This is a classic case of development at what cost? It stinks to the high heaven!
Air quality, noise pollution, you’d think these would be top priorities in a major urban transformation, right? But every question I throw out bounces back unanswered. As I dig for clarity it’s clear the rules are skewed, designed to hide the truths about the health risks of construction pollution and environmental issues.
The lack of information on health risks and the absence of air quality monitors leaves doubts about the true extent of pollution caused by construction activities and their impact on the environment and the health of those in the Washington DC area.
…If the health implications and environmental concerns were sidelined footnotes in the blueprint of city plans, that’s not just an oversight, that’s a willful blind spot.
They’re turning a blind eye …and it’s no accident!
The County and developers spent a quarter-century meticulously planning this urban transformation, adapting policies along the way. Did they overlook basic human necessities? Was the oversight a topic of discussion or merely brushed aside? It’s implausible that over three decades, no one else spotted these concerns. So, what happened to those voices? Were they sidelined? Who made the call to sacrifice a few of us for the greater good? If the risks were minimal, there would be transparency. The absence of information implies there’s something to hide.
If someone intentionally puts poison into your water bottle, it’s not just bad, it’s a deliberate act of harm. In the same vein, if officials or developers are aware of serious harmful substances to be present in the environment, like construction dust that can cause serious health issues to an entire community, and fails to warn the public, could this be seen as a form of negligence or even willful endangerment?
Is there’s an ethical and legal obligation to prevent harm and protect others from known dangers?
My inbox is a dossier of dismissals and non-answers, (I will be gladly share it with you) that’s the smoking gun of the silent strategy I am talking about. In my conversations with the Arlington County Chairman, County Environmental Services, Urban Planning, the County Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Labor and Industry and managers of JBG Smith/Clark Construction (mega investors) what have I got? A deflection, silence, and a dance around the maypole without ever touching it. It’s a choreography of avoidance, and I’m not buying tickets to that show!
It’s one thing to suspect, another to have the paperwork that shows the decision-makers’ doorstep. It’s evidence of a dialogue that’s more monologue, where my concerns echo back with a pat on the back and a “we’ll look into it” that never sees daylight.
It’s not just about reading between the lines, it’s about reading the lines that aren’t there. The risks are not taken seriously and the questions are not answered.
That’s the real conversation, and it’s louder than any construction noise. It’s not just a question of whether it’s awful and also unawful, it’s a question of no one doing anything about it.
Dollars Over Clean Air, Profit Over People
Acknowledging the health risks be bad for business. It’s a dirty little secret that could derail the money train of new tenants, buyers and investors. It’s a harsh tune, and it’s been playing on repeat for decades.
You won’t find much online about the danger of living near these construction sites. Why? Because the truth is inconvenient. The developers and the County are betting on one thing, that if you don’t see it online, you’ll believe there’s nothing to worry about. Instead of facts, we’re sold picturesque renderings, distractions from the gritty reality. It’s a strategic silence. They’re banking on the fact that the dazzle of development will blind folks to the smog of its wake. It’s a risky bet. And in the end, it’s the people, not the buildings, that make the place. If the foundation is shaky, no amount of architectural splendor will keep the walls from cracking. It’s not just awful, it’s a tragedy in slow motion, unless someone hits pause and rewinds back to the part where community health was in the script.
They won’t tell you, but I will!
By the time we see the side effects of this major redevelopment, the race will be over. But let's hope the finish line isn't a courtroom!