RosslynVA Pollution Awareness

I live in the middle of this construction frenzy. It’s dusty and noisy, and it’s not just a little inconvenience. It’s not just about “dust” or noise. Arlington has undergone a major urban transformation, but there is silence about what it means to live next to major development involving construction and demolition.

This campaign started when my quest for simple answers about air quality in my apartment was met with evasive responses. If I couldn’t get clear answers, others probably had similar questions about air quality due to construction. What is all this dust, and is it toxic?

This is a wake-up call. We need transparency now. We need immediate action. Your health, my health, our well-being isn’t a game. Time to flip the script. Let’s force these big names to come clean. Literally.

Dirty air filters, only 30 days old instead of the advertised 90, …raised questions about the air quality in my apartment.

The filth that sparked this!

My HVAC filters and vents, completely dirty after just 30 days.

Trying to find answers left me to dust…”

I live in a building managed by #JBG Smith. These folks are major league and they are behind most of the developments. With their latest acquisition of Clark Construction, their involvement in the transformation of Arlington is substantial.

At the end of winter 2022/23, I struggled with severe breathing difficulties, far worse than typical “bad air days” or allergies. A few months later, I ended up in the ER. Suspecting construction dust infiltrating my apartment, I discovered my HVAC and vent filters resembled a chimney sweep’s nightmare.

Concerned about my health, I asked the building manager for a comprehensive air quality test. Instead of addressing my concerns, I faced lies and delays. They seemed to be stalling until the RCA building demolition, which was generating a lot of dust, was done.

Their reluctance to address the issue made me believe my concerns about air quality were valid. They even tried to deflect responsibility, pointing fingers at Arlington County. External factors weren’t part of my complaint. JBG Smith, as my property manager, should ensure the air quality in my living space. They should have addressed my specific concerns without deflecting responsibility.

After nine months of emails, they never truly addressed my concerns or resolved the issue. Isn’t that a red flag the size of a billboard? Why would such a minor issue require extensive emails unless there’s something more? By mid-July, my patience wore thin. I demanded an immediate plan of action, but still, no response.

Their only solution was an offer to break my lease without penalty. A clear attempt to make me walk away. Nice try, but that just exposed their cover-up. I never requested to leave. This wasn’t a genuine solution but a diversion, an attempt to sweep the issue under the rug. Why should I be forced out?

Despite JBG Smith’s public commitment to green and healthy buildings and prioritizing long-term health, their actions failed to live up to these promises. Instead of addressing the air filter issue, they neglected their responsibility, leaving me in a situation that threatened my health. This disregard for tenants’ well-being undermines the trust in a company that claims to prioritize health and safety of those they serve.

What are you so afraid of, JBG Smith? Why are you trying to chloroform me? What are you hiding? What are they hiding and why?

I took matters into my own hands and reached out to Arlington County, only to learn that there are no regulations to protect residents from construction pollution, leaving the responsibility on us. This redevelopment isn’t just a few buildings going up. It’s an urban upheaval with unquantified risks. Our homes have become test sites for potential long-term exposure to hazardous materials.

JBG Smith and Arlington City know the risks—the dust, the noise, the potential health hazards of demolition and construction. Yet, there’s a deafening silence. No disclosures, no warnings. They conveniently choose not to disclose anything.


Corporations focus on numbers. The county should focus on people. Arlington County’s reliance on external resources feels like avoiding its core responsibility. Is this an acknowledgment of the problems, but a reluctance to face them?

I understand the county’s burden and know these challenges are complex. But time is critical. Every day without action means more residents suffer. The county must remember that what’s at stake is not just buildings, but the well-being of every resident. While corporations ignore the human aspect, I hope the county won’t.

This isn’t a trivial campaign, it’s a necessity given the scale and duration of construction projects and their effect on health and daily life for everyone in Arlington.


It’s time to step forward. This is about more than one person’s struggle. It’s about our community. It’s about holding those responsible accountable and ensuring our homes are safe and healthy. The truth needs to come out, and it starts with us.
Monica


I think of families moving here, perhaps relocated for work, unaware of the construction chaos they’re about to face. Imagine the shock of moving into a new home with an infant, only to find yourself amidst relentless noise and dust, trapped in a lease with hefty penalties for early termination. This isn’t right. In my years in real estate here in Arlington, I can tell you that agents, building managers are prohibited from disclosing information about construction or potential dangers unless there are specific forms, like those for asbestos. But there are no forms/disclosures when it comes to the risks associated with construction dust and noise.
Monica

Your Right to Know! No one should be left in the dark while their well-being is on the line.

I recognize that balancing the needs and safety of the community with economic progress is a complex task and involves both the formality of regulations and the emotional impact on humans. I also value the importance of a single life, furthermore, I don’t believe that human well-being should be sacrificed for economic or infrastructural progress, which is what appears to be happening now because of the lack of health hazard disclosures to the community and data on construction pollution.

Monica



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