Chapter Works 

An electronic publication of the 
Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works  Association

January 2019
In This Issue
The Mid Atlantic Chapter has a NEW WEBSITE!

We are excited to announce that we have migrated to the new APWA National template and our new URL reflects our "Mid-Atlantic" chapter name.

These changes do impact links that were in documents and emails prior to December 18th.

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Steven J. Yob, P.E. 
County Eng/Director PW 
Henrico County, Virginia
Don Cole 
Vice President 
Brown and Caldwell   
Virginia Beach, Virginia  
Immediate Past-President
Kenneth M. Eyre, P.E.
Senior Associate 
Greeley and Hansen, LLC
Alexandria, Virginia
Phillip J. Koetter, P.E.
Operations Management Administrator 
Department of Public Works
City of Virginia Beach, Virginia
Amy Linderman, Engineer II
Department of Public Works
Environmental Services
Fairfax County, Virginia
Fred Whitley, P.E.
Senior Project Manager,  AECOM
Newport News, Virginia

Chapter Delegate
Judith L. Hines 
Assistant Director of Public Works 
City of Newport News, Virginia
Dawn V. Odom
Planning and Investment Manager 
Virginia Department of Transportation
Suffolk, Virginia
Mark Jamison 
Transportation Division Manager 
City of Roanoke, Virginia

David Bradshaw
Clark Nexsen
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Harold R. Caples, P.E.
Engineering Manager
Virginia Department of Transportation
Richmond, Virginia

Ed Crockett 
Assistant Director Public Works 
City of Newport News, Virginia

Sherry B. Earley, P.E.
Assistant Director of Public Works
City of Suffolk, Virginia

Gaynelle L. Hart
Director of Public Works
City of Lynchburg, Virginia

Joe Kroboth, III, P.E., L.S., PWLF
Director, Transp. and Cap. Infrastructure
Loudoun County, Virginia

Kelly Mattingly, LEED-AP, CRM 
Director of Public Works
Town of Blacksburg, Virginia

James W. Long, III, P.E., DBIA 
Project Manager, Transportation 
Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Scott A. Smith, P.E., L.S.
Coastal Resilience Manager
Department of Public Works
City of Norfolk, Virginia

Jennifer Sanford-Caples 
Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP
Richmond, Virginia
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  President's Corner

As the year ends, we can reflect on a long and challenging year.

In Central Virginia and other regions of the mid-Atlantic it has been remarkable.  May and June brought unprecedented rain events including two 7-inch rainfalls.  We have also had several lesser storms, as we always do, which totaled 2 or 3 inches.  Some of these were 100 and 25-year rainfall events and we have had several of each.  This was our 2nd wettest year in recorded history with over 20 inches of EXCESS rainfall.

In 2016 and 2017 we had major thunderstorms on the same day - June 16 which downed trees, caused power outages, washed out roads and resulted in property damage.  Some of our customers wonder if things have changed in our weather patterns.  That may or may not be so, but like flipping a coin, just because it turned up heads this time does not mean it won't do so next flip.  Similarly, a 100-year rainfall today does not guarantee you won't have another next week or even tomorrow.

This year there was a good deal of angst among our citizens.  These storm events
Road wash out repairs
have uncovered every weak spot in our drainage system. We have had roads washed out, dams overtopped, culverts destroyed, houses flooded and both private and public property damaged.  Our road maintenance department received 3,000 calls for assistance to dig out ditches or repair storm damage.  Roads were closed for weeks in some cases while we waited for materials to repair them.  We will be a long while in catching up on the backlog this created.

Several residents who suffered property damage were dismayed to find that their homes are in a floodplain for a creek.  In a couple of cases, debris washed into the storm water system and plugged up a pipe or an inlet backing up water into garages or crawl spaces.  Creeks that have no forested buffer suffered additional erosion.

Our job, following these events, is to assist getting the community back on its feet, restore the roads and repair the storm drains. Our road maintenance personnel and engineers have been working long hours to do this and I am very appreciative of their efforts.  While most of our customers are likewise appreciative, not all are.  Some are angry that they have suffered a casualty loss.
I have talked to several of our customers who blame the county for failing to require that a more robust system be constructed in the first place.  They do not care that the standards of the day required a lesser storm - a 1, 2 or 10-year event or perhaps no consideration was even given to runoff at the time. They don't care that a 25 or 100-year storm will overwhelm our system and create a problem.  They will have to pay for damage to their property.  Most of them had no flood insurance and they will have to cover the loss.  None of these were declared disasters and Federal aid is not available.

