Environmentalists Say Beltway Project Threatens Northern Virginia Creek | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Environmentalists Say Beltway Project Threatens Northern Virginia Creek

Play associated audio
The plastic fence around this pile of dirt in Fairfax County, Virginia has failed and can no longer stop the dirt from draining into a nearby nature area during heavy rains.
David Schultz
The plastic fence around this pile of dirt in Fairfax County, Virginia has failed and can no longer stop the dirt from draining into a nearby nature area during heavy rains.

The Accotink flows in Fairfax County, just a few hundred yards from the future site of toll lanes on the Capital Beltway.

Kris Unger with the Sierra Club says much of the dredged-up dirt from the Beltway construction project is draining into the creek. He points out a makeshift plastic fence, and the steady trickle of muddy water that's leaking through it.

"As you can see, it's already taking its own path through," he says. "The fence isn't serving any purpose. And you can see silty water going down into Accotink."

The cause of these increased silt deposits in the creek is clear, Unger says: thousands of trees were mowed down to make way for the Beltway project.

"When you open up an area, when you remove the trees and the vegetation that's been holding the dirt in place," Unger says, "That's when you start having these dramatic effects."

Unger is scheduled to meet with Virginia transportation officials on Thursday to discuss the issue.

David Schultz reports...

NPR

When Wildlife Documentaries Jump The Shark

Networks like the Discovery Channel have been criticized for pushing entertainment at the cost of science, with fake "documentaries" about everything from mermaids to mythical monster sharks.
NPR

Can Oxfam Nudge Big Food Companies To Do Right?

Oxfam is scoring the 10 biggest food companies on a scale of 1 to 10 on a host of issues, from worker rights to climate change. But will promises translate into concrete changes?
NPR

Rick Perry's Legal Trouble: The Line Between Influence And Coercion

The Texas governor is charged with abuse of office and coercing a public official, but he claims he was just doing what governors do: Vetoing a budget item.
NPR

New GoPro Camera Harness Captures Dog's-Eye View

This past week, the camera maker GoPro unveiled the Fetch harness, which allows people to attach the durable cameras to their dogs. The company was inspired by some DIY efforts at pet videography.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.