After 66 years, a plan to clean up the legacy mercury pollution in the South River from the DuPont facility in Waynesboro, VA, is set to be approved. We need your help! We have a short period of time for public input into the plan.
This is the time for us to deal with long-term water quality improvement, not just implement short-term mitigation measures. Mercury is a neurotoxin and it is not to be trifled with. Fish consumption advisories have been in place on the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River since the mid-1970s.
Unfortunately, the draft $50 million South River Consent Decree and Restoration Plan was developed with little to no public input as to how those dollars are to be used and it is critical to let them know how we feel. There is a short period when you can submit comments.
Act now to email your comments to US Fish & Wildlife Service by January 30, 2017.
Important points that need to be made:
- The Trustees should have allowed for a more open and transparent discussion of the various alternatives instead of presenting us with this false premise when there were many other options and tradeoffs that should have been considered.
- Funds should be used to directly address the overall health of the river and the removal of the mercury so that the river can recover naturally and to emphasize water quality improvements so that fishermen can safely wade and fish the river.
- Adding smallmouth bass to a river with an already robust population will not increase fishing trips. Rather, the demonstrated success of developing trout fisheries in the South River should be augmented with a trout grow-out facility in Waynesboro and fisheries management strategies that make sense biologically.
For more information, read our comment letter. Click here for a detailed list of questions. For more info, copy of the plan is available online at: https://www.fws.gov/northeast/virginiafield/news/news.html