Coosa Riverkeeper Notifies Eddleman of Intent to Sue for Pollution

On April 16, Coosa Riverkeeper, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, notified Doug Eddleman of their intention to file suit for violations at the Village at Highland Lakes Development in Shelby County.

“Sediment from the construction site at the Village at Highland Lakes Development is inundating the river system, posing a threat to wildlife and water quality for Fowler Lake, Yellow Leaf Creek, and Lay Lake of the Coosa River. Sediment is one of the leading causes of water pollution in Alabama, and developers have a responsibility to ensure that their operations do not harm water quality for downstream communities who rely on these waters for fishing, swimming, navigation, and drinking water supplies.”

Frank Chitwood, Staff Riverkeeper

Construction stormwater from The Village at Highland Lakes enters Yellowleaf Creek at Fowler Lake in this horrifying photo that has become a reality.

At construction sites, dirt is carried away by rainwater and into the nearest stormwater ditch or stream. That sediment muddies the water which harms wildlife, and eventually settles out of the water and onto the bottom of the river, which negatively impacts both wildlife and recreation. In addition to sediment, the sheer volume of water that crashes into streams from uncontrolled construction sites causes erosion and flooding, sometimes overtopping roads, filling private and public lakes, and damaging private property. 

Under stormwater permit requirements, developers must utilize Best Management Practices to prevent uncontrolled volumes of sediment from being washed away and to reduce the turbidity in downstream waterways. At the Village at Highland Lakes, Coosa Riverkeeper has documented that those measures continue to be woefully inadequate, and have filed a Notice of Intent to Sue to give the developers 60 days to comply with the requirements of their permits.

Stormwater from The Village at Highland Lakes in such great quantity that it flooded over a road.


Also, on April 4, Cahaba Riverkeeper, represented by David Ludder, notified Taylor Burton Company of its intention to file suit for violations at the South Bend Subdivision in Vestavia. These actions represent a critical first step in the Riverkeepers’ new campaign to enforce stormwater permits intended to protect creeks and rivers from polluted run-off from construction sites after rain.

“Stormwater runoff, and the sediment that comes with it, affects recreational opportunities, damages public and private property, and increases water treatment costs. We are hoping that this campaign will bring developers who fail to comply with the requirements of their permit back into compliance.”

David Butler, Staff Riverkeeper and Attorney for Cahaba Riverkeeper

Related Posts

Clean Water Act 101

Clean Water Act 101

Before the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, waterways in the United States were severely contaminated by sewage, trash, oil, and industrial pollution. Since then, the Clean Water Act has dramatically reduced pollution and improved water quality across the country,...

River Reads

River Reads

Knowledge is power, and what better way to gain knowledge than to read a book (or 5)! We surveyed our staff and some of our board members to what conservation-minded books influenced their career or their opinion on our natural world. Check out what some of them had...

Spring 2022 Newsletter

Spring 2022 Newsletter

Dive into our Spring Newsletter! Our 2021 Financials Nutrients on the Coosa Coosa River named 5th Most Endangered River in the US Meet our New Team Members Get the Skinny on Swim Guide 2022 Have you seen our new video? It's been in the works for over a year!

Share This