Thursday, October 8, 2015

Large Amount Of Dumped Paint On NE 45th Street At For Sale Home Finally Removed

damage to street caused by dumping of paint
in July

In July of this year, the Laurelhurst Blog received many concerned emails stating that painters from Eco Green Painting working on a house under construction at 4847 NE 45th Street (near St. Stephens Church), had been seen dumping a large amount of paint just a bit up from the property. onto the street.

One neighbor said:
A painter spilled a lot of paint on NE 45th and 50th Avenue NE. He was seen trying to hose it down.  Then the next day he had put aspalt over the spill, perhaps hoping that the traffic would wear everything down, though the area is  not in direct traffic of cars.

The Laurelhurst Blog immediately contacted the SDOT regarding the dumping, inquiring if that is allowed and if not what the process is to repair the road.
SDOT responded three weeks later saying:
You are correct in assuming that this is not permitted behavior. SDOT Street Use staff visited the site and spoke with the contractor, advising them him not to wash the paint and materials down the road. Additionally, the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has been notified of the spill. SDOT Street Use and DPD will continue to work with the contractor at this location.

The Laurelhurst Blog also contacted BuildUrban, who built the home. They had already been contacted by a neighbor and said that the painters had ordered a special product to remove the paint spill.

And early last month, a neighbor said that a painter was seen trying to remove the paint spill "with what appeared to be cans of chemicals and was wiping it with a cloth with no success."

However, BuildUrban then reported that while the painter was attempting to clean the area, an SDOT inspector stopped by and asked them to stop work and cover it with dirt.  A BuildUrban representative said "We are working now on contacting that City inspector to discuss our next step."

It was not until last month, that SDOT finally went again to the site and wrote:
Both SDOT and DPD were requested to look into the paint spill.  While the paint is unsightly, it did not get into the City’s storm system and has now dried.  Since the paint is not currently causing an environmental or safety issue, but is purely aesthetic, we have decided the best course of action is to just leave it and let it fade over time.   
I know this probably isn’t the most satisfactory answer, but I believe the paint will fade fairly quickly as vehicles roll over it and we get into the rainy season.  Any alternative course of action for cleaning would likely leave discoloration in the same area.

However the Laurelhurst Blog staff responded saying:
1) does the City approve of toxic paint to just be covered with makeshift concrete causing permanent discoloration to the street and leaving toxic paint under the concrete
2) if the City approves of this, please then confirm that if any resident spills paint on City property it's ok they cover it with asphalt and then leave it
3) what is the process if a large amount of paint is spilled on the street

 4) what precedent does that set to leave the large area of discoloration of asphalt and toxic paint alone without resolving it

A few weeks ago, SDOT sent another field inspector to the site and changed their mind and agreed to remove the piant as requested by the Blog Staff saying: 
The planned remedy is to utilize a hydro-blasting process to remove the material from the Right of Way.  Our analysis is that hydro-blasting would be effective and the recommended removal strategy - if their equipment is compatible with conditions on the site.

After almost 4 months of initial contact with SDOT, SDOT has finally cleaned up the paint spill caused by the painting contractor.

Yesterday, SDOT wrote the Blog Staff saying that on September 26th "the non-toxic paint was removed by hydroblasting it.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention."

Neighbors wrote:
We are very thankful the paint has been removed, though we don't understand why the City took so long and seemed to provide contradictory explanations as to if/how it was going to be cleaned up. 
We are grateful to the Blog staff for bringing this to the attention of the City and staying  on this issue until it was resolved. Laurelhurst has so many houses under construction and contractors must know they can't dump their paint or clean their paint tools leaving debris and toxic chemicals on City streets.  
Thank you to the Blog Staff. We appreciate all you are doing for our neighborhood in being the eyes and ears and even watch-dog for our community.


paint and concrete removed by SDOT in September



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