News Alert: Howrey Field Park ruled out as Accotink dewatering site

County considering four other locations for the Lake Accotink dredging project

Howrey Field Park is no longer recommended for consideration as a potential dewatering site for the Lake Accotink dredging project, according to project manager Charles Smith of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services.

The news comes as the county prepares to release an alternatives analysis conducted by the engineering contractor, Arcadis, which evaluated potential locations where sediment from the lake could be pumped and dewatered before being hauled away by truck. The study is expected to be posted on the project website this week.

The decision to rule out Howrey will come as a relief to the Annandale-North Springfield Little League, which operates at the park and had protested its inclusion as a potential dewatering site.

“If Howrey Park is selected as the ‘Spoils’ holding location, we will lose the use of the park fields for as many as five years and it could be more if the ‘Spoils’ contain hazardous waste,” ANSLL President Don Pedersen said in an email last month to the Little League community.

Smith, the project manager, noted that the county had received about 120 comments through the project website, the majority of them expressing opposition to the use of Howrey.

“Howrey Park is not recommended for further consideration due to both lower suitability and impacts to the community,” he explained in an email.

Four other locations are being considered:

  • a Dominion Energy site in Wakefield Park

  • a maintenance area in Wakefield Park

  • a settling basin in Lake Accotink Park

  • the island in Lake Accotink

Two meetings are currently scheduled to review the alternatives analysis: an in-person session July 29 at 7 p.m. in the Annandale High School auditorium, and a virtual meeting Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. Postcards are expected to be sent this week to 4,000 households alerting them of the two meetings.

The public comment period for the alternatives analysis will close Aug. 19.

The Lake Accotink dredging project is set to begin in 2023 and will remove 350,000 cubic yards of sediment to prevent the lake from becoming a wetland unusable for boating and fishing. 

Environmentalists have expressed concern over the fact that several of the potential dewatering sites would require land to be cleared to make way for a pipeline.