Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Update on WSSC trail closure controversy

As you may recall, there has been a continuing controversy centered around WSSC's (the water and sewer authority for Montgomery and PG County) decision to severely restrict equestrian use of the trails surrounding its reservoir. Ron MacNab, the President of TROT has recently received the following update from WSSC:
Mr. MacNab –
I wanted to update you on the status of the effort to engage a consultant to provide input and advice on protecting the Rocky Gorge and Triadelphia watershed area. We recently issued a Task Order to EA Engineering, Science & Technology, Inc., for the Patuxent Watershed Protection Study. This is intended to be a broad-based review that will support the entire community’s interest in protecting source water (Rocky Gorge and Triadelphia Reservoirs) and the surrounding property. As you know, we want to focus the engagement on how we can work toward a more robust watershed management and protection strategy, while considering the concerns of all the various stakeholders who have traditionally been granted limited access to the property.
The effort will include data assessment using materials provided by organizations that manage or regulate source water and watershed properties, including best management practices, water quality data, etc.., as well as data provided by stakeholder groups like people who fish on the property, TROT, hunters, boaters and others. Elements of the project include GIS mapping, analysis of soil erosion potential and field visits/reconnaissance of the reservoir properties. Please rest assured that the consultants also plan to meet with stakeholder groups to understand their concerns as part of this process. WSSC sought a broad-based approach to this review, so the review will continue in phases, depending on the outcome of the consultant’s initial work.
I hope this information is useful to you, and please feel free to share it with any interested parties.
Johnnie R. Hemphill, Jr.
Chief of Staff
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

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