To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
We hope everyone is staying healthy during this challenging time. There is a lot going on right now, so we wanted to be sure to keep you up-to-date.
On 5/13/2020, the NCUC Public Staff filed a Motion to Delay for the evidentiary hearing. This will postpone the evidentiary hearing to September 2020 (date TBD) to allow NC DEQ more time to prepare to testify at this hearing.
On 5/14/2020, the NCUC granted the Petition to Intervene filed by the Fearrington Homeowners Association on 5/7/2020. Fearrington Homeowners Association, StopChathamNorth and the Briar Chapel Community Associate (BCCA) have now all been granted petitioner status in this matter.
Earlier this month, ONSWC filed testimony with the NCUC: Testimony for Lee Bowman, Testimony for Mike Myers and Testimony for John McDonald. With the postponement of the evidentiary hearing, testimony filing dates have been moved back as well.
For more information on the pending application and our petitions, go to Docket W-1300 Sub 55.
If you have information that you want to share with SCN’s legal counsel, please email your information to mailto:STOPCHATHAMNORTH@gmail.com.
Williams Corner Public Hearing
At Monday’s (May 18th) Chatham County Board of Commissioners (CC BOC) meeting, the public hearing for the rezoning request for Williams Corner is tentatively scheduled for the August 17th CC BOC meeting.
As a reminder, the Williams Corner rezoning project includes a proposal to use ONSWC WWTP (Briar Chapel) for offsite treatment and discharge of Williams Corner wastewater. SCN is firmly against the use of Briar Chapel’s WWTP by any development or community outside of Briar Chapel.
At this meeting, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners (CC BOC) agreed on a new procedure for in person and remote public hearings using GoTo Webinar technology. Residents who wish to present at the public hearing will have the option of presenting in person on a laptop (depending on social distancing limits either in main meeting room or overflow rooms), remotely via their laptop, or by voicemail. Presenters will be asked to register ahead of time (likely Friday before the Monday meeting).
We’ll keep you posted when the public hearing for Williams Corner is confirmed and will likely ask your help in submitting letters to our Chatham County Commissioners or participating as a presenter at the public hearing.
Notice of Violation
NCDEQ issued a Notice of Violation on May 20th, for three sanitary sewer overflows that occurred on: 3/12/2020 (50 gallons into surface waters located near walking trail/bridge near Hill Creek and Great Ridge Parkway), 4/8/20 (75 gallons into surface waters located along walking trail behind Serenity Hill cul-de-sac) and 4/16/20 (315 gallons into surface waters located along walking trail near bridge behind Serenity Hill cul-de-sac).
Unusual Activity at the WWTP
Earlier this week we observed unusual activity at the Briar Chapel WWTP, with multiple tank trucks appearing to be filled with sewage from the WWTP. At least one of these trucks pumped their contents into the sewer manhole on Boulder Point Drive across from the WWTP, while the rest of the tank trucks drove their contents out of the neighborhood.
Irrigation Has Started
ONSWC/Envirolink have started irrigation in some of our more remote areas within Briar Chapel. Residents have been very helpful in reporting incidents of overirrigation and runoff of irrigation water into storm drains and creeks.
Last week ONSWC filed a permit modification request to convert a retention pond (referred to as the westernmost pond it is located in the back section of Encore behind Abercorn Circle – google map) and transmission main from raw/potable water storage to reclaimed water storage. Note, this pond has already been built, what they are asking for is to use it as a storage pond for treated wastewater, expanding their storage capacity for reclaimed water.
ONSWC is also seeking approval from NCDEQ to add chlorine to the spray irrigation lines. This has not yet been approved.
Over the last few days, we have received several inches of rain. Interestingly, ONSWC/Envirolink has continued to run the irrigation system during this inclement weather, which is a violation of their permit. We have notified NCDEQ. Video at the Clubhouse / Picture on Briar Chapel Parkway
Please contact us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience any strong odors, discolored irrigation, oversaturation, pooling of irrigation water, runoff of irrigation water into storm drains/ponds/creeks, running of the irrigation system during inclement weather, or sinkholes caused by the irrigation system. Video and pictures are helpful.
It’s time to Document our Concerns
Thank you for documenting your complaints, concerns or questions to Envirolink. While we regret that our residents are experiencing these issues, we believe this documentation will make a difference in showing that Briar Chapel residents have serious concerns that have been underreported.
It’s important to document any concerns or complaints that you personally experience with the Briar Chapel wastewater system (odor, runoff, spills, spray effluent pooling). Just a simple email works. If your concern can be documented with a picture (e.g., spills, spray effluent pooling), please attach any pictures you’ve taken of the incident to your email. It is imperative that we continue this effort. We also know that you experience some of these conditions over and over (i.e., odor) but again it is important to document these concerns each time you experience them.
When you have a complaint, Envirolink asks that you call their customer service number 252-235-4900. Please do so. To make sure your complaint is documented, we ask that you also email your concern to email@example.com and copy (cc) us at STOPCHATHAMNORTH@gmail.com. Your concern will only be tracked if you send the email.
Total contributions to date (as of 5/7/2020): $31,664.79
To date we have spent: $5,269.45 ($5,000 is our initial attorney fee which we have not yet used up)
Total number of contributors: 340
We’d like to thank everyone who has already donated towards the cost of legal representation. These funds will be used to pay for our attorney’s representation at the NCUC hearing through to final decision. If you haven’t had a chance to make a donation yet, please consider doing this.
You can donate via PayPal by using this link:
If you prefer not to use PayPal:
You can write a check to: STOPCHATHAMNORTH and mail it to: STOPCHATHAMNORTH in care of Terri Burrell, 78 Middleton Place, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 or simply drop the check at Terri’s house.
We are maintaining a full accounting of these funds and will return any unused funds to all homeowners who contribute on a prorated basis. Thank you again for contributing. If we all work together, we have a better chance of achieving our goals.
StopChathamNorth is an unincorporated non-profit association representing concerned homeowners within Briar Chapel. StopChathamNorth does NOT support a regional wastewater treatment plant within the residential community of Briar Chapel. We are aware that there are a number of new communities surrounding Briar Chapel that are planning to utilize our WWTP, in addition to the current proposal to add Fearrington Village to our WWTP. We are opposed to all of these plans to expand Briar Chapel’s WWTP for uses outside of the Briar Chapel residential community. We also believe that the WWTP and ONSWC must be fully compliant with all governance and regulatory guidelines to ensure operations do not create nuisance, unhealthy or hazardous conditions for Briar Chapel residents.
For more information: www.stopchathamnorth.com