Amazing regulatory failure--Monona Bay polluted 13 times by Ghidorzi

This is a summary of the sediment spills into Monona Bay by construction at 1102 S. Park St., by the Ghidorzi Companies.

The demolition and construction progressed from May of 2012 to July of 2013. During that time, Steve Vanko and David Thompson documented--with the photos shown below--13 sediment spills to the bay, and one extreme dust incident.

These spills were the result of failure to follow many elements of the required erosion control plan, which we'll document elsewhere.

Since 1102 S. Park Street has contaminated soil,* and because soil particles carry phosphorus, muddy runoff from the site is real pollution.

For each event below, we have additional photos and videos posted on Flickr, showing the deficiencies on the construction site. Here, we post just one of each event.  Click on the photo to enlarge.

#1. July 18, 2012. Two storms totalling 1.43 inches.

There were two big storms, one during early morning, and the other in late afternoon.
A large amount of plastic insulation flushed to the bay. This photo from the morning, shows the 10-15% that remained, after attempted cleanup.

At about 8:19 pm, the blue storm pipe across the street from Steve's house was dumping mud into the bay.  
More photos.

#2. October 14, 2012, 1.74 inches (and .86 inches the preceding day).

More photos

#3. October 16, 2012. Pumping water without proper filtration from the construction site.
More photos.

#4. October 17, 2012--a storm from mid-afternoon to evening of .62 inches.

More photos.

#5. October 22, 2012, .51 inches, starting early afternoon

Despite a meeting on Oct. 18, between Steve V, neighbor Tom Ulrich, City officials, and the Ghidorzi construction manager Art Rassias, the outcome today--a muddy plume--was the same as on the 17th.  Even though Steve called City engineer Greg Fries at 2:40 pm today, the muddy plume was still coming into the bay at 5:00 pm.  More photos.

#6. January 29, 2013. Rainfall all day of 1.84 inches.

I checked the site twice--once in early morning...

and the other in the afternoon.   More photos

March 10, 2013. During rain and thaw.

A muddy plume was not observed, because Monona Bay was covered by ice and snow.  However, there was a heavy flow of muddy runoff moving down the gutter on Park St from Ghidorzi.

More photos.

#7. April 9, 2013, during thaw and rain of 1.46 inches.
This runoff dumped into the bay from both the blue pipe...

...and the overflow concrete culvert.  The flow to the bay was heavy, with a muddy plume extending far along the shore.

More photos.

#8. April 17, 2013. 1.29 inches.

The muddy plume extends far out into the bay.

More photos.

April 26, 2013.  Blowing dust.

There were strong winds from about 10 am to 10 pm, blowing towards the hospitals.  At times the dust was so heavy that traffic at the busy intersection was obscured. (L
ooking towards Park St from Fish Hatchery.)

Amazing Video.

#9. May 17, 2013. Thunderstorm in late morning, .53 inches.

A muddy plume came from both the blue pipe and the concrete culvert...

...and extended some distance out into the bay.

More photos.

#10. May 20, 2013. Early morning thunderstorm of .59 inches.

Muddy water in the bay, localized around the outfalls in front of Steve's house, remained hours after the storm ended.

More photos

#11. May 28, 2013. Thunderstorm of 1.0 inches in early morning.

By the time photos were taken around 9:00 am, it had stopped raining. But muddy runoff was still coming into Monona Bay.

 More photos

#12. June 12, 2013. Thunderstorms with 1.69 inches.
A muddy plume was observed at 6:30 pm (right), and again at 9:30 pm.  You can see a zone of muddy water along the shore to the south, and extending far out into the bay.

More photos

#13. June 26, 2013.  Heavy storm in early morning--3.19 inches.  

The muddy plume is partly obscured by the high water level.  Here the discharge comes from the concrete culvert, located next to the blue pipe, now submerged.

More photos.


This is more than an error or two... something that fell through the cracks.

The regulatory system for construction sites is broken.  It's a case of "regulatory capture."

This can only be fixed if citizens become involved.  Monitor a construction site near your home or workplace.  Link

Construction is Madison's largest industry.  They use City stormwater pipes to dump their pollution into our lakes.

Without clean lakes, Madison would be just another city.

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See the same story, but with more photos and details, here.
Earlier story about this construction site.

* Official documents and a news report mention "contaminated soil," but don't give details.  The building demolished on-site contained asbestos, and concrete was recycled there, releasing crystalline silica and chromium 6.  All three of these are carcinogens--and the dust was blowing towards two hospitals.  

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