As professionals we are in a difficult position.  The development community and our customers expect reasonable regulations that are protective.  If the standard is a 10-year storm that is reflected in the price of the project.  A larger storm event may be considered, but the price goes up with rainfall intensity, sometimes geometrically.  Further you can't design a community for a 25 or 100-year event when it feeds into a system that is designed for a much lesser storm.  This would flood downstream where there may not be a problem today.  How much protection are customers willing to pay for?

This is a difficult discussion and one that has many opposing views.  As professionals our job is to provide the information regarding the risks, to recommend a course of action and aid our legislators in making a fair and reasonable decision.  We have learned a lot about buffer areas, redundancy in our systems, and backups in the event of failure.  We know today that houses should not be built in the floodplain, that lawns should not extend to the edge of the stream and that we need BMPs to control the quantity and quality of storm water.  I have no doubt that in 20 years we will know even more and that we will be making different decisions than we do today.

This is often a thankless task.  So, if no one else says it, THANK YOU all for everything you do to help our customers.  For making fair minded, reasonable and rationale decisions regarding these difficult and complicated matters.   Thank you as well for attending to our customers when in some cases Public Works personnel are also victims of a weather event, yet they are at work helping the community.

I hope your year has gone well.  Let's hope it dries out and dries out soon!
Steven J. Yob
Chapter President
APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter
 Re-Imagined Annual Conference

The Conference Planning Committee has been hard at work reimagining our APWA WRX Annual Conference and ROADEO. This year, the conference will be held in beautiful downtown Norfolk, VA at The Main hotel (book your discounted room here), with the ROADEO being held nearby at Harbor Park.

New this year, the reception will be held a day earlier, on Wednesday (opening night) onboard the USS Battleship Wisconsin ! Picture yourself on the fantail of this historic battleship, at our white-themed event (everyone wears white clothing), enjoying great food, adult libations, and live music from the Latin Jazz Conspiracy! Don't miss out on what promises to be a fun and unique opening night reception!

On Thursday night, we will have our Brew Night in the exhibit hall. Enjoy featured local craft beers and hors-d'oeuvres while mingling with the exhibitors.

Check out our new WRX of Art Gallery, also in the exhibit hall. Walk through the gallery to examine (and vote for your favorite) unique items on display, contributed by chapter public works agencies. Don't let your agency be left out - contact Karen Rudd to submit your "art," or in other words, interesting items found/identified by your PW staff. In addition, local artist Larry Bage will be sculpting the APWA logo from recycled metal and other materials supplied by Norfolk Public Works in the gallery.

Also new this year is the Bike Tour along the Elizabeth River. Enjoy the gorgeous views of downtown Norfolk while taking an educational group ride along the new Elizabeth River Trail. The best part? A rest stop at Smartmouth Brewing Company for refreshments.

If riding a bike is not your thing, we have a new Walking Tour that will explore the downtown seawall and pump station that help keep Norfolk a resilient city. As is traditional, we will have our Golf Tournament on Wednesday, this year held at Sewell's Point.

Our Technical Session will be like none other previously held! Resiliency is this year's conference theme and we will focus on all the things we do as public works professionals to keep our communities resilient. Although we advanced the due date of abstracts this year, we received a record number of high-quality presentations. Be a part of this highly educational event, where you will learn how to make your own community more resilient. If you are a professional requiring continuing education, your attendance at the conference will allow you to complete most (if not all) of your CEUs!
The ROADEO will be held on the banks of the Elizabeth River at Harbor Park, home of the Tides, Norfolk's minor league baseball team. Street sweepers, backhoes, loaders - oh my! Watch them and more heavy equipment in action at Harbor Park as operators compete against each other in the ROADEO. We will also feature a Touch-a-Truck event, with Norfolk Public School students learning about the equipment that helps maintain the city they live in!

But wait - there's more! The conference planning committee has worked hard to bring value to our exhibitors and sponsors. The exhibit hall has been reworked, with more activities inside the hall to encourage foot traffic. We have also simplified our sponsorship program and included added benefits. Links to registering as an exhibitor and sponsor are available at the conference web page. Sponsorships and exhibit space is limited, so remember to reserve your space today!

Don't miss this exciting conference. Register as an attendee or ROADEO participant at our conference web page and or take a shortcut to our Event List on the website.

