Oct 26, 2021

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Approves 1 Permit for the Division of Highways, Includes Storm Water Runoff Plans

The Division of Highways submitted plans for how their contractors would manage the water


The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved one of the permits needed for the Division of Highways to move ahead with construction of the U.S. 522 bypass.

According to Division of Water and Waste Management Acting Director Katheryn Emery in a Sept. 28 letter, the DOH now has a NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Associated with Construction Activities (CSWGP), reported The Morgan Messenger.

The Division of Highways submitted plans for how their contractors would manage the water, which will run off construction sites as the bypass is being built. The bypass is 3.1 miles long, reported The Morgan Messenger. Highway officials are required to prove to the DEP that they have plans in place to capture or divert runoff.

The storm water permit was issued Sept. 28 under special conditions, which are that the Division of Highways will submit a modified application that lays out a complete Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and a Groundwater Protection Plan (GWP). These plans must include “all required maps, site plans, design details, supporting calculations, construction details and all information necessary to demonstrate that the contractor’s SWPPP and GPP satisfied all conditions of the CSW GP,” Emery said in the letter, reported The Morgan Messenger.

The modified application must be sent to DEP no less than 60 days prior to the anticipated construction date, but there is no guarantee they will issue a final storm water permit within 60 days of the application.

DEP officials accepted public comments last fall and winter about the matter. 

The top comments mention storm water coming off bypass construction work and the increased risk of flooding in the Berkeley Springs area. 

Bypass construction will disturb 175 acres of land during grading and paving and the four-lane highway will convert soil and forest areas into 32.12 acres of paved surfaces, reported The Morgan Messenger. During construction 28 sediment basins are planned for these areas.

“The primary purpose of sediment basins is to prevent sediment from entering adjacent streams by detaining runoff and allowing suspended solids to settle out prior to the runoff leaving a site but with the dry storage associated with these structured will prolong the flow time of runoff and reduce the peak discharge,” the DEP said, reported The Morgan Messenger.

The Division of Highways will take care of drainage basins in the future.

Residents who want to appeal the stormwater management permit for the bypass project can file a Notice of Appeal to the Environmental Quality Board through Oct. 28, according to The Morgan Messenger. Reference WV Permit WV0115924 in any appeal documents.

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