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EPA and Partners Nominate Virginia Streams for Special Protection

Release Date: 1/17/2001
Contact Information: Roy Seneca, (215) 814-5567

Roy Seneca, (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, two federal partners and private conservation groups have petitioned the Commonwealth of Virginia to designate segments of five streams for special protection as exceptional state waters.

“Conservation of water resources – especially waters that are in great condition – is of the utmost importance. That is why actions to prevent degradation are essential,” said Bradley Campbell, administrator for the EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

Designation as an exceptional state water means that a stream will be protected from new or increased pollution discharges. Surface waters that provide exceptional environmental settings and provide exceptional aquatic communities or recreational opportunities are eligible.

“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the better cold water streams in Virginia and increase public awareness of the resource,” said Jay Henderson, chairman of Trout Unlimited Virginia Council.

Joining EPA in these nominations are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and several private organizations. Nominated streams and petitioners include:

      Bottom Creek, four-mile segment in Roanoke and Montgomery counties. Petitioned by Mountain Civic League, Friends of the Rivers of Virginia, American Rivers.
      Little Stony Creek, two-mile segment in Giles County. Petitioned by – Trout Unlimited Virginia Council, Trout Unlimited Roanoke 308 Chapter, Trout Unlimited New River 207 Chapter.
      Passage Creek, 40-mile segment in Page, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties. Petitioned by – Friends of the Shenandoah River, Trout Unlimited Massanutten Chapter, Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District.
      Upper Rapidan, seven-mile segment in Madison County. Petitioned by – National Park Service, Trout Unlimited Virginia Council, Trout Unlimited Rapidan Chapter.
      Whitetop Laurel Creek, 3 - mile segment in Washington County. Petitioned by – Trout Unlimited Virginia Council, US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Virginia’s citizens may petition to designate portions of the state’s waters as exceptional state waters. To date, North Creek in Botetourt County is the only stream approved as an exceptional state water.

Campbell added that the cooperative effort by EPA and its partners to nominate these five streams will invigorate the Virginia Exceptional State Waters Program.

“It’s our hope that additional private citizens and environmental groups will nominate streams to receive special protection. Taking this action can help ensure that the citizens of Virginia will enjoy the natural benefits of these streams for years to come,” Campbell said.