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arrowre: Report mixed on Belcher

Please correct me if I'm wrong. In the Cheshire Park Storm/Sanitary Sewer cross connection two pipes discharged millions (possibly more) gallons of raw sewage over four years into the headwaters of our local water ways, the Clinton River. The Clinton now has a TMDL for Ecoli and Biota (increased management needs for failure to meet water quality standards), which this contributed to. In the evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the issue, it was determined that out of 35 required inspections, not a single one had completed paperwork, and only 3 or 5 (the board would know) inspections had any paperwork whatsoever. This infraction could have, and may still pending the township stormwater permit audit by MDEQ to be conducted later this year, financial penalties associated with the violation of permit conditions. In addition, TMDLs will have financial implications for every community downstream as a result of needing to meet more stringent requirements.

(I might remind you that these are the same TMDLs that were mocked in the Green Space campaign for being a figment of my imagination by the opposition of the campaign)

This is not the only incident where inspections were not conducted in our community. There have been several violations of sediment and erosion control regulations and associated illicit discharges (some into wetlands, all into headwaters that should have more stringent protection) that resulted from lack of management. These incidences also could have been avoided with proper inspections.

The requirement for inspections is in place for a reason called "risk management". Reducing risk results in lowered expenses to the community whether in fines that result from violations or to mitigate an impact that resulted from improperly conducted procedures, such as mentioned in what happened at the Library.

Inspections are a PRIMARY function of any building department and should be of great concern to the citizens if they are not being conducted.

When weighing how to address the situation with Mr. Belcher, I hope this is addressed with the seriousness that it deserves and that regardless of his fate, that the department adopt policies and practices that assure inspections are conducted as required.

Tammie Heazlit
August 22, 2012

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