On December 8, 2017, Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Office announced the first restoration-project awards from the approximately $50-million DuPont Waynesboro Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement (announced in December 2016) of mercury pollution of the South River in the 1930s and 1940s from a chemical factory in Waynesboro.
Following is an excerpt from the Governor’s Office news release on the project awards, Governor McAuliffe Announces Awards from the Landmark DuPont Settlement; Projects will support land protection, water quality improvement, and recreational access that will directly benefit the City of Waynesboro and the Shenandoah Valley, 12/8/17:
“….[T]he approved projects, which will bolster both water quality and recreational opportunity by investing in projects within Waynesboro city limits as well as upstream. Specifically, funds will support projects at the City’s South River Greenway Natural Area, at the South River Preserve North located in downtown Waynesboro, and at future sites along the City’s Greenway. …In addition to the City of Waynesboro projects, the settlement will fund nine land conservation projects at a total of more than $13 million that will protect or restore nearly 3,000 acres of land in the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River watersheds. The settlement will also provide more than $5 million in funding to the Headwaters and Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation Districts to expand their agricultural assistance programs, and three additional projects will address stream degradation and stormwater issues in Augusta County and the Town of Elkton. One final project will include the development of a pilot incentive program to encourage establishment of riparian buffers in the region.”
The complete list of projects announced in December 2017, as well as more information, is available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site at https://www.fws.gov/northeast/virginiafield/environmentalcontaminants/dupont_waynesboro.html.
For a previous News Grouper post on the settlement, please see $50-million Settlement Announced Dec. 15, 2016, for Decades-old Mercury Contamination of South River from DuPont Facility in Waynesboro.