RosslynVA Pollution Awareness

Note: I will update this page shortly with the rest of the emails from DEQ, Rosslyn BID, EPA, Arlington Environment Dept.etc

Arlington County Communication Summary and Download.
Conversation with:
– Stevie Kelly, Aide to Chair Dorsey.
– Chairman Christian Dorsey.

July 14th

I reached out to Stevie, Arlington County, expressing my concerns about potential air quality deterioration resulting from construction and demolition. I particularly highlighted the potential adverse health effects on vulnerable groups. In that message, I inquired about how the County informs residents of potential hazards, whether there’s a platform for residents to voice their concerns, how unforeseen circumstances are handled, and if the County had any experience with similar situations in the past.

  • Concerns about air quality deterioration and potential health impacts.
  • Questions regarding public notifications, engagement platforms, management of unforeseen circumstances, and past experiences.
  • Health effects, especially for vulnerable groups.

Response – July 25th

Stevie responded confirming that the letter has been reviewed by Chair Dorsey and Board Member Garvey, and they will respond shortly.

Response – July 31st

Stevie responded explaining that air quality and pollution regulation falls under the state level, specifically the VDEQ. He clarified that Arlington County cannot impose regulations beyond state code. He further mentioned that construction inspectors visit sites to ensure adherence to codes, but the County’s primary oversight relates to site plan conditions and construction standards.

  • Air quality regulated at the state level by VDEQ.
  • Arlington County’s oversight focuses on site plans and construction standards.

Aug. 2th

Highlighting the detailed explanation about the County’s jurisdictional limits and actionable steps related to air quality issues. The recipient’s transparency and openness in communication are commended.

  • Detailed explanation about the limits of the County’s jurisdiction and actionable steps regarding air quality issues.
  • Commendation of the recipient’s transparency and openness in communication.

Aug. 7th

Motivated to further express the tangible impact on residents, I followed up. I emphasized the pronounced, visible environmental effects of the construction-induced dust. Questioned whether the County had any protocols in place for residents to be informed or advised during such pronounced environmental disturbances.

  • Expressed tangible impact on residents due to construction-induced dust.
  • Raised the question of County protocol for severe environmental concerns.

Response – Aug. 8th

Virtual meeting scheduled with Chair Christian Dorsey.

Aug. 18th

To get a clearer understanding of monitoring measures, I expressed concerns about the lack of visible air testing locations in development areas. I also shared data indicating that even with windows closed, continuous indoor noise levels reached no less than 49 dB, spiking to 95.2 dB at times.d environmental disturbances.

  • Shared indoor noise level data. Minimum of 49 dB, Maximum of 95.2 dB.
  • Concerns about lack of air testing locations in major development areas.

Aug. 18th

Stevie assured me that he was checking with staff regarding my questions and would provide an update as soon as he had more information.

Sept. 1st
  • Noted the time elapsed since the previous communication
  • Asked for an update or response.

Response – Sept. 5th

Stevie provided an update, stating that the County does not operate air quality monitoring systems in the locations I’d mentioned. He informed me about the Virginia DEQ’s air monitors and directed me to the Code Enforcement for noise concerns.

  • No County-operated air quality monitoring in location of major construction.
  • Directed to Virginia DEQ and Code Enforcement for concerns.

Sept. 5th

I reiterated my concerns about areas lacking monitoring and asked if the County was comfortable assuring residents of the safety of both air and noise levels, especially in the absence of real-time localized monitoring systems.

  • Asked for assurance on resident safety.
  • and if expanding monitoring systems was considered.

Response – Sept. 13th

Stevie promised a fuller response soon.

Oct. 6th

I reiterated my concerns about areas lacking monitoring and asked if the County was comfortable assuring residents of the safety of both air and noise levels.

  • Asked for assurance on resident safety.
  • and if expanding monitoring systems was considered.

Oct. 6th

I reiterated concerns about the lack of air testing locations in major development areas and inquired about the County’s strategies to address these concerns. I highlighted the urgency of the issue by sharing new data on indoor noise levels, which consistently reach 68 dB and spike up to 75 dB, as well as PMI levels exceeding 50 during construction hours. The email emphasized the need for real-time monitoring to ensure the wellbeing of the residents amidst ongoing construction activities.

  • Shared indoor noise level data.
  • Concerns about lack of air testing locations in major development areas

Response – Oct. 6th

Chair Dorsey responded with external links.

  • Provided information and resources to address concerns.
  • Encouraged engagement with the Climate Change, Energy and Environment Commission (C2E2).
  • Suggested following Planning Commission discussions related to development projects.

Oct. 10th
  • Expressed gratitude for provided resources. [wink]
  • Desired more direct answers to specific concerns raised.
  • Acknowledged the potential delicate balance the County must maintain when collaborating with influential developers.
  • Expressed hope for the priority of residents’ health, safety, and concerns.

Actions Taken on February 5 to EPA

  • EPA Violation Report Submission:
    • Submitted a report to the EPA regarding the lack of dust mitigation at 1901 Moore St. after the response from Arlington County Dept of Environmental Service showed that violations during construction are not taken seriously and are limited to emails and verbal warnings, without immediate fines or stronger measures.
    • The report highlights the issue of a contractor continuing work despite a malfunction in their dust suppression system, leading to significant dust release.
  • Email to EPA on Accountability:
    • Sent an email to the EPA’s Office seeking clarification on air quality and pollution control responsibilities in Arlington, VA. EPA provided the case number CS0044533 for this report.
    • Addressed the confusion caused by conflicting information from Arlington County and VDEQ.
    • Requested a direct response from the EPA on who is primarily responsible for regulating and monitoring air quality and pollution in Arlington.