We'll see you all in May in Norfolk!

Conference Schedule Overview
A detailed conference schedule will be included in our soon to be released conference planner.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

10:00 am - Registration Opens, Chapter Board of Directors meeting (invitation only)


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

7:00 am - ROADEO Registration Begins (9:00 am official start)

9:00 am - Golf Tournament Begins

1:00 pm - Seawall and Pump Station Tour Begins

3:00 pm - Bike Tour Begins | Seawall and Pump Station Tour Ends

3:00 pm - Exhibit Hall Opens

4:00 pm - ROADEO Ends (subject to change based upon competition)

5:00 pm - Bike Tour Ends

6:00 pm - USS Wisconsin Reception Begins

8:00 pm - Exhibit Hall Closes

10:00 pm - USS Wisconsin Reception Ends


Thursday, May 16, 2019

8:00 am - Exhibit Hall Opens

9:00 am - Annual Chapter Meeting

10:00 am- Technical Sessions Begin

5:00 pm - Exhibit Hall Reception Begins

7:00 pm - Exhibit Hall Reception Ends


Friday, May 17, 2019

8:00 am - Exhibit Hall Opens

8:00 am - Technical Sessions Begin

10:00 am - Exhibit Hall Closes

11:00 am - Technical Sessions End

11:30 am - Closing Session

Don't Miss Out on Scholarship Opportunities!

Did you know that the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter offers yearly scholarships? Student Scholarships and Professional Development Scholarships are awarded annually at WRX. Applying for the scholarships requires completing an application that details your educational and Honors/Awards history as well as your pursuit of education that is related to Public Works. There is also a section where you will develop a concise essay addressing how you see your education relating to a career in Public Works and what you hope to accomplish in your Public Works career.
As recipients of the Professional Development Scholarship, we have been able to further our education in a manner that will be beneficial to both ourselves and the Public Works field.
To apply for the Student Scholarship:
  • You must be enrolled or intending to enroll in a full-time undergraduate or graduate degree program at an accredited college or university;
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 basis); and
  • Be a member or dependent of a member of the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter
To apply for the Professional Development Scholarship:
  • You must be enrolled or intending to enroll in a full-time undergraduate or graduate degree program at an accredited college or university;
  • Be a member of the APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter
This is a great opportunity for you to continue your professional development and to prepare yourself for your future in Public Works. An email with this year's scholarship information is forthcoming.
Jason Calbert is the Street Maintenance Administrator for the Department of Public Works in the City of Newport News and is pursuing his Bachelors in Business Administration.
Scarlet Stiteler is the Accounting Specialist for the Department of Public Works in the City of Newport News and is pursuing her Master's in Public Administration.

Fairfax County Ecologists Present at 2018 EcoStream Conference

Last August, staff from Fairfax County's Stormwater Planning Division travelled to
Chris Ruck EcoStream Aug 2018
Asheville, North Carolina, to present at the 2018 EcoStream Stream Ecology and Restoration Conference. "Evolving from Two Decades of Lessons Learned to Meet Future Challenges," was the theme.  More than 400 ecologists, engineers, landscape planners and consultants from throughout the Southeast attended the conference.

Ecologist Chris Ruck, Watershed Assessment Branch, gave a presentation on the development of tolerance values for aquatic insects in urban streams.

Project manager and Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner Meghan Fellows, Watershed Projects Implementation Branch - Central, described the innovative ways Stormwater Planning staff go beyond the channel to restore the riparian corridor.

Ecologist LeAnne Astin, Watershed Assessment Branch, described the ways Fairfax County is adapting stormwater management practices and stream restoration designs in the Culpeper Basin, an ancient lake bed with unique biology and unique responses to urbanization.
Congratulations to These Virginia Cities 
for Achieving Re-accreditation
The Virginia cities and towns listed below have achieved re-accreditation for another four-year period:

City of Chesapeake, Department of Public Works
City of Newport News, VA, Department of Public Works
Town of Smithfield, Planning, Engineering & Public Works Department


Chapter's Diversity in Public Works Lunch-n-Learn
November 13, 2018

After a very warm welcome by host Scott Somers, City Manager for the City of College
Lia Rogers, DC DPW (standing, right) sharing recent ELA collaborative cultural project outcomes.
Park, public works practitioners enjoyed hearing from Lia Rogers, Policy and Project Officer for DC DPW.  She led off the L-n-L by re-capping her personal experience with the National APWA Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA).  She also addressed cultural differences and challenges in public works.

