The large area just behind the former Rite Aid location at Lake Forest and Bullard currently appears to be under development for construction. A sign on the property states that only dirt can be dumped; however, in a post by Michael LeVasseur on the NextDoor app, some residents are concerned about what appears to be raw sewage being dumped on the site.
Additionally, while developers are responsible for maintaining the street adjacent to construction property, residents have stated that while this site has a street sweeper available to do just that, it’s never used. As a result mud, rocks and other debris are left in the roadway damaging vehicles and creating an eye sore.
On Friday, March 20th a vacuum truck which appeared to be owned by a private company backed onto the site and emptied its contents among the debris previously dumped. Vacuum trucks are commonly used to remove untreated sewage from businesses, residential septic tanks, port-a-lets and any untreated waste that falls under Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s description of such waste. This waste is to be collected and brought to a certified location.
According to LeVasseur, and information on the DEQ site, there are no such locations in Orleans Parish. River Birch in Jefferson Parish is the only location in the area where a truck such as that should be dumping.
“Once this truck completed dumping the untreated waste it entered Interstate 510 and headed back to St. Bernard Parish by way of the Paris Road bridge,” LeVasseur said.
LeVasseur provided photos of the vehicle and the waste it dumped. “Clearly the waste in the center of the image is not natural or dirt from any location in NOE,” said LeVasseur. “Because of the raw debris dripping from the vacuum truck, the awful smell and the sewage covering the rear of the truck, obtaining the license plate was impossible.”
LeVasseur feels that the owner of the site, Wade Verges, should employ someone to monitor dumping at that location. “The developer should regularly sweep both east and westbound sides of Lake Forest daily.”
“If the developer cannot comply with either it should be closed until it can comply. Residents are complaining and suggesting law enforcement monitor and enforce QOL violations. This is not practical as the developer accepts debris 24/7.”
“The company dumping the untreated material should be reported to DEQ,” says LeVasseur, and he doesn’t understand why this activity is allowed on the main throughway to Eastover, an upscale subdivision.
An email detailing the activity was sent by LeVasseur to District E Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen on March 22nd, along with pictures. Her assistant advised that Nguyen spoke to the developer.
Since March 22nd LeVasseur noted the daily presence of the truck at the site, which he feels indicates that Verges owns it or allows the owner to park there.
When Wage Verges was contacted about the dumping he stated that “The fill is not illegal.” Once in a while, he says, some concrete is dumped with mud. But, he says, he makes them remove it. “There is a sign on the property which says mud only. If anyone sees illegal dumping, tell them to call the police.
Other residents have reported illegal dumping of tires in other parts of the East, including Bullard Avenue and Old Gentilly Road. Illegal Dumping can be reported by calling 225-219-3640.
LeVasseur’s video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/FOURck4Wf64