What you should know about Army Corps of Engineers investigation into developer in Kingwood
KINGWOOD, Texas – The Army Corps of Engineers has announced it's investigating a home builder in Kingwood. At issue, whether Perry Homes disturbed protected wetlands, ultimately leading to multiple flooding events.
When did the flood occur?
Homeowners in the Elm Grove Village Subdivision said their community did not flood during Harvey. Since February, after they said Perry Homes had 300 acres of wetlands cleared adjacent to their neighborhood, their neighborhood has flooded three times in five months: May 3, May 7 and again Sept. 19 during Imelda.
“When I came home on May 3, the water was up over the grill of my SUV. It was not right, you could tell it was not right. I've been in Elm Grove 20 years now, never saw those problems,” said Beth Guide, HOA director for Elm Grove.
Guide said she believes the wetlands shielded and protected their homes from flooding and is worried if something isn’t done to remediate the problem, the entire neighborhood will be in jeopardy.
What we do know about the investigation?
In October, the Elm Grove Homeowner’s Association, which has been working with local and federal lawmakers for months, including Congressman Dan Crenshaw, requested the Army Corps of Engineers formally investigate Perry Homes and its subsidiaries. Crenshaw said in a letter this investigation represents a crucial step in homeowners’ quest for answers.
The Army Corps of Engineers released a statement that said it received a report of an alleged unauthorized discharge of fill material into wetlands Nov. 4. The project site is located approximately 200-feet west of the end of Ford Road, in Montgomery County, Texas. The Corps contacted an environmental consultant to get a contact number for Figure Four Partners, LTD. Figure Four Partners, LTD then contacted the Corps of Engineers and said the environmental consultant conducted a wetland delineation on the property.
Figure Four Partners, LTD authorized the environmental consultant to release the report to the Corps of Engineers.
The Corps is awaiting receipt of the report. Once the Corps receives and reviews the report, it will contact the property owners and schedule a site visit to investigate the alleged unauthorized discharge of fill material into wetlands. Please contact KPRC reporter Andy Cerota if you have any questions.
What is the developer saying?
"As we have consistently stated, our hearts go out to those affected by the May 7 and Sept. 19 floods. In reference to your inquiry regarding jurisdictional wetlands in the subject matter area, prior to commencement of construction activities, Figure Four Partners, Ltd. procured the services of respected Environmental Services & Land Use Consultant, Berg–Oliver Associates, Inc. to make an assessment as to whether there are any "jurisdictional wetlands” that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get involved. Berg Oliver is a “full-service environmental science firm with over 29 years proven experience devoted entirely to the field of Environmental Consulting Services.”
The Berg-Oliver study concluded there were not any jurisdictional wetlands in the subject matter area.
Quoting from the report: “The subject property was evaluated for its content of jurisdictional wetlands, based on criteria set forth in the 2010 Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manuel: Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region (v2).”
The Berg-Oliver study concluded, "there are no areas within the subject property that would meet the technical criteria to be classified as a jurisdictional wetland or jurisdictional Water of the U.S. set forth by the USACE,” according to Figure Four Partners, LTD.
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