Letter to the Editor: City repeating mistakes in delineating wetlands

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Renderings of the Potomac Yard metro from 2016.
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To the editor:

It should be more than obvious to any regulatory agency dealing with the Potomac Yard Metro Station why it is unacceptable for design and build firm Kimley-Horn to reassess the freshwater tidal channel wetlands that abut the proposed construction staging area for the project (Alternative B) – the same wetlands it egregiously missed in its initial report that supported the city’s Environmental Impact Statement and Joint Permit Application.

It is wrong and perverse for the city to have Kimley-Horn again try and determine PYMS-impacted wetlands, or for regulators to accept whatever findings they might present this time around as scientifically sound. We think Kimley-Horn has little credibility in the matter of properly delineating and assessing likely impacts to the freshwater tidal channel wetlands.

The fact that the city has again called on this firm to assess the wetlands, only after their original findings were challenged by other researchers, is misspent taxpayer dollars twice over by the city. The effort also has a high likelihood of failure to properly delineate and assess the freshwater tidal channel wetlands.

This whole PYMS situation has now devolved to a farce. It is a strong case of wasting taxpayer dollars on multiple counts, foolishly coupled with the re-hiring of the design and build firm that botched the original wetlands assessment. These are not Alexandria’s, Virginia’s or National Park Service’s wetlands – they are the nation’s.

The Metro station is not worth the destruction of freshwater tidal wetlands, critical wildlife habitat and NPS’ scenic and historic easement. There are viable alternatives that do not cause ecological damage and loss of open space.

-C. Dara, Jimm Roberts, Alexandria

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