Virginia DEQ Seeks Public Input on Tye River Clean Up Plan

Nelson Co., VA - Virginia DEQ officials want your input on a clean-up plan for the Tye River and its tributaries. Currently the DEQ says water tests show high amounts of fecal bacteria in the water. They've come up with a plan to reduce the bacteria and hope to share it with the community in Thursday night's meeting. According to the DEQ the Tye River and its tributaries have been listed as impaired since 2004. Under the Clean Water Act, a body of water can only contain so much pollutant to safely meet water quality standards. The DEQ says because of the amount of fecal bacteria in the water, people who use the rivers recreationally have a greater chance of illness or infection. In the last six months the DEQ says they've worked closely with watershed residents to come up with a plan to clean up the rivers. A spokesperson tells ABC 13 that they will be discussing the possibility of fencing along the rivers. However some farmers tell us they're concerned about the plan. They say the DEQ's approach doesn't identify where the contamination is coming from -- and doesn't account for wildlife contamination. They say because the source isn't defined, even landowners who don't even contribute to the contamination could have to bear the costs. Local business owner Tom Saunders says he hopes the DEQ's plan will be implemented slowly, so it won't be too much for land owners to expense. "Best management practices, I think in a perfect world could be formulated by those that have to adhere to them" said Saunders. The DEQ says their plan is not mandated, but it will make it easier for localities to apply for grants. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on May 15th at the Massies Mill Ruritan Hall.