Stop work order for Public Safety Training Center project enacted, then lifted, in less than 24 hours

A stop work order temporarily halted work on the site of Atlanta’s future Public Safety Training Center, located in DeKalb County.

The DeKalb County Department of Planning and Sustainability issued the stop work order for the project on April 6 after DeKalb County inspectors observed that the required silt fence and other erosion control measures were malfunctioning, stated a press release.

“Per the land development permit issued on Feb. 2, Best Management Practices (BMP) are required ‘to control soil erosion and sedimentation on the property during construction, including, but not limited to, silt fences, mulch filter berms, and temporary sediment basins,’” stated the press release.

The stop work order was only in effect for hours before an update from DeKalb County officials indicated the required BMPs were in compliance after further inspection.

“Atlanta Police Foundation was sent an email at 4:45 p.m. stating that the stop work order was lifted after a report by two inspectors was reviewed by the county’s chief building official,” stated DeKalb County officials. “The review confirmed that that the BMPs had been brought back into compliance with DeKalb County building codes.”

In a land development environmental inspection report dated April 4, inspectors at the site, located at 561 Key Road and 1350 Constitution Road, noted that some of the compliance violations that had been corrected from violations observed on March 28 included, “silt fence in the Georgia Power Easement Area that the protesters damaged/destroyed has been corrected,” while “no sediment escape or environmental impacts (were) observed and repairs to all the silt fence and tree protection has been made.”

Opponents of the project have raised concerns about the negative environmental effects that could take place – particularly on the surrounding old growth forest and the South River.

“The trees filter particulates from the air and help shade and cool the city, mitigating the urban heat island effect,” said Victoria St. Martin with Inside Climate News, a nonprofit that reports on climate crisis-related information. “The canopy also staves off harmful erosion from stormwater runoff and provides a habitat for wildlife.”

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the urban heat island effect occurs “when cities replace natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat. This effect increases energy costs, air pollution levels, and heat-related illness and mortality.”

DeKalb officials said they retrieved the posted stop work order signs on April 7, officially lifting the stop work order on the project.

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