After lunch, College Park's Public Works Director Robert Marsili and HR Director Jill Clements shared the City's efforts to examine explicit and implicit bias in their workforce.  They also discussed practices they use to ensure inclusivity and diversity with staff.

Standing, left to right, Jill Clements and Robert Marsili, City of College Park discussing public works workforce implementation.
The guest speakers did an excellent job and the participants regularly interacted with them. Taking a page from the Chapter's Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute, a "One Word Wrap-up" was used to capture the event's take-away. A copy of the closing impressions is shown below.

Special thanks to our event sponsors:
  • Greeley and Hansen
  • Parts Authority Fleet
  • VHB
New Map App Explains Fairfax County Government Center Stormwater Management Facilities

A new interactive GIS story map guides Fairfax County residents along a walking tour of stormwater management facilities located at the county's government center campus in Fairfax, Va. The tour describes ponds, a native meadow, a restored stream, bioretention areas, swales, green roofs, and permeable pavers. Anyone enjoying the trails can learn how the overlooked facilities collect runoff to control flooding, encourage detention and infiltration, and improve water quality.

The GIS story map was created for the Chesapeake Bay Commission, which met in Fairfax County last summer. The Commission is a policy leader in the restoration of Chesapeake Bay and serves as a liaison to Congress.

The map can be viewed on smartphones or desktop computers. There are lots of photos, and the facility descriptions are short and sweet.
Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute Update
Scott A. Smith, PE, LS, 
PWI Committee Chair

The Mid-Atlantic Public Works Institute(MPWI) is set to complete its second cohort in the Spring of 2019. Session 4 is scheduled for April 2-4, 2019 at the Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Innsbrook. Registration is open!

The focus of Session 4 is "Executive Leadership", subject matter experts will provide training in the presentation skills, succession planning, strategic planning, contracting and bidding, construction management and much more.
The program also allows interaction between various agencies and networking, strengthening the bond among Public Works Professionals across the chapter.
The program has been designed so that you can jump in at any session, you do not have to start with Session I. Sessions are offered every 6 months, in the spring and fall. The overall course of instruction is covered in four sessions.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Scott A. Smith, PE, LS
PWI Committee Chair
Email -
Office (757) 441-2602 
Cell (757) 805-0310
The City of Newport News Public Works Partners with Deer Park Elementary School

Starting in September 2018, our Public Works team partnered with Deer Park Elementary to offer a series of briefings on what is done in the Newport News Solid Waste Division and to learn more about operations.  Over 100 third grade students, teachers and parents from Deer Park Elementary enjoyed a visit to the Recovery Operations Center in October. This was their third educational event.  Deer Park Elementary School is the Environmental/ Science magnet school for the City of Newport News.

The first briefing discussed the importance of recycling and how landfills operate. The presentation helped students understand the multi-faceted nature of the work, including the importance of Math, English and Science in undertaking Solid Waste tasks. Students watched a video on how recyclables are processed that highlighted what not to put in a recycling bin. They also learned how the retired landfill is being managed with future plans to convert it to a passive recreational venue.
During our second meeting, the students became the inaugural partners in the School Yard Litter Challenge. Students were asked to pick up and categorize litter found around the school. This exercise provided lessons on the sources of litter, how it impacts wildlife, stormwater and aesthetics, and how to prevent litter.
At their visit in October, teachers, students and parents toured both the Recovery Operations Center and the retired landfill. The group climbed the landfill and got a bird's-eye view of the recreational ballfields next door. They were able to experience the sights and sounds of the compost and mulch operations. They were also able to watch a variety of machines in operation from the top of the former landfill.
The City of Newport News Public Works appreciates Deer Park Elementary School's interest and participation.
Fairfax County Unveils Rebranded Stream Crime Investigation Lab

Last September, Fairfax County's Watershed Education and Outreach team unveiled the redesigned Stream Crime Investigation Lab (SCI) at an alternative high school in Centreville, Va. The lab activity, which illustrates how human behavior impacts local waterways, was updated after the team was approached by a neighboring jurisdiction that wanted to use SCI in its schools.

