An article in the Aug. 12 edition of Anne Arundel Extra misspelled the name of Naval Academy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk. (Published 8/19/04)
The U.S. Naval Academy's Athletic Association has been targeted by state environmental authorities for not controlling dirt-filled runoff from the site of its stadium renovation.
Inspectors from the Maryland Department of the Environment determined that the project at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis did not have a proper erosion-control plan and allowed muddy water to wash into nearby College and Weems creeks, a department spokesman said.
The athletic association was warned about the problems on July 14, and it fixed them within the following weeks, MDE spokesman Richard McIntire said.
Still, McIntire said, the department is considering levying fines against the athletic association and a contractor. McIntire was unable to identify the contractor.
The fines could include $10,000 per day of violation for illegal discharge of water, plus $1,000 per day for inadequate sediment erosion control, he said.
The three-year, $40 million stadium renovation will be completed in the next few weeks. It has included an overhaul of the seats and the press box and a lowering of the playing field to provide more seating. A gravel parking lot will be transformed into community playing fields.
The site attracted the attention of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a private environmental group, last year. Foundation scientist Rob Schnabel said rainstorms caused muddy streams of water to flow from the construction site into storm drains and then into the creeks.
The two creeks, which run into the Severn River, became as cloudy as anyone had ever seen them, Schnabel said, and the runoff harmed grasses, oysters and other wildlife.
"It basically smothers all aquatic life in the creeks," Schnabel said.
He said that the foundation had suggested that large retention ponds be built to hold all the runoff, but that the athletic association had resisted.
"They really never did what they were supposed to do out there," Schnabel said.
Chet Gladchuck, Navy's athletic director, said the athletic association had made numerous efforts to prevent pollution, including building silt fences to hold back muddy water and constructing some retention ponds.
He said the runoff problems were the result of two very large rainstorms this summer that overwhelmed the site's capacity to hold water.
In addition, Gladchuck said, a contractor caused some of the problems by poking a hole in a silt fence to relieve pressure during one rainstorm. That allowed a stream of muddy water to flow out.
"I don't know that there would have been an issue were it not for a couple of torrential rains," Gladchuck said.