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Comments Sought on Clean Up Plans for Two Major W.Va. Watersheds

Release Date: 12/18/2000
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

PHILADELPHIA -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed plans to improve water quality on 109 streams in the Cheat and Tygart watersheds in West Virginia. Public comment is sought on these plans. The 45-day comment period opened December 15 and will close on January 30, 2001.

The water quality improvement plans deal with Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs, which are measurement of pollution tolerances in a stream.

The 55 streams in the Cheat River watershed and 54 streams in the Tygart River valley watershed are impaired by acid mine drainage. EPA estimates that 1,100 stream miles are harmed by acid mine drainage in West Virginia.

In the Cheat River watershed, water quality is presently impaired by high levels of metals which include aluminum, iron, manganese and zinc. There is a low level of pH caused by acid mine drainage. In the Tygart River Valley watershed, the water quality is impaired by low pH, iron, aluminum and manganese.

EPA welcomes comments on the proposed water quality improvement plans and will hold public hearings to hear testimony. The TMDLs can be reviewed on the Region 3 homepage: www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/tmdl or copies of the TMDL are available by calling Lenka Berlin at (215) 814-5259.

The meeting dates and locations are:

Tygart River TMDL Public Hearing.
Date: Monday, January 15, 2001
Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: Philippi City Hall, Council Chambers
Philippi, West Virginia

The other meeting date and location is:

Cheat River TMDL Public Hearing
Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2001
Time: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: Kingwood Community Center, Buckwheat Room
Kingwood, West Virginia

Written comments should be postmarked no later than January 30, 2001. These comments should be addressed to:

Lenka Berlin
Office of Watersheds (3WP12)
USEPA
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-2029
or sent by e-mail to Berlin.lenka@epamail.epa.gov


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