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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 07, 2011
Contact: Julie Buchanan, Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-2292, firstname.lastname@example.org
June 21 meeting scheduled to discuss TMDL implementation plan for six waterways
RICHMOND, VA — A public meeting to gather comments on a draft watershed implementation plan for six area stream and creek segments will be held June 21, 6-8 p.m., at the Town of Orange Public Works Community Room, 235 Warren St., Orange, Va.
The following segments will be included in the plan:
These waterways are on Virginia’s list of “dirty waters,” because they violate the state’s water-quality standard for bacteria. Levels of bacteria could lead to increased risk of illness for people who come in contact with these waters. Bacteria sources have been identified as septic systems, direct discharges of human waste, pet waste and agricultural practices in the area.
Representatives from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission and Blue Ridge Environmental Solutions will present the draft bacteria-reduction plan. The plan has been under development for the past seven months with input from federal, state, and local government representatives, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and residents. Comment and input on the draft plan are sought from local residents and stakeholders. Attendees can ask questions, provide input and get involved in the implementation process. In addition to the meeting, a 30-day comment period begins June 21 and ends July 21.
Strong local public participation ensures a water quality improvement 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.
The bacteria reduction, or implementation plan, follows a Total Maximum Daily Load study approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in November 2005. The TMDL study identified the sources of bacteria in these impaired watersheds.
The implementation plan includes corrective actions needed to reduce the sources of bacteria, their associated costs and benefits, along with measurable goals and an implementation timeline for attaining the bacteria standard.
Corrective actions in the draft report 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 include streamside livestock exclusion fencing, pasture management, and establishing streamside buffers on cropland.
Taking the actions recommended in the implementation plan is an opportunity for local residents and stakeholders to preserve water resources, increase farm production and increase property values in the community.
For more information about the meeting or public comment process, contact May Sligh with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation at email@example.com or 804-443-1494. Supplemental information can also be found at www.rrregion.org/tmdl_york.html.