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Debate over groundwater continues

by Larry S. Chowning

Stricter groundwater laws was again the topic of discussion at the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors meeting on January 15.

On January 2, Scott Kudlas, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) director of water supply spoke to supervisors on the DEQ’s desire to create a Groundwater Management Area (GMA) that would include Middlesex and other Middle Peninsula counties.

There are currently GMAs in Virginia, one in southeastern Virginia (Hampton Roads) and the other on the Eastern Shore.

Kudlas explained that over-used aquifers are the main reason that the state needs to take a firmer hand in the control and regulation of drinking water in the Middle Peninsula. DEQ wants a more-regulated and more-expensive permit system when dealing with community central water systems.

The regulations would not pertain to individual homeowners with their own wells.

In his January 2 report, Kudlas noted the paper mill is a tremendous water user and is depleting water supplies all the way into Maryland.

“It’s . . . plausible that the groundwater will replenish naturally if DEQ will take the bold step of actually working with industrial withdrawers,” Feigum said. “Work with them to find alternative ways to help them accomplish their goals without heavy loads of groundwater being withdrawn.

“Growing government and allowing government to over-reach into our lives has been creating problems for years,” she continued. “Before turning over to DEQ the inadequately defined management of our groundwater, I urge the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors to require DEQ to obtain historically accurate, factual, up-to-date data about groundwater availability to the county and to amend the county’s comprehensive plan to contain this accurate data.”

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 01.30.2013

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