Monday, September 27, 2010

Virginia Water Radio 35: Week of Sept. 27, 2010

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio (Episode 35), for the week of September 27, 2010.

Sound file archived 11/4/11.  For access, please contact Virginia Water Radio.


  • On September 24, the U.S. EPA issued a draft of the full Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, designed to restore water quality and habitat in the Bay and its tributaries. A TMDL is required for the Bay under the federal Clean Water Act because the Bay does not meet certain water-quality standards and is therefore classified as “impaired.” The TMDL plan will limit the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution discharged into the Bay and each of its tributaries by different types of pollution sources. The draft includes EPA evaluations of watershed implementation plans that the six Chesapeake Bay states and the District of Columbia filed with EPA in early September, detailing how the jurisdictions intend to accomplish the nutrient and sediment reductions. EPA’s evaluation said that Virginia’s draft watershed plan—along with those Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia—has “serious deficiencies” in the actions proposed to meet pollution-reduction targets.

    Release of the draft TMDL started a 45-day public comment period with public meetings in the Bay jurisdictions.

    In Virginia, the dates and locations are as follows:

    • Oct. 4: Grafton Theatre, James Madison University, Harrisonburg
    • Oct. 5: Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
    • Oct. 6: Jepson Alumni Center, University of Richmond
    • Oct. 7: Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina Hotel

    All meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., but to confirm the times, check the EPA Web site at, or phone Tom Damm at (215) 814-5560.

    By November 29, Bay jurisdictions are to complete revised Watershed Implementation Plans, and by December 31, the EPA plans to issue the final TDML.

    News Sources: EPA Issues Draft Chesapeake Bay ‘Pollution Diet, U.S. EPA News Release, 9/24/10; EPA prescribes 'pollution diet' for Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 9/25/10; and EPA TMDL Web site, For more information: Virginia Department of Conversation and Recreation:, and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality: (Virginia’s draft Watershed Implementation Plan is available at either of these sites). For a compilation of other Bay TMDL references and recent news articles, visit the Virginia Water Central Grouper’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL site, at
  • In mid-September, thousands of dead juvenile Menhaden appeared in Cobbs Creek, a Piankatank River tributary in Mathews County, the fourth significant fish kill in the creek since August. More fish kills have been seen in Chesapeake Bay tributaries this summer than in most years, according to Virginia Institute of Marine Science professor Kimberly Reece, who has been investigating low oxygen levels and toxic algal blooms as possible causes of this year’s incidents.  News Source: Thousands of dead menhaden blanket Cobbs Creek, Daily Press, 9/14/10.
  • And in our last news item this week: On September 21, the Virginia Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal by Campbell County of a $9-million award in a groundwater-pollution case. In 2009, a circuit court jury assigned the award in a lawsuit begun in 2005 by Campbell County residents who claim that a closed county landfill contaminated groundwater at a mobile-home park owned by the residents. The court is expected to hear the case in early 2011. News source: Va. Supreme Court to hear county's appeal of landfill judgment, Lynchburg News & Advance, 9/24/10.

This week we feature a song about an 18th-Century Virginian who became an infamous river pirate: “Samuel Mason,” by Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, from their 2010 album, “All the Good Summers” on Great Bear Records. Born in Norfolk in 1739, Samuel Mason was a Revolutionary War soldier and farmer on the western Virginia frontier. But he was known for criminal activities, and in the 1790s he became one of the most notorious pirates targeting riverside dwellers and boat traffic on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Mason’s killing in 1803—by members of his own gang who were seeking reward money—evidently marked the end of well-organized river piracy in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. Information about Samuel Mason and river piracy was taken from Southern Illinois University’s “Perspectives,” Fall 2006,; and “Going to See the Varmint: Piracy in Myth and Reality on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, 1785-1830,” by Mark J. Wagner and Mary R. McCorvie, in X Marks the Spot: The Archeology of Piracy, Russell K. Skowronek and Charles R. Ewen, eds., University of Florida Press, 2006.


First, in government policy and regulatory meetings occurring between September 30-October 6.
  • On September 30, the Stormwater Management Program Regulations Advisory Panel meets in Richmond. For more information, phone David Dowling at (804)786-2291. The Stormwater Management Regulations Advisory Panel is advising the Soil and Water Conservation Board in considering amendments to Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit Regulations (4 VAC 50-60 in the Virginia Administrative Code.) More information and relevant documents about the proposed stormwater changes are available online at
  • Also on October 5, the State Water Control Board is holding a public meeting in Warsaw on a proposal to designate Farnham Creek and part of Lancaster Creek in Richmond County as federal No Discharge Zones for sewage treated by on-board sanitation devices on boats. For more information, phone Margaret Smigo at (804) 527-5124.  Please see the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice at for more information.
Now, here is one upcoming meeting about Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs, for impaired waters:
  • September 30, in Lynchburg, on the TMDL for the James River and seven of its tributaries in Amherst, Bedford, and Campbell counties and the city of Lynchburg. For m ore information, phone Paula Nash at (434) 582-5120.
Finally, in educational and recreational events:
Virginia Water Radio is a product of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, which is solely responsible for the show’s content. Hosting and bandwidth for this podcast are also provided by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center. We invite you to visit the center online at

Show notes and production assistance were provided by Patrick Fay. Recording assistance was provided by the Office of University Relations at Virginia Tech.

Opinions expressed on this show are not necessarily those of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Tech, or our broadcasting stations.

If you need more information about anything mentioned this week, call us at (540) 231-5463, or visit our web site at