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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 07, 2011
Contact: Julie Buchanan, Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-2292, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov

Public meetings planned to discuss water-quality improvements for Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania streams

(RICHMOND) — Public meetings will be held later this month to discuss the development of water-quality improvement plans for six stream segments on Virginia’s “dirty waters” list. Portions of Goldmine Creek in Louisa County, Plentiful Run in Spotsylvania County, and Beaver Creek, Mountain Run, Pamunkey Creek and Terry’s Run in Orange County are on Virginia’s list of impaired or “dirty waters,” because they violate the state’s water-quality standard for bacteria. Meetings to seek public comment and questions will take place on the following evenings:

  • Jan. 25, 7 p.m. — Louisa County Administration Building, 1 Woolfolk Ave., Louisa, Va.
  • Jan. 26, 7 p.m. — Town of Orange Public Works Community Room, 235 Warren St., Orange, Va.

Representatives from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission, and local soil and water conservation districts will be on hand to outline efforts to develop a water-quality improvement plan for these stream segments.

The plan follows an August 2005 DEQ study that identified the sources of bacteria in these impaired watersheds. Levels of bacteria in these stream segments could lead to increased risk of illness for people who come in contact with the streams’ waters. Bacteria sources identified include failing septic systems, direct discharges of human and pet waste, and agricultural practices in the area.

The plan will outline corrective actions needed to reduce the sources of bacteria, their associated costs and benefits, along with measurable goals, and an implementation timeline to attain the bacteria water-quality standard.

Corrective actions may include replacing failing septic systems, removing direct discharges of human waste to streams, reducing pollutant loads from agricultural, urban and residential areas, and a pet-waste disposal and education program. Corrective actions for agricultural bacteria sources can include streamside livestock-exclusion fencing, pasture management, manure storage and the establishment of streamside buffers on cropland.

Participating in developing the water-quality improvement plan is an opportunity for local residents and stakeholders to improve and preserve water resources, increase farm production, and increase property values in the community.

Strong, local public participation ensures a final implementation plan driven by local input. Community involvement in the creation of the plan and support of its implementation are critical factors in determining its success in improving local water quality. At these meetings, citizens will learn about agricultural and residential working groups being formed to assist with plan development.

For more information on the meetings or plan-development process, contact May Sligh, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, at (804) 443-1494 or may.sligh@dcr.virginia.gov.

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