Building off an already award-winning concept, an in-house graphic artist updated the lab materials and created a new interactive presentation that introduces the lab to students. The refreshed lab is more engaging than ever and redesigning the printed materials provided an opportunity to reduce waste. Students now use dry-erase markers to record data on laminated sheets instead of disposable paper.
Freestate Farms breaks ground at County Compost Facility 
Construction of new advanced aerobic composting system will increase facility's capacity and efficiency

Chris Martino; Denton Baldwin and Doug Ross of Freestate Farms; Tom Smith and Marty Nohe prepare to shovel compost to mark the beginning of the Ball Ford Road facility advanced technology construction.
Prince William, VA, December 11, 2018 - On Tuesday, December 11, Freestate Farms LLC, an organic waste recycling company based in Northern Virginia, broke ground to begin construction of its new advanced aerobic composting system at the Prince William County Balls Ford Road Composting Facility in Manassas.  Coles District Supervisor Martin E. Nohe (Prince William County Board), County Executive Christopher E. Martino, and members of the County's Solid Waste Division lent a hand to turn the first shovelfuls of dirt for the project.
In January 2015, Freestate Farms was authorized by Prince William Board of County Supervisors to construct and operate this new facility to process yard waste, food scraps, and wood waste at the County's Balls Ford Road composting facility, and to provide organic waste management services at that site and at the County's landfill.  Freestate will ultimately employ more than 20 people at the site.
When the project is complete in 2020, it will double the processing capacity at the Balls Ford Road facility. Over 80,000 tons per year of organic waste will be recycled into high-value compost, soil products, and non-synthetic fertilizers.  This will reduce the amount of yard and food waste going into the County landfill, thus extending the life of the landfill. 
The first phase of the new facility will involve advanced aerobic composting technology, designed and supplied by Engineered Compost Systems, which will speed up and optimize the composting process. The current system stacks yard waste into long passively aerated piles (called windrows) that are turned manually with heavy equipment to promote the composting process, which presently takes roughly nine months.
The new system will automatically control the flow of air through concrete aeration
Freestate Farms rendering of the aerobic composting bunkers and anaerobic digestion system at the new Balls Ford Road Compost Facility.

floors to maintain optimal aerobic conditions in the piles, which will minimize odor generation and speed up composting.  Biofilters will further scrub potential odors from the exhaust air stream.  This process will reduce the composting time to 3-4 months and allow Freestate to produce higher quality soil amendment products.   
The second phase of the project will involve construction of an anaerobic digestion system, which will process food waste in a fully enclosed airtight tank that is seeded with special microbes to "digest" (i.e., convert) food waste and other organic material, such as fats, oils and grease, into methane-rich biogas and high-quality fertilizer products.  Freestate will use the biogas produced to fuel a combined heat and power generator to serve the entire Balls Ford Road facility, and which will have excess electricity available to send back to the grid. 
The final phase of the new facility will be an indoor organic food production system.  Freestate will construct and operate controlled environment containerized grow boxes to sustainably grow fresh produce using the renewable energy, compost, and fertilizer products all generated at the Balls Ford Road site.
"We are very happy to be working with Prince William County through public-private partnership to develop this full-circle solution for managing organic waste, generating renewable energy, and producing fresh local organic fruits and vegetables," said Doug Ross, Chief Executive of Freestate Farms.  "This can and should be a model of sustainability for the region."
For more information about Prince William County Solid Waste Division programs and services visit or For more information on Freestate Farms LLC, Click HERE 
Heavy Equipment Operators Showcase Skills at Fairfax County Road-E-Os 

Last October, Fairfax County's Department of Public Works and Environmental Services hosted the 2018 Road-E-O at the former NIKE missile site in Lorton, Va. The daylong event featured several skills competitions for heavy equipment operators, and lots of encouraging smack talk in a fun, festive atmosphere.

Employees from DPWES, the Park Authority, and Fairfax County Public Schools competed for donated prizes and bragging rights, and to qualify for regional events sanctioned by the American Public Works Association.

"The hope is that everyone can join together as one team, as one family, as Fairfax County Department of Public Works, and merging with schools and parks so that we can be the front of how we need to be, how it should be, moving forward," said Road-E-O committee member Robbie Glenn, an environmental specialist in the Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division.

