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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 01, 2012
Contact: Julie Buchanan, Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-2292, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov

Public input is sought to improve Halifax County impaired streams

RICHMOND - A public meeting to discuss a water quality improvement plan for three Halifax County streams on the state "dirty waters" list will be June 14, 7-9 p.m., at the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office, USDA Farm Services Building, 171 S. Main St., Halifax.

This is the second in a series of public meetings to develop a plan for the Lower Banister, Polecat Creek and Sandy Creek watersheds. Levels of bacteria in these streams violate the state's water quality standard and could lead to increased risk of illness for people who come in contact with the waters. Bacteria sources identified include failing septic systems, direct discharges of human waste, pet waste and agricultural practices in the area.

A working group will develop a plan to reduce sources of pollution from agricultural, residential and urban lands. Local residents play a key role on the working group and should attend the meeting. 

The group also includes representatives from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Virginia Department of Health, the town of Halifax and Halifax County government. 

The plan will outline corrective actions, associated costs and benefits, measurable goals and an implementation timeline. Corrective actions may include:

- replacing failing septic systems,
- removing direct discharges of human waste to streams,
- reducing pollutant loads from agricultural, residential and urban areas,
- creating a pet waste disposal and education program,
- fencing to exclude livestock from streams,
- establishment of streamside buffers on cropland, and
- pasture management.

For more information, contact Charlie Lunsford with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation at 804-786-3199 or charles.lunsford@dcr.virginia.gov.
  

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