Update: Board of Supervisors to Discuss Possible River Monitoring System

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

Update: The Augusta County Board of Supervisors has delayed a discussion and vote on the monitoring system until August 14th.

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. -- Supervisors in Augusta county will discuss whether the area will join a monitoring program dealing with the Chesapeake Bay on Monday afternoon.

It's an effort to see how much nutrient pollution is flowing in to two county rivers from farms and other sources.

The Board of Supervisors said don't fix it if it isn't broken.

The monitoring program would be an attempt to make sure the Environmental Protection Agency's nutrient measurements are accurate.

Tracy Pyles, Jr., who is a member of the Board of Supervisors, said that if the effects aren't so bad, then it would make sense to lessen strict regulations on things such as poultry litter.

If supervisors decide to join the program, Augusta county would be responsible for more than $42,000 dollars in funding.

The Middle and South rivers in the county eventually feed into the Chesapeake Bay.

The monitoring devices would take a sampling of the sediment and the PH every 15 minutes.

Although the program would cost money, Pyles said that the current regulations to help the bay cost farmers money also.

The accuracy measurement may help alleviate some of the cost of proposed regulations.

Pyles said that it's about finding exactly what's affecting the rivers.

"Chesapeake Bay was a very clean bay for many years and we were always doing our agriculture. So what has happened that has caused this great change in the Chesapeake Bay. Well you have to think that a lot of it has to do with industrialization through the population of these places," said Pyles.

Pyles said another factor could be from wildlife in the national forest.

If it is something from poultry litter or another agricultural cause, Pyles said they would adjust how they do things.

The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Government Center in Verona.

They will vote on the measure on Wednesday night.

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