Rainfall in Culpeper between Nov 11-12, 2020 leads to more flooding in areas proposed for industrial-scale solar, raising further environmental - ecological concerns.

Solar projects should not be placed near wetlands, rivers, streams, tributaries to avoid immediate damage to water quality, and possible contamination-ecological disasters.

 

Uncontrolled runoff of water and topsoil is a well-documented byproduct of industrial-scale solar site development. This massive increase in watershed sedimentation impacts all downstream rivers and estuaries. Water contamination doesn’t stop with the end of construction. Removal of all trees and deep-rooted plants, along with inadequate stormwater controls lead to long-term runoff and water contamination issues. Local municipalities usually do not have adequate resources to monitor construction and stormwater violations and, even when properly monitored, site developers have no problem paying fines, and there is no effective check on environmental damage.

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Remnants of Hurricane Zeta caused flooding in Culpeper areas proposed for industrial-scale solar.

Culpeper faces disastrous water run-off consequences that lead into the Rapidan River - Chesapeake Bay Watershed, which have not been addressed. Soil conditions and gravel roads in Culpeper result in frequent flooding from heavy rains and raise concerns over stormwater erosion and ground water contamination. The below images were taken on Thursday 29th October, 2020, after 4 inches of rain.

The week before, the project in Essex County was celebrated by officials. Only a half inch of rain caused this environmental disaster, feeding into the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay watershed, in Virginia.

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By: Mark Holmberg

Posted Feb 08, 2018

ESSEX COUNTY, Va. -- Gary McCauley of Essex County knows construction and he knows the Muddy Gut Creek watershed where he’s spent most of his 63 years.

Never for a minute did he believe anyone, or any company would be allowed to build in such a way that an untold number of tons of muddy sediment would blast through the ditches, the sleepy creek and into the Rappahannock River, all part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

 

“Mud coming in from the solar farm, all the way up the road, down in Muddy Gut Creek, which feeds right into the river,” he said as he looked at the mud-clogged ditches by the creek. Read full article.

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