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Creek’s ‘Tier III’ status tabled

by Larry S. Chowning

The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors has tabled action twice on taking a position on a petition by the Town of Urbanna to designate Urbanna Creek an “Exceptional State Water.”

The Exceptional State Water designation, also known as Tier III or Outstanding National Resource Waters, is designed to prevent permanent or long-term degradation or impairment of surface waters entering the creek.

The Department of Environmental Quality has requested comments from county supervisors on the possible designation for Urbanna Creek.

In order to protect Virginia waters through this program, property owners may not have any new or increased discharges, such as effluent pipes from sewage treatment plants, into the designated section of the protected waters. 

The designation as Tier III would limit any further sewage effluent discharge into the creek. Currently, the Town of Urbanna plant and Middle Peninsula Regional Security Center plant discharge into the creek.

Middlesex County recently got a 39,900-gallon discharge permit approved by the State Water Control Board. The discharge, which could go into Urbanna Creek, would come from a proposed sewage treatment plant to serve the county courthouse and other areas of Saluda.

County administrator Charles Culley said future Tier III status for the creek would have no impact on the proposed county plant discharging into the creek, because the permit has already been granted.

The Tier III proposal was tabled by the supervisors at their Nov. 3 and Nov. 17 meetings.

More details next week.

posted 11.18.2009

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