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James PCB rescheduled to February

January 10, 2011 6:33 pm by

James PCB meeting scheduled for Tuesday has been rescheduled due to the possible weather:

The James PCB public meetings which were scheduled for 2PM and 6PM tomorrow have been cancelled and rescheduled for Tuesday February 1, 2011. An afternoon meeting will be held at 2pm at the East End Library located at 2414 “R” Street in Richmond VA 23223. An evening meeting will be held at 6pm at the DEQ Central Office (2nd floor conference room) located at 629 Main Street in Richmond VA 23219.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has initiated a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study for the James River and selected tributaries for Polychlorinated Biphenyl’s (PCBs). PCBs were first detected in fish-tissue samples collected at monitoring stations along the James River and its tributaries (you are likely familiar with signs for fish advisories) in the early 2000s. PCBs were historically used as coolants and lubricants, particularly in transformers, capacitors, and other electrical equipment, because of their high burn temperature and were good insulators. The U.S. prohibited production of PCBs in 1977 because it was found that they accumulate and persist in the environment (especially within the fatty tissue of animals) and evidence showed that PCBs can cause harm to human health (ATSDR, 2001).

The waterways which DEQ has found to be impaired for fish consumption due to the concentration of PCBs are: Appomattox River (to Lake Chesdin Dam), Bailey Creek (to Route 630), Chickahominey River (to Walkers Dam), Skiffes Creek (to Skiffes Creek Dam), Pagan River (and tributary Jones Creek), Chuckatuck Creek, Nansemond River (and tributaries Bennett Creek and Star Creek), Hampton River, Willoughby Bay and the Elizabeth R. system (Western, Eastern, and Southern Branches and Lafayette R.) and tributaries St. Julian Creek, Deep Creek, and Broad Creek. The overall impairment is considered to extend from the fall line in Richmond to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. The meetings on Feb. 1st will focus on the impairments between the fall line in Richmond to the Charles City Co/Surry Co boundaries along the James River. The study will report on the sources of PCB contamination and will recommend total maximum daily loads, or TMDLs, for the impaired waters. A TMDL is the total amount of a pollutant a water body can contain and still meet water quality standards. To restore water quality, pollutant levels have to be reduced to the TMDL amount.

A comment period will follow the public meeting and will expire on Friday March 4th, 2011. No document is being provided for public review at this time; rather, the comment period is to garner public input regarding watershed activity related to the study. Please submit comments to Margaret Smigo, 4949-A Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060, or email them to Margaret.Smigo@deq.virginia.gov, or fax them to the attention of Margaret Smigo at (804)527-5106.

We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you will be able to attend one of the rescheduled meetings!

Best Regards,

Margaret Smigo
VA DEQ Piedmont Regional
TMDL Coordinator
4949-A Cox Road
Glen Allen, VA 23060
Office (804)527-5124
Fax (804)527-5106

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