October 8, 2013

School Construction's Run-Off "Catastrophic" to Our Creeks

   Erosion and mud run-off from the site of the new Abraham Mallinson Elementary School has had a devastating effect on the town’s streams and tributaries, city officials and experts say, and they claim that builder J. E. Dunn ignored their warnings and violated state and federal laws that would have prevented it from happening.

        Stream conservationist Bill Haman, trained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers, reported to Pubic Works Director Ed Layton in August that the stream beds were now covered with hundreds of tons of Loess soil that has settled in the creeks, and that this has "eliminated most of the previous habitat for invertebrates and other life forms,” calling the situation, "catastrophic."

   In March of 2012, the city's Planning Commission and Building Official Paul Loving warned of the possibility of off site run-off and called for the construction company to perform a storm water impact study to determine what measures would be needed to retain the run-off.

     In May, 2013, Sugar Creek Public Works director Ed Layton again alerted J. E. Dunn and the Independence School District that erosion control at the site was inadequate and in violation of their erosion control permit. 

   While the school district has contractors frantically seeding and sodding the muddy hill as they try to stabilize the erosion, the damage continues in a race to grow grass between downpours as a permanent solution is being sought. 

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