NPCA is a member of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance and supports it in a number of areas, one of them being watershed protection of the Ten-Mile Creek and Little Seneca Reservoir, which helps to provide safe drinking water for our area. The Ten Mile Creek watershed is described as one of the highest quality stream systems in Montgomery County, according to government studies. It is a drinking water source as part of the Little Seneca system, an emergency water supply for the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The creek main stem is extensively forested and the watershed contains some agricultural land. However, the basin is bisected by an interstate highway, I-270, and additional land development is planned for the Clarksburg area.
In 1994 the county government had designated a portion of the watershed as a “special protection area” (SPA) to protect water quality by requiring builders to install extensive controls for stormwater runoff. A follow-up study found that after construction of several projects, water quality in the Little Seneca basin was degraded, despite the SPA requirements. In April 2014, the Montgomery County Council set additional limits on development projects in order to protect the quality of the creek and adjacent habitat. Later that year, developers filed suit against the county, claiming that the county “illegally limited construction on its property.” The suit is pending as of 2015.
Pulte Home Corporation, which wanted to build up to 1,000 single-family homes on land west of I-270 near Clarksburg, filed an $86 million lawsuit against Montgomery County Friday, charging that planners and the County Council illegally limited construction on its property.