STATE STREAMS WILL BE TREATED FOR ACID - Little Kanawha Scheduled For 2006

More than 100 miles of acid-impaired West Virginia streams will benefit from the settlement of a multi-state air pollution suit against a Virginia-based power utility for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announced the $2 million settlement with Dominion Resources, Inc. at a ceremony today along the Right Fork of the Buckhannon River in Pickens.

DEP Cabinet Secretary Stephanie R. Timmermeyer and DNR Director Ed Hamrick traveled to Pickens to place the first in a series of limestone sand treatments in the stream.

"This is just the beginning of restoring acid precipitation-impaired streams in West Virginia," said Timmermeyer. "The $2 million will fund our restoration efforts on at least 10 streams annually. Since we estimate that 25 percent of our high elevation cold water streams suffer from acid precipitation damage, this fund will help us make headway in restoring and protecting some of our most scenic streams."

The Little Kanawha River, including the Right Fork of the Little Kanawha and the Left Fork of Right Fork of Little Kanawha are scheduled for treatment by 2006.

Over the next three years, more than 100 miles of West Virginia streams impaired by acid precipitation will be treated with limestone sand to restore them to viable trout fisheries.

The money from the settlement will be placed in the West Virginia Aquatic Habitat Restoration account within the West Virginia Wildlife Endowment Fund. The money will remain in the account in perpetuity. Only the income from the investment of the $2 million will be spent on stream treatment. At least 20 streams over the next three years will benefit from the application of limestone sand. DNR is responsible for planning the limestone application. DEP will follow up the treatment with water quality monitoring in the restored streams.

DNR Director Ed Hamrick touted not only the environmental benefits of the project, but also the recreational benefits as well.

"The average mile of trout stream brings about $40,000 annually to the state's economy," said Hamrick. "Anglers buy equipment, spend money to travel, and have other expenses that have about an $800,000 impact on the state's economy through this project alone."

Other streams slated for restoration through 2006 include:

Left Fork Buckhannon
Marsh Fork
South Fork Cherry
Laurel Creek (Cherry)
South Fork Red Creek
Laurel Run (Cheat)
Second Fork
Tea Creek
Craig Run
Fall Run
Turkey Creek
Right Fork Turkey Creek
Hills Creek
Glade Run
Meatbox Run
Potatoehole Fork
Red Creek
Little Kanawha
Right Fork Little Kanawha
Left Fork of Right Fork of Little Kanawha