Chuckatuck & Brewer Public Meeting Notice

A public meeting to discuss a water quality improvement plan for Chuckatuck and Brewers Creeks will be held on Thursday, March 6 at the CE&H Ruritan Hall located at 8881 Eclipse Drive Suffolk, Virginia from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Chuckatuck and Brewers Creek were identified in Virginia’s Water Quality Assessment Integrated Report as impaired for violations of the fecal coliform criteria for shellfish waters. Shellfish harvest from these waters is restricted as shellfish may be unsafe for consumption. The impairment is based on water quality monitoring data reports of sufficient exceedances of Virginia’s water Quality standard for bacteria. Bacteria sources identified that may contribute to this impairment include failing septic systems, discharges of untreated human waste, pets, and agricultural practices in the area.

Representatives from the VA DEQ, and other state and local agencies will be on hand to outline efforts to develop a bacteria reduction plan for the impaired waterways. Comments and questions are sought from local residents and stakeholders.

The water quality or implementation plan follows Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies completed in 2006 by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The TMDL studies identified the sources of bacteria in this impaired watershed.

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. Corrective actions may include replacing failing septic systems, removing discharges of untreated 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 sources can include streamside livestock exclusion fencing, pasture management, establishing streamside buffers on cropland, reforestation of erodible pasture and cropland, cover crops, and planting of crops.

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.

The public comment period on materials presented at this meeting will extend from March 6, 2014 to April 10, 2014. For additional information or to submit comments, contact John McLeod, at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Tidewater Regional Office, 5636 Southern Blvd., Virginia Beach Virginia 23463, by phone (757)518-2196 or by email john.mcleod@deq.virginia.gov

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