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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 04, 2010
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov

June 15 meeting to discuss water quality plan for Madison County streams

(MADISON, VA) – A public meeting to discuss a water quality improvement plan for two Madison County stream segments on the state “dirty waters” list will be held on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at the Madison County Volunteer Fire Company, 1223 North Main Street, Madison beginning at 7:00 pm.

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 identified include failing septic systems, direct discharges of human waste, pets, and agricultural practices in the area.

Representatives from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District and the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission will be on hand to outline efforts to develop a bacteria reduction plan for these stream segments. Comments and questions are sought from local residents and stakeholders.

The water quality or implementation plan follows a Total Maximum Daily Load study approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Jan. 2008. The TMDL study identified the sources of bacteria in these impaired watersheds.

The implementation 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 and establishing streamside buffers on cropland.

Participating in developing the implementation 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.

For more information on the meeting or public comment process contact Bob Slusser, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, at (540) 351-1590 or bob.slusser@dcr.virginia.gov.

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