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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 08, 2012
Contact: Julie Buchanan, Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-2292, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov

Improvement plan for Rockingham County stream to be discussed Nov. 27

RICHMOND - A public meeting to develop a water quality improvement plan for Linville Creek will be Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the Linville Edom Ruritan Hall, 3752 Linville Edom Road, Linville, at 7 p.m.

Linville Creek is on Virginia's list of impaired waters because it violates the state's strict water quality standard for bacteria. Levels of bacteria in the stream could lead to increased risk of illness for people who come in contact with the stream. Bacteria sources identified include failing septic systems, direct discharges of human and pet waste, and agricultural practices in the area. 

In addition, Linville Creek is on the impaired waters list because it fails to support a healthy and diverse population of aquatic life. Studies determined this is because of excessive sediment in the stream, which covers the stream bottom and destroys critical habitat for aquatic life. Sediment is transported to the stream in runoff from paved surfaces, construction sites, agricultural fields and lawns.  

During the meeting, representatives from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District will outline efforts to develop a bacteria and sediment reduction plan for this stream. Comments and questions are sought from the community. 

Participating in the plan's development is an opportunity for local residents and stakeholders to improve and preserve water resources, increase farm production and increase property values in the community. 

The plan follows a Total Maximum Daily Load study approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2003. The study identified sources of bacteria and sediment in the Linville Creek watershed. 

The plan will outline corrective actions needed to reduce sources of bacteria and sediment. It also will include associated costs and benefits, measurable goals and an implementation timeline to attain bacteria and general water quality standards.

Corrective actions may include:
- Replacing failing septic systems.
- Removing direct discharges of human waste to streams.
- Planting streamside vegetated buffers to filter runoff.
- Planting cover crops and reducing tillage on cropland.
- Excluding livestock from streams.
- Developing an education program for pet waste disposal.

For more information, contact Nesha McRae with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation at 540-416-5346 or nesha.mcrae@dcr.virginia.gov.  


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