Category Archives: Water Quality and Habitat in Virginia’s Southern Rivers

Items related to aquatic life and conditions in Virginia’s “southern rivers”: Big Sandy, Chowan, Clinch/Holston/Powell, New, and Roanoke.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of June 25, 2018: Discovering a River, Peaks, and a Salamander, All with an Otter Name

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 25, 2018, is “Introducing the Big Otter River.”  The 3 min./37 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/06/episode-426-6-25-18-introducing-big.html, is the second in a series of summer 2018 episodes on relatively small and perhaps less well-known Virginia waterways.

426 Image 1 Big Otter River at gage site near Ervington Rt 682 Campbell County looing downstream Jun15 2017 USED RADIO 426

Big Otter River near Evington, Va. (Campbell County), June 15, 2017.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the week of June 18, 2018: Fish, Scenery, History, and More on the South Fork Holston River

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 18, 2018, is “Introducing the South Fork Holston River.”  The 4 min./5 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/06/episode-425-6-18-18-introducing-south.html, is the first in a series of summer 2018 episodes on relatively small and perhaps less well-known Virginia waterways.

425 Image 1 South Fork Holston River along Teas Road near Suguar Grove Smyth County Va AUDIO HERE in Episode 425 Jun11 2018South Fork Holston River in Smyth County, Va., June 11, 2018


Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for May 2018: Four Episodes on Watershed Connections of Western Virginia Rivers

For May 2018, Virginia Water Radio has series of four revisits to previous episodes on the watershed connections of western Virginia rivers.  The episodes are the following:

Episode 419, 5/7/18 – Meet the Big Sandy Watershed with “Three Forks of Sandy” by Bobby Taylor.

Episode 420, 5/14/18 – Exploring Virginia’s Tennessee River Tributaries Through “Clinch Mountain Quickstep” by Timothy Seaman.

Episode 421, 5/21/18 – Connecting Southwestern Virginia Waters to the Ohio River Through “Ohio Valley Rain” by Cornerstone.

Episode 422, 5/28/18 – Virginia and the Ohio River Valley Connect Through Watersheds, Wars, and Western Migration.

419 420 image 1.gif

Virginia’s major river basins.  The Virginia portion of the Big Sandy River watershed is shown in green at the lower left.  Map from Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/wsheds, accessed 5/20/13.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for 4-23-18: Medication Disposal for Healthier Humans and Waterways

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of April 23, 2018, is “Disposing of Medications Properly for Human and Aquatic Health.”  The 3 min./42 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/04/episode-417-4-23-18-disposing-of.html, focuses on ways to keep unused medications out of the wrong hands and of waterways.  The episode coincides with National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 28, 2018.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal here.U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEQ) logo for the April 2018 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, accessed online at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

National Prescription Drug Take-back Day is April 28, 2018

April 28, 2018, is the next scheduled National Prescription Drug Take-back Day.

Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and conducted by law-enforcement agencies nationwide, the event is designed to help people properly dispose of unused drugs.  Proper disposal helps prevent improper drug use and helps keep chemicals out of waterways.

To see if a take-back day is happening near you,  visit the U.S. Department of Justice “National Prescription Drug Take Back” Web site, http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html, where you can search for the take-back location nearest you; or call your local police or sheriff’s department.

For an audio take on proper disposal of medications, have a listen to Virginia Water Radio Episode 417 (4-23-18) (3 min./42 sec.).

On Virginia Water Radio for 4-2-18: An Overview of Water-quality Monitoring from Three Perspectives

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of April 2, 2018, is “Water-quality Monitoring from a Trio of Perspectives.”  The 4 min./26 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/04/episode-414-4-2-18-water-quality.html, is an introduction to biological, chemical, and physical monitoring.  The episode was written and is hosted by Saalehah Habeebah, the spring 2018 intern at the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.

INSECTS - Caddisfly stone cases CLOSEUP New River Eggleston Aug31 2014 USED Radio 4-10-17 and 4-2-18 GROUPER 4-2-18
And here’s a quiz: what kind of water-quality monitoring uses aquatic insects, such as these caddisflies in the New River near Eggleston, Va., on August 31, 2014?

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

Virginia Toxics Release Inventory Report for 2016 Data Released March 29, 2018, by Va. DEQ

On March 29, 2018, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced publication of the latest annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), covering data reported for 2016.  The report for 2016 data, along with reports for data years back to 2007, is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/AirQualityPlanningEmissions/SARATitleIII/SARA313ToxicsReleaseInventory.aspx.

According to the 2016 data report’s Executive Summary, this year’s report lists types and amounts of chemicals released and reported by 434 industrial operations in the Commonwealth having 10 or more employees and reaching specific minimum amounts of toxic chemicals used.  (See p. 2 in the report’s Introduction for the list of criteria determining which operations must report.)  Virginia industries reported on 153 chemical and chemical categories, out of over 650 chemicals and chemical categories currently on the TRI list of reportable substances.

Virginia industries reported 909.07 million pounds of chemicals managed released to the environment, transferred off-site, or managed on-site in 2016, a 5.9-percent increase from the previous year’s 858.60 million pounds.  This included 35.82 million pounds of chemicals released on-site to the air, water and land (10.3-percent increase from 2015 data); 64.40 million pounds transferred off-site for treatment, recycling, energy recovery or disposal (1.6-percent decrease from 2015); and 808.94 million pounds managed on-site by treatment, recycling, or energy recovery (6.3-percent increase from 2015).  The total amount of TRI chemicals released to water increased by 2.03 million pounds (17.6 percent) over 2015, the total amount released to air increased by 986,275 pounds (5.5 percent), and the total released to land increased by 310,127 pounds (10.6 percent).

Released amounts of persistent bioaccumulative toxics (chemicals that remain in the environment for a long time, are not easily destroyed, and can build up in body tissue)—were 190,961 pounds released on site (compared to 223,108 pounds in 2015); 747,944 pounds transferred off-site from reporting Virginia facilities for treatment, recycling, energy recovery, or disposal (compared to 804,856 pounds in 2015); and 159,916 pounds managed on-site by treatment, recycling, or energy recovery (compared to 247,934 pounds in 2015).

The report’s Executive Summary states the following about how to interpret the release information: “The Virginia TRI Report provides the public with information concerning specified toxic chemicals and chemical compounds which are manufactured, processed, or otherwise used at Virginia facilities.  Responsible use of the information can help the public and industry identify potential concerns and develop effective strategies for reducing toxic chemical usage and release.  The TRI data do not, however, represent a measure of the public’s exposure to chemicals, nor do they assess risk.  The overwhelming majority of the releases are regulated and permitted under other state and federal programs that are designed to protect human health and the environment.  …Because of differences in report-generation schedules and receipt of reports, the information in the Virginia TRI Report will not precisely match the information in the national Toxics Release Inventory—Public Data Release, located at http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/tri-data-and-tools, as published by [the U.S.] EPA.”

Water Central News Grouper items on previous years’ TRI reports are available online at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Toxics+Release.

Additional sources:
Virginia Issues Report on Chemical Releases for 2016, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality News Release, 3/29/18.
Virginia issues report on chemical releases for 2015, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality News Release, 3/30/17.