May 19, 2022

Watersound Origins Development Receives Warning Letter from Florida DEP

Residents near Watersound Origins have reported silt flowing into nearby Lake Powell in the past few weeks

storm water management
Photo 118410449 © viktoriya K. | Dreamstime.com

Three inspections of ongoing development of Watersound Origins has prompted the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to issue a warning letter to the St. Joe Co.

According to NWF Daily News, a May 11 letter states that the inspections in Phase 7 of the project revealed "possible violations" of state environmental laws and of state administrative regulations regarding permitting.

St. Joe Co. is the project's developer, and the project is a residential project in the southeastern edge of Walton County, Florida.

According to NWF Daily News, the letter notifies St. Joe Co. that during inspections on Mar. 17, Mar. 29 and May 3, FDEP personnel noted both "unauthorized activities in wetlands" and water quality violations from dewatering activities.

Residents near Watersound Origins have reported silt flowing into nearby Lake Powell in the past few weeks, reported NWF Daily News.

Neighbors will observe St. Joe's work at the site closely, reported NWF Daily News. 

St. Joe has not released any comments, according to Mike Kerrigan, the company's vice president of marketing and communications, reported NWF Daily News. Instead, the company did email a statement to the Daily News which reads:

"Upon notice of the off-site disturbances, we began taking corrective action. We discussed our concerns with the independent site contractor that is performing the work for this project and emphasized the importance of immediately correcting the problems."

The statement noted that St. Joe representatives “met on site with an environmental consultant, the site contractor and FDEP to review the corrective actions," reported NWF Daily News.

St. Joe Co. said the environmental consultant is performing daily Storm Water Pollution Plan and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System inspections and testing in order to correct the issues at hand.

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