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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 13, 2013
Contact: Julie Buchanan, Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-2292, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov

Draft water quality improvement plan for Middle Fork Holston River and Wolf Creek watersheds to be presented March 28

RICHMOND - A public meeting to present a draft water quality improvement plan for reducing agricultural, residential and urban sources of bacteria and sediment in the Middle Fork Holston River and Wolf Creek watersheds will be March 28, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation regional office, 355 Deadmore St., Abingdon. 

The Middle Fork Holston River originates near Rural Retreat in Wythe County and drains a large portion of Smyth and Washington counties as it flows to South Holston Reservoir south of Abingdon. Wolf Creek drains lands in the vicinity of the town of Abingdon and flows into South Holston Reservoir.

Stream segments in the Middle Fork Holston River and Wolf creek watersheds do not meet state water quality standards for fecal bacteria and aquatic life. Elevated levels of fecal bacteria indicate an increased risk of illness for people who come in contact with water in the affected streams. Bacteria sources identified in the area include failing septic systems, and discharges of untreated human waste, pet waste and livestock. Sediment has been identified as a pollutant that reduces the numbers and diversity of aquatic life in these watersheds. The sources of sediment include urban runoff, stream bank erosion and erosion of agricultural soils.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will present an overview of the types and amount of corrective actions needed to meet water quality goals, associated costs and benefits, and the framework and timeline through which stakeholders can implement the corrective actions.

The public meeting is a venue for citizens and stakeholders to ask questions and provide comments on the plan. The public meeting will begin a 30-day period during which written public comments will be accepted.

For more information about the meeting or public comment process, contact Patrick Lizon with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation at 276-676-5529 or patrick.lizon@dcr.virginia.gov.

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