To: Pima County Board of Supervisors
From: Nancy Freeman, Executive Director
Groundwater Awareness League, Inc.
Date: May 5, 2009

Subject: Potential flooding problems in Emigh Rd. Region

The staff and Robert Zammit, the “developer” responsible for the Emigh Rd construction and maintenance, have given no assessment of the potential flooding in this region.

This subdivision, Tierra Linda Neuva appears to be in the Federal FEMA zone (map attached). Overhead maps (attached) of the region show that Emigh Rd has already started acting as a dam for stormwater catchment, as well the other roads around the subdivision.

I am particularly concerned because Mr. Robert Zammit has created a flooding disaster in San Pedro Estates off Nogales Highway. Ignoring all warnings from the county staff, he proceeded to build in a sheet flood zone. After completing the roads subdivision roads, he assigned their maintence to the county. So, the county maintained roads in the subdivision now act as conduits to deliver water on to properties that back on Lee Moore Wash. In three years four of the residents have lost 200’ of property off their back yards. In another six years, the wash will be at their back doors. As usual, the Flood Control Dept. has sent out their “no action.” letters, while three homeowners have jumped ship and let their homes be foreclosed.

I am completing a full report on the situation and it can be found at I have enquires into the Department of Environmental Quality and Army Corp of Engineers, as to how Robert Smolinsky, an engineer, was able to sign off on the lack of need for a 404 permit that delivers water from septics and horse properties into a wash only a mile from the Santa Cruz River.

Therefore, I am requesting that a comprehensive study be done of the flood potential at Tierra Linda Vista be done before the roadway is turned over to Pima County for maintenance.

Documents from Pima County files:

November 21, 2001: Letter from Pima County Department of Environmental Quality specifying how to adjust the lot size to circumvent the regulations of building on a wash. The "public servant" does not specify how to deal with horse properties and septic leach fields and what to do when the residents start losing their backyards.

November 23, 2001: Robert H. Smolinsky of Arroyo Engineers signs a statement that San Pedro Estates is in compliance with 404 clean water specifications, although two culverts under Nogales Highway deliver stormwater onto the property. Mr. Smolinsy does not mention the water standing over septic tanks and horse properties, then delivering water to Lee Moore Wash at a point just a few miles from its junction with the Santa Cruz River either.

MAP showing Federal FEMA Flood Zones and Pima County Sheet Flooding Areas

Overhead Map showing evidence of accumulation of stormwater along Emigh Rd. Is Robert P. Zammit creating another flooding disaster for unsuspecting homeowners??