Competitions included maneuvering a skid steer through traffic cones, retrieving a
A skid steer operator prepares to move a basketball from a cone to a container.
basketball and depositing it in a trashcan; using a backhoe to hook a pin and place it through the small hole in the top of a cone; using a Kubota to move an egg without breaking it; using a flusher truck's vacuum arm to transport a basketball through a maze of cones and place it in a barrel; using a knuckle boom crane truck to gently pick up a brick and place it on its end in the center of a target; scooping gravel in a rubber tire loader and dumping the stone into a truck; and carefully weaving through a course in a snowplow. Attendees also took part in a vehicle inspection challenge.

"My favorite event is normally the snowplow, but I was the judge for the knuckle boom today, and I enjoyed the experience of watching the guys try to pick up a brick without breaking it, and just meeting fellow coworkers," said Marjorie Braxton, administrative assistant IV, Wastewater Collection Division.

Besides enjoying a beautiful fall day outside, there was something for everyone at the event. Attendees took turns driving dump trucks and fire engines inside a simulator. Numerous vehicles on loan from various vendors and partners were on display, and exhibitors staffed tents.

Looking to next year, Jonathan Murray, environmental business operations manager, MSMD, said, "Hopefully, we can make it a cross-county event."
Volunteers Help Clean Popular Local Parks

Nearly 90 volunteers gathered together last weekend to help clean up Veterans Memorial and Jefferson Parks. They picked up roughly 1,500 pounds of trash that included two bed frames, three mattresses, a shopping cart, an old stereo unit, portable grills, 23 tires, old carpet and garden hoses, not to mention all the plastic bottles and other miscellaneous trash.

"Around the country, we use something like two million plastic bottles every five minutes, and nearly 80 percent of those plastic bottles never make it into the recycling stream," said Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi, who spoke to the volunteers before they got started. "We are going to change that here in eastern Prince William with all of your help. Today is all about picking up and recycling plastic in the park. Thank you all for coming out this morning in this cold weather to help us clean up the park and eliminate our plastic problem in eastern Prince William."

With that, the volunteers were off to work. Brendon Shaw, of Haymarket, said he heard about the cleanup through his work and thought it was a good idea to come out and help. "As residents of Prince William County, we think it's important to pitch in and help where we can. I thought it was a great opportunity to get out and do that. It's close to home, and it's a beautiful park, and we want to take care of it."

Mazil Rhim, of Gainesville, brought his four-, eight-, 12- and 16-year-old daughters to the cleanup to set an example. "We have to teach our kids that we have to keep nature clean."

Talon Morris, of Front Royal, also came to help since his father works in Prince William County. He said trash offends his sensibilities. "I just hate looking at trash. I don't like seeing it, so I want to get rid of it."

Meagan Landis, the constituent services and policy manager in Principi's office, said the goal of the cleanup, aside from keeping the parks looking nice, is to collect data that will aid in procuring grants.

"The whole point of quantifying it is part of a bigger project where we are trying to get federal money for litter traps. We've identified areas where the litter is making its way into the waterways at these natural collection points, and we want to install these litter traps, so we're pursuing federal grant money."

Janet LaFleur, the operations manager for the county's Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, said that trash accumulates over the summer between cleanups and it's hard to get to when the brush is at its thickest in the summer. Fall and winter are better for cleanups, LaFleur said. "That's when we can really get in there and get that stuff out."

The county's Parks, Recreation and Tourism and Public Works Departments, Keep Prince William Beautiful, the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District, Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition, Adopt a Stream and the Responsible Battery Coalition partnered with Principi's office to help with the cleanup.
Nature Finds a Way at Fairfax County Landfill Complex 

Craig Jeter, assistant complex manager at Fairfax County's I-95 landfill complex, noticed something he'd never seen in six years at the site - wild fruit and veggies growing. A tomato plant sprung up inside a makeshift tire rim sign holder, and a vine full of watermelons was discovered. "These two pleasant surprises are just a sign of how far nature is willing to travel in order to blossom!" Jeter said. 
Unexploded Explosive Incident Results in New Safety Protocol

The discovery of a potentially live explosive device on a construction site has led to a new safety protocol for reporting unexploded explosives found on project sites managed by Fairfax County's Department of Public Works and Environmental Services.

On Sept. 27, 2018, work to stabilize an eroding section of Backlick Run was
A boulder with what looks like a fuse was discovered at a stream restoration site.
interrupted by the discovery of a potentially live explosive device. Chris Triolo, an engineer in the Stormwater Construction Branch of the Utilities Design and Construction Division, noticed what appeared to be a fuse protruding from a cored hole in a large boulder that had been placed in the channel as part of a makeshift bridge to allow heavy equipment to cross the stream.

