DEQ hosts public meeting on Luray wastewater discharge permit

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 6:38 PM EST
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LURAY, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is hosting an informational community meeting on Thursday night at the Luray Fire Department. It’s in regard to a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit request from the new Luray RV Resort and Campground for the Shenandoah River.

If the permit is granted by the DEQ it would authorize the campground to discharge treated wastewater into the Southfork of the Shenandoah River.

“Sewage wastewater will be generated at the campground and RV park and that wastewater has to be adequately managed. So in response to the application that was submitted DEQ developed a draft permit that is designed to be protective of water quality,” said Brandon Kiracofe, the DEQ’s Regional Water Permits & Compliance Manager.

Virginia has water quality standards that are used to determine the acceptable levels of pollutants that can be discharged within the river.

“As we developed the requirements which include limitations on that wastewater that will be released, those are all developed and designed such that the beneficial uses of the river will be maintained,” said Kiracofe.

Kiracofe said that a number of people living in the Luray area have reached out about the permit request and that the DEQ wanted to provide a forum for them to ask questions and learn more about what the DEQ permit would require of the campground.

“I really see this evening being an informal gathering where will be presenting information. The majority of it will be hearing from folks, hearing the questions they have, and being available to have a conversation,” he said.

Kiracofe said that the type of discharge permit that has been requested is not uncommon and similar wastewater treatment plants exist in Page County and on the Shenandoah River. If the DEQ ends up granting the permit, it will determine what type of treatment facility the campground will have to build.

“That will establish the requirements for the quality of the water that has to be discharged. From there the owner would be required to ensure that the plant that is designed or that is to be built meets those requirements,” said Kiracofe.

The draft permit’s 30-day public comment period will end on Jan. 23, after that the DEQ will decide whether to schedule a public hearing where it could grant or deny the permit request.