Editor: The fact that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has yet to issue a Clean Water Act (“404”) permit to outright destroy irreplaceable wetlands, mature tree canopy, diverse wildlife, rare species and protected open space for the Potomac Yard Metro station Alternative B is hopeful for those wishing to see the Metro station built in a legally compliant and environmentally safe way.
It likely means that Corps of Engineers and its attorneys are still grappling with what to do with the city’s incomplete and highly flawed analyses and Joint Permit Application (JPA).
In fact, Alexandria’s Alternative B is the worst choice of alternatives for the proposed Metro station, easily shown to be the most environmentally damaging of any to be considered.
On top of this, new reports keep coming in of glaring items completely missed in the analyses and JPA, such as the presence of the mid-Atlantic-rare Torrey’s Rush – a Virginia “critically imperiled” species that occurs directly in the footprint of Alternative B. Yet, no mention to date has been made of it.
The fact that Alternative B runs afoul of regulatory safeguards, exposing federal agencies to a rash of lawsuits they would easily lose, is certainly not lost on the Corps of Engineers.
There are excellent reasons and solid legal standing for denying this permit application.
Cill Dara, Alexandria