Man responsible for Nottoway debris in debt to county
Published 11:42 am Friday, September 11, 2015
Southampton County resident David Fowler Jr., who was deemed responsible for the cinderblock and Styrofoam debris that was found clogging the Nottoway River in April, will owe more than $18,000 to the county once the clean up is completed. The Virginia Department of Environmental Equality determined that Fowler was burying materials from the former site of H.P. Beale and Sons’ meatpacking plant in the flood plain of the river for erosion control, and the debris washed out over time.
County administrator Michael W. Johnson said that the county is holding an irrevocable letter of credit — a financial instrument used by banks to guarantee one party’s obligation to another — in Fowler’s name in the amount of $50,000, from which they’ll draw upon to cover any expenses as the project is completed. Thus far, the county has bought:
• a floating sausage boom to contain the Styrofoam during high water until the debris is removed;
• Supplies such as hip waders, cable ties, insect repellent and nets; and
• incurred fees for disposal of the Styrofoam, legal expenses and inmate labor.
These total approximately $18,000.
“Because the LOC does not provide for partial draws, we’re awaiting completion of the project before drawing down the funds,” Johnson said. “The remaining balance is available for other related expenses if necessary, including the cost of lawfully disposing of the construction and demolition debris from the Fowler’s property.”
Additionally, Fowler and the VDEQ agreed upon an order of consent, which would require the landowner to pay a civil charge of $5,406 within 30 days of the settlement’s finalization. According to VDEQ Enforcement Specialist Robin Schuhmann, the order of consent is in its public notice period, which ends on Thursday, Sept. 17.
This payment will then be deposited into the VDEQ’s Emergency Response Fund and used in pollution incidents or development and implementation of corrective actions similar to Fowler’s case.
Fowler is also required to remove the solid waste from the property by Sunday, Nov. 1, or face further penalties.