By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to reimburse the town of Dublin for damages an EPA-supervised project caused to the town’s sewer in November.
“If, in fact, EPA was supervising the activity that resulted in damage to the sewer main, EPA should certainly bear the cost of repair,” Griffith says in a letter to Bob Perciasepe, EPA’s acting administrator.
“Dublin is a small Appalachian town of roughly 2,500 people. While a $22,000 repair bill may not be exorbitant for New York City, it certainly is for Dublin,” the congressman adds.
Dublin had to pay H.T. Bolling contracting firm $22,000 to fix damages incurred to its sewer main in November. Town Manager Bill Parker said a contractor being supervised by the EPA drilled through the line while installing water-monitoring wells at Electroplate-Rite for Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to check for groundwater contamination.
Parker approached EPA for reimbursement, but EPA indicated it couldn’t find any precedence that would require it to pay the bill.
“I ask that you review this incident and review EPA’s rationale for denying reimbursement …,” Griffith’s letter adds. “Also, please provide me with any appropriate materials used in support of the reimbursement denial.”
In response to Griffith’s letter, Dublin Mayor Benny Skeens said, “The Town of Dublin sincerely appreciates Congressman Griffith’s help and we will provide any information or assistance to help resolve this matter. I am very pleased that Congressman Griffith has taken the time to assist us with this.”
At its February meeting, Dublin Town Council authorized Parker to write a letter to U.S. Sen. Mark Warner advising him of the situation in hopes he could pressure the EPA into repaying the town.
Also, Pulaski County Board of Supervisors voted to have county staff write a letter in support of Dublin’s position.