Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Fresh Eyes on Freshwater

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Fresh Eyes on Freshwater

The following is from a Nov. 5, 2018 letter sent to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

It should be more than obvious to any regulatory agency dealing with the Potomac Yard Metro Station (PYMS) why it is unacceptable for design and build firm Kimley-Horn to reassess the freshwater tidal channel wetlands that abut the proposed construction staging area for the project (Alternative B) — the same wetlands it egregiously missed in its initial report that supported the city's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Joint Permit Application.

It is wrong and perverse for the city to have Kimley-Horn again try and determine PYMS-impacted wetlands, or for regulators to accept whatever "findings" they might present this time around as scientifically sound. Deservedly, Kimley-Horn demonstrates zero credibility in the matter of properly delineating and assessing likely impacts to the freshwater tidal channel wetlands that abut the Alternative B site, and flows through the Scenic Easement and Potomac Greens Park southeastward to the tidal Potomac River. The fact that the city has again called on this firm to reassess the wetlands, only after their original findings were challenged by more qualified researchers, is not only misspent taxpayer dollars twice over by the city but another high likelihood of failure to properly delineate and assess the freshwater tidal channel wetlands.

This whole PYMS debacle has now devolved to a farce.

These are not Alexandria's, Virginia's, or National Park Service's (NPS) wetlands, but the nation's. The Metro station is not worth the destruction of freshwater tidal wetlands, critical wildlife habitat, and NPS' scenic and historic easement. There are viable alternatives that do not cause ecological damage and loss of open space.

C. Dara

Jimm Roberts