The discovery caused confusion on the job site because no one knew if the fuse-like object was a threat or not. Rock quarries use explosives to excavate stone for construction needs, and the object appeared to be a "shock tube," a plastic tube that connects to a blasting cap to trigger an explosion.

The stone had been submerged during recent storms, but was exposed when it was removed from the stream. The boulder was well away from any homes in the area, which gave the project team time to discuss options. A photo of the object was emailed to supervisors, and site inspectors secured the site.

Triolo called the police department the following morning, and an officer was dispatched to the site. After seeing the fuse-like object, the officer called in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit.

The EOD confirmed Triolo's suspicion: the object protruding from the boulder was indeed a shock tube. The question was if it was still connected to a blasting cap or not. "There is no way to know if there is a threat to safety until the bomb squad clears it," said Brian Buckholtz, Police Operations Support Bureau. "So it is a threat until we confirm that it is not. We treat them all as hazardous until we can prove otherwise."

The EOD unit cleared the area of all personnel and used a crank and cable system to remove the shock tube remotely. Thankfully, it wasn't connected to anything and nothing went boom.

The stone had been delivered to the site by the contractor, and it was determined that the tube was most likely the remnant from a blast, but it had been missed during clean up.

Buckholtz said reporting the threat to EOD was the correct thing to do. "If someone goes and pulls on that tube, there is a real possibility that explosives are still connected."

Fortunately, no one was ever in any danger, but the incident alerted safety analyst Sean Jones to a missing safety protocol for the discovery of potentially unexploded explosives on project sites. He quickly drafted a new protocol and suggested the information be mandatory reading for all project managers, construction managers, and inspectors. The protocol clearly states the steps to take if unexploded explosives are found. He plans to add the approved protocol to the Construction Management Guide for future reference and training.

Public Works director James Patteson (now retired) was glad the situation was resolved safely, saying in an email to project team members, "Thanks for keeping safety in mind. See something, say something in practice. Great work."

Registration is open for the American Public Works Association's (APWA) WRX conference! The 2019 conference will be held in Norfolk, VA, May 14-17. The technical program, focusing on resiliency, promises to feature a diverse range of presentations covering the latest solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing public works professionals.

Volunteers Install Nearly 700 Native Plants

A pollinator meadow planting event was held at the Alban Road vehicle maintenance facility in Springfield, Va., on Saturday, November 10. More than 30 volunteers from the Fairfax County Department of Vehicle Services, George Mason University's Engineers for International Development program, and Friends of Accotink Creek helped install 693 native plants provided by Earth Sangha, a native plant nursery.

The site is just a few steps from the Accotink Gorge where the main stem drops from
Water quality and wildlife habitat are improved by installing native plants and removing invasive species.
the Piedmont to the Coastal Plain at the fall line. Though not as dramatic as Great Falls, it is a very pretty spot and surprising to discover in the midst of the surrounding car services, parking lots, and highway ramps.

"In time, our work will be a valuable extension of the tenuous connection to the Accotink Gorge along Field Lark Branch," said Suzy Foster, landscape architect, Stormwater Planning Division, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services.

Next spring the trees and plugs will start sprouting and the perennials in the seed mix will germinate. Over the next few years staff of the Stormwater Planning Division will monitor the area to make sure that a healthy population of native plants is taking hold and keeping the invasives out, requiring less and less effort over time.   

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Chapter Welcomes New Members!

The APWA Mid-Atlantic Chapter is seeking companies and individuals who are interested in becoming sponsors, and as such, being recognized each quarter in the  Chapter newsletter, as well as ongoing exposure on the  Chapter's website . As a newsletter sponsor, in addition to the positive media attention you will receive, your sponsorship in the newsletter will also provide you the benefit of networking opportunities, and further, it is a great way for your company to gain visibility throughout APWA.

Your Sponsorship commitment includes the following services on both the Chapter website and quarterly newsletter: 
1. Link to the Sponsor's product, individual or company website. 
2. Link to send electronic mail (email) the designated Sponsor's email address. 
3. Display of the individual or company logo (images limited to 2.25 MB file size). 
4. Link to the Sponsor's one page portable document format (.pdf) electronic file, limited to 1.0 MB. 

Sponsorship on both mediums is currently ONLY
$300.00 for twelve months
Don't Delay! Become a sponsor now!

Click Here for an Application
  Questions? Email Jennifer Cook