About 44 percent of Virginia's rivers and streams are not clean enough to support designated activities, including swimming and fish consumption.
That is according to a study released Wednesday by the state Department
of Environmental Quality.
The DEQ monitored more than 9,700 miles of rivers and streams between 1996 and 2000. About 4,400 miles were determined to be impaired.
That's an increase of more than 1,500 miles since the last impaired waters report in 1998.
But state officials said stricter standards and other changes in methodology are largely responsible for the increase, and that state waters probably are getting cleaner overall.