off-site monitors are required at key locations in the surrounding neighborhoods...the "human receptors" (you, your children, your pets, our visitors) must be the primary concern... EYA has focused on the workmen...there are NO provisions in their current Health and Safety Plan to guard the health and well being of citizens.
People who walk by the RTS job site have no idea of what they may be exposed to. That is unacceptable, particularly in light of the air monitoring requirements in the DSUP and EPA requirements.
What needs to be done:
The city council must direct the city manager through the city staff to issue an immediate STOP WORK ORDER until the following are accomplished:
1. The U.S. EPA conducts and reports on a complete audit of agreements with and permit(s) granted to EYA to confirm compliance with all Federal statutes and regulations, including the Clean Air Act.
2. U.S. EPA recommends an off-site air monitoring system including specifying the monitoring device and the locations.
3. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) should be engaged by the city staff to conduct and report on a complete audit of the agreements and permits under DSUP 2014-0006 and all plans submitted as required by the DSUP.
4. The City implements an off-site network of Continuous Emission Monitors that can measure the hazardous air emissions and can be used to ensure compliance with a new Health and Safety Plan for the project.
5. EYA agrees to and implements all modifications to agreements and permits reflecting recommendations by the U.S. EPA and the VDEQ.
What you can do:
You can sign the on-line petition on this website, which will be sent to all city council members and the city manager once again bringing this problem to their attention and asking for immediate resolution (see the link below for the text of the letter that will be sent). The signed petition must contain your name and address. The petition demands the city council to direct the city staff to issue an immediate STOP WORK ORDER until the developer implements health and safety initiatives that will protect citizens from unnecessary risk.
Every hour that passes exposes more citizens, including children and pets, to the UNMEASURED hazardous emissions. The number one responsibility of government, especially local government, is to protect the safety and well being of citizens and their property. At this point the city of Alexandria, and therefore we as taxpayers, are culpable and liable for any claims as a result of EYA’s non-compliance with the DSUP and EPA requirements. It is time we demand that of the Alexandria city government.
Today: Richard is counting on you
Richard Platt needs your help with “We must have a credible air monitoring system for the RTS project”. Join Richard and 45 supporters today.