To the Residents of Briar Chapel,
We hope everyone is staying healthy during this challenging time. As summer begins, 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 at least September 2020 (date TBD) to allow NC DEQ more time to prepare to testify at this hearing.
Fearrington Homeowners Association, StopChathamNorth and the Briar Chapel Community Associate (BCCA) have now all been granted a Petition to Intervene in this matter.
On 6/22/2020 Valerie Foushee, our state senator representing Chatham and Orange counties, submitted a Letter of Support on our behalf to NCUC and NC DEQ. In this letter she discusses her firsthand experience with the odors generated by the ONSWC WWTP, the proximity of homes to the WWTP and her concerns about the potential harm to Briar Chapel residents if the WWTP is expanded beyond the needs of the Briar Chapel community. Further, she encourages NCUC and NCDEQ not to allow expansion beyond Briar Chapel and to hold ONSWC accountable for full compliance of their operations. We are grateful for the research Ms. Foushee put into our issue, the time she spent with us to see for herself the issues and the support she has demonstrated through this letter.
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.
Future Development that is Planning to use Briar Chapel’s WWTP
In earlier emails, we have mentioned that Williams Corner (planned development of 540-apartments and commercial development on corner of Lystra Rd and 15/501) has a rezoning proposal before the Chatham County Commissioners that includes a commitment from ONSWC (Briar Chapel WWTP) to provide Williams Corner with offsite wastewater treatment and discharge The public hearing for that proposal is tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 17th and will operate under a new remote meeting protocol. We will be encouraging residents to either participate in the public hearing or write to their county commissioners. We will send more details as we get closer to the date.
We’ve also attended a meeting with the developer (Lee Bowman) for Durham Farms (planned development of 102 residential homes adjoining Briar Chapel on Andrews Store Road). According to Mr. Bowman, the residential development plans to use ONSWC (Briar Chapel WWTP) to provide Durham Farms with offsite wastewater treatment and discharge.
Finally, Jason Sullivan (the Chatham County Planning Director) has told us they have spoken with the developers for Vickers Bennett (planned development of 225 clustered residential and 75,000 sq ft commercial and office development on corner of Jack Bennett Road and 15/501). An application has not yet been submitted to the Chatham County Planning Board, but discussions have been held and an application is expected that will include a proposal to use ONSWC (Briar Chapel WWTP) for offsite wastewater treatment.
We are concerned that ONSWC has made commitments to these development projects ahead of the necessary approvals from NCUC and NCDEQ. We will monitor these closely and keep you informed on how best you can voice your opinion.
Spray Irrigation Has Started
On June 15th, ONSWC received approval from NCDEQ to add a sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) injection to our spray irrigation. ONSWC requested this back in January as a deterrent to odors in the spray irrigation. We expect that ONSWC/Envirolink will be implementing this asap.
ONSWC/Envirolink has started irrigation within most of the common areas of Briar Chapel. Residents have been very helpful in reporting incidents of overirrigation and runoff of irrigation water into storm drains and creeks which is a violation of their permit. When we get these notifications from residents, we notify NCDEQ and pass the information to the BCCA Infrastructure Task Force who is working with Envirolink to try to resolve these issues.
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. We have been surprised at the volume of complaints we have received since early February. The number of complaints has significantly exceeded the number of complaints reported by ONSWC/Envirolink in their response to testimony to the NCUC. 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 6/18/2020): $32,211.59
To date we have spent: $11,449.10
Total number of contributors: 343
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 Liz Rolison, 1900 Briar Chapel Parkway, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 or simply drop the check at Liz’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