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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 23, 2009
Contact:

Jan. 13 meeting to discuss draft water quality plan for two Charlotte County streams

(CHARLOTTE COURTHOUSE) ? A public input meeting to discuss a draft water quality improvement plan for two Charlotte county stream segments on the state ?dirty waters? list will be held in Charlotte Courthouse, Wednesday, January 13, at the county administration office building, 250 LeGrande Avenue, Suite A. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. If county schools are closed that day for inclement weather, the meeting will be held January 20 at the same time in the same location.

Portions of Ash Camp Creek and Twittys Creek are on Virginia?s list of impaired or ?dirty? waters because they violate water quality standards relating to the streams? benthic invertebrate community. ?Benthic community? refers to those insects, mollusks, crustaceans, worms and other bottom-dwelling organisms in streams. They are a key part of the aquatic food chain and are seen as general indicators of stream health.

In these streams, high levels of sediment coming from nonpoint sources, or runoff from agricultural land, residential and business sites plus stream erosion, have impacted the benthic communities. Ash Camp and Twittys creeks flow into the Roanoke River.

Representatives from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Southside Soil and Water Conservation District will be on hand to present the draft improvement plan developed with local government representatives and residents. Meeting attendees can ask questions, provide input and get involved in the public participation process. In addition, the meeting will begin a 30-day comment period. The comment period ends February 12, 2010.

The sediment reduction, or improvement, plan follows Total Maximum Daily Load studies for each creek approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The TMDL studies identified the sources of sediment in the impaired watersheds.

The improvement plan includes corrective actions needed to reduce sediment, their associated costs and benefits, along with measurable goals and an implementation timeline.

The plan focuses on addressing sources of sediment on pasture and transitional lands. The corrective actions include pasture management, stream fencing, field buffers and riparian buffers on pasture and cropland, and erosion and sediment control practices. Also, included are livestock exclusion and reforestation of erodible crop and pastureland within the impaired watersheds.

The improvement plan is an opportunity for local residents 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 Ram Gupta, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, at (804) 371-0991 or Ram.Gupta@dcr.virginia.gov.

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