Flaw in Wegmans wetlands permit: citizens say wetlands acreage undercalculated

Wegmans Site Wetlands…
Stormwater Permit Hearing held July 20
Because there are wetlands on the site Wegmans has chosen for its distribution center, the grocery giant must submit a plan under DEQ’s Virginia Water Protection (VWP) permit program in order to demonstrate how it will mitigate wetlands impacts.
From the DEQ website: “VWP compliance strives to protect wet- lands, streams, and other state waters from being filled, excavated, drained, or dredged without a VWP permit. Compliance monitoring ensures that VWP permit conditions are followed, and serves as an essential link to DEQ’s enforcement program when serious violations occur.”

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held a virtual public hearing the evening of July 20 for the Wegmans draft Virginia Water Protection (VWP) permit. For solid reasons, the permit should be denied.

If the format alone were not sufficiently exasperating, the stubborn adherence of Wegmans to its faulty wetlands data pushed citizens’ ire to the stratosphere.

Speakers advocated for environmental and racial justice for the Brown Grove community; residents spoke to existing stormwater flooding in heavy rains; and wetlands and soils professionals pointed to errors in the wetlands determination that resulted in under calculation of the wetlands acreage. All solid points, credibly made.

Residents have asked for an independent wetlands determination to be performed. Will it happen? For the sake of an honest process, it should.

Removing vegetation, moving soil around and installing stormwater detention structures contribute to environmental degradation. Wetlands are ecosystems that support wildlife, water quality improvement and flood control, among other benefits.

The State Water Control Board and DEQ should not be pestered and bullied with a flawed argument by Wegmans. A decision based on solid data must be made for the good of the public and the environment.

A decision will be rendered in August by the State Water Control Board.


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