Episode 4: The DEP Issue

Thursday, February 28, 2013
All seemed to be going well until spring when we received a letter from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) notifying us that our topsoil was washing into the Roaring River. They stated that immediate action needed to be taken to remedy the issue or we would be fined $20,000 a day.

That really got our attention! We were unaware of the situation since we did not live on the property.

Steps we took

  1. Called the grass seeding company: they stated had rained for three weeks and the seeds probably    washed down the slope
  2. hired an environmental company to assess the damage, formulate an action plan, and remedy the situation.

Proposed Action Plan: Suggested re-seeding first and then cleaning up the river.

Mandated Action Plan: DEP did not agree and made us clean the river first.

Implementation: Our contractor assembled a large team to perform the clean-up river. It was completed in about two weeks.


  1. The clean-up was completed as scheduled.
  2. After the clean-up it rained again, and the soil washed into the river again because the underlying issue was not allowed to be addressed first.

Revised Action Plan:

  1. After complaining to the DEP, they allowed us to re-seed the slope
  2. Then perform the 2nd clean-up.


  1. The slope was reseeded, and the grass came in
  2. The river clean-up was performed.
  3. The clean-up were doubled, and the clean-up was delayed due to the DEP decision
  4. The DEP closed the case


We had to wait two more years until the PH level of the soil returned to the level needed for the grapevines to flourish.

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