Our last major update on the Soapstone Valley sewer rehab project was in early August, when the public comment period on the environmental assessment closed. DC Water’s plan to reline the existing 110-year-old pipes is now in the National Park Service’s hands, and its blessing will come via a finding of no significant impact, or FONSI.
William Elledge from DC Water was at the January 21st meeting of ANC 3F to provide a brief update and an approximate timeline.
The Park Service is expected to release the FONSI in two or three months. The procurement process for the design will follow, and take about three months. Developing the design and obtaining permits will take approximately 12 months (and permit timing in particular is difficult to estimate). The procurement process for the construction contractor adds another six months to the timeline.
This all adds up to two years before work begins. And Elledge says the construction phase will be interrupted to accommodate some of the park’s residents. The long-eared bat mates in late summer.
As for public engagement, DC Water will have as many public meetings as requested by the ANC and apartment buildings that abut the Soapstone Valley.
New to the project or need to catch up? Here is a summary with links to our 2019 coverage of the proposals, the pros and the cons.
Correction: The original version of this article said the Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing the FONSI. The National Park Service is the agency responsible. We regret the error.