Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
State Water Control Board
Community Informational Meeting - Water Quality Study (TMDL) for the Bullpasture River

Meeting Details
Date / Time 3/12/2019  6:00 pm
Location Stonewall Ruritan Hall,
67 Bullpasture River Road,
McDowell, VA 24458 
Board Website 
Agenda document agency has not posted
Minutes document agency has not posted
Disability Friendly? Yes       Deaf interpreter available upon request? Yes
Purpose of the meeting
The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and its contractors, Virginia Tech’s Biological Systems Engineering Department, will present a draft water quality study known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Upper Bullpasture River and its tributaries in Highland County, Virginia. The river is listed on the 303(d) TMDL Priority List and Report as impaired due to violations of Virginia’s water quality standards for Recreational Use. This is an opportunity for local residents to learn about the condition of the river, and provide input on the draft report. A public comment period will follow the meeting (March 13, 2019 – April 11, 2019). In the event of inclement weather, the meeting will be held on March 19th at the same time and location, and the public comment period will be extended accordingly. MEETING DESCRIPTION: A public informational meeting will be held to share a draft water quality study for the Upper Bullpasture River with the watershed community. This study was developed with input from local stakeholders, who were invited to provide information on potential sources of bacteria in the watershed and needed reductions through participation in a Technical Advisory Committee. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act and §62.1-44.19:7.C of the Code of Virginia requires DEQ to develop TMDLs for pollutants responsible for each impaired water contained in Virginia’s 303(d) TMDL Priority List and Report. The meeting will be open to the public and all are welcome. DESCRIPTION OF STUDY: The upper portion of the Bullpasture River, located in Highland County, Virginia is impaired for the “recreational use” water quality standard, meaning that there is too much E. coli bacteria present in river. The impaired segment begins at the headwaters of the river at the VA-WVA border and extends to just below the confluence with Davis Run south of McDowell. Excessive bacteria levels may pose a threat to human health; therefore, a bacteria standard was established to preserve recreational uses in Virginia’s waterbodies. This water quality study reports on the sources of bacteria and recommends reductions to meet a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the impaired segment of the river. A TMDL is the total amount of a pollutant a water body can contain and still meet water quality standards. To restore water quality in the Upper Bullpasture River, bacteria levels will need to be reduced to the TMDL amount. Through this process, Virginia agencies partnered with a Technical Advisory Committee made up of local stakeholders, which met several times to identify sources of bacteria in the upper portion of the river, and provided feedback on the reductions needed from these sources to meet the TMDL. In addition to presenting the draft TMDL study to local stakeholders, the meeting will serve as an opportunity to solicit input on next steps in the water quality improvement process in the Bullpasture River. Initial plans for this effort included development of an implementation plan for the TMDL following completion of the study. The purpose of the implementation plan is to outline the actions necessary to meet the water quality improvement goals described in the study. Such a plan typically includes best management practices to reduce pollutant loading to the waterway, associated costs and benefits, a timeline for implementation and education and outreach strategies to encourage participation. Completion of a TMDL implementation plan may open the door for additional technical assistance and cost share funding to support implementation actions in the watershed. Based on local input during TMDL development, interest in proceeding with an implementation plan for the TMDL in the Bullpasture River watershed has been limited. Since the TMDL process is largely voluntary, local support is critical to success. Thus, the public comment period for the draft TMDL study will also include an invitation for comments regarding appropriate next steps in the watershed, and more specifically, whether the process should be continued to include TMDL implementation plan development beginning in spring/summer 2019. HOW TO COMMENT AND PARTICIPATE: All meetings in support of TMDL development are open to the public and all interested parties are welcome. Written comments will be accepted through April 11, 2019 and should include the name, address, and telephone number of the person submitting the comments. For more information, or to submit written comments, please contact the staff contact person listed.
Meeting Scope
Public hearing to receive comment on a proposed stage
General business of the board
Discuss particular regulations / chapters

Contact Information
Name / Title: Nesha McRae 
Address: DEQ Valley Regional Office
P.O. Box 3000
Harrisonburg, 22801
Email Address:
Telephone: (540)574-7850    FAX: (540)574-7878    TDD: ()-