Crystal Spring developers plan to destroy about 40 acres of the last remaining large stand of forest in the city. This will also destroy the best tool for natural filtration and water quality protection. How do they plan to keep their pledge that runoff will be cleaner after crossing through Crystal Spring with “100% storm water retained/treated on site including gray water recycling?”
To date, the developers have failed to deliver on their promise of a comprehensive stormwater management plan for the runoff that will drain directly into Crab Creek off the South River, which is already impaired and failing to meet Clean Water Act requirements due to runoff from other developments.
According to EPA Bay Program data, stormwater runoff from developed land is responsible for 76 percent of the sediment choking the South River, 60 percent of the phosphorus, and 42 percent of the nitrogen. Did you know nitrogen and phosphorus fuel the growth and toxicity of dinoflagellates, better known as the small organisms that cause flesh eating diseases in humans and dogs? These nutrients also cause the algal blooms that create dead zones leading to fish kills. Imagine how much more polluted runoff will flow into the South River without 40 acres of forest acting as a natural filtering system.
This issue must be addressed and no plan should proceed without an independent review by a stormwater engineer certifying to a no net increase of rate, volume, sediment, nutrients, or toxic chemicals from the site after a 20-year storm event.