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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 01, 2010
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov

Dec. 16 meeting to discuss TMDL implementation plan for Madison and Culpeper County streams

(MADISON,VA) – A public-input meeting to discuss a draft TMDL implementation plan for 13 miles of Madison and Culpeper county stream segments on the state “dirty waters” list will be held on Thursday, Dec. 16, at the Madison County Volunteer Fire Company, 1223 North Main Street in Madison, Va. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

Portions of Little Dark Run and the Robinson River are on Virginia’s list of impaired or “dirty waters” because they violate the state’s water quality standard for bacteria. 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 have been identified as septic systems, direct unpermitted discharges of human waste, pet waste, agricultural practices and wildlife.

The impaired stream segments include more than four miles of Little Dark Run a tributary to the Robinson River and nearly eight miles of the Robinson River which empties into the Rapidan River, a Rappahannock River tributary.

Representatives from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission, and Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District will be on hand to present the draft bacteria reduction plan for these stream segments. The plan has been under development for the past nine months with input from local government representatives and residents. Additional comment and input is sought from local residents and stakeholders on the draft plan. Attendees can ask questions, provide input and get involved in the implementation process. In addition to the meeting, a 30-day comment period also begins December 16, ending January 17, 2011.

The bacteria reduction, or implementation plan, follows a Total Maximum Daily Load study approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in December 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 implementation goals and a timeline for attaining the bacteria standard.

Corrective actions in the draft report include replacing failing septic systems, removing direct unpermitted 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.

Participating in 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 on the meeting or public comment process contact Bob Slusser, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 98 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, Virginia 20186-2849 at bob.slusser@dcr.virginia.gov or by calling (540) 351-1590.

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