Here’s another “snapshot” of a local Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process in Virginia watersheds. In mid-September 2012, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and several other agencies held a public meeting in Charlottesville to present the draft implementation plan for sediment impairments in Lodge Creek, Meadow Creek, Moores Creek, and Schenks Branch, all Rivanna River tributaries in Albemarle County and Charlottesville. (The Rivanna River, in turn, is a James River tributary; see photo below.) The plan calls for the following reductions by 2022-23 in the stream’s annual sediment load: Lodge Creek, 17.4%; Meadow Creek: 6.5%; Moores Creek: 13.4 %; and Schenks Branch: 19.3%. Recommended actions to reach these goals include reducing pavement and other impervious surfaces that increase stormwater runoff; finding ways to increase infiltration of stormwater (for example, by rain gardens on residential properties); planting trees along streambanks; restoring stream channels to reduce erosion; and removing sediment from city streets. The estimated cost of the plan is $13 million. The draft plan is up for public comment through October 22, 2012. A PDF of the full plan is available at this link: http://www.deq.state.va.us/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/TMDL/ImplementationPlans/Drafts/mooresip.pdf. DEQ information on TMDLs in Virginia is available online at http://www.deq.state.va.us/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL.aspx.
Source: DEQ introduces area watershed improvement plan, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 9/23/12.
Rivanna River confluence with the James River, at Columbia in Fluvanna County, Va., June 17, 2007.