delisting

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Reports Stream Improvements (Draft Report)

In its recently released 2014 Water Quality Assessment Report, Virginia DEQ reports that several streams previously classified as “impaired” under the 303-D program have now been de-listed.

Stone Creek
Located in Lee County, this segment includes Stone Creek from the confluence with Ely Creek to the Straight Creek confluence at the Stone Creek community. The segment is 3.33 miles long and was first listed as impaired for failure to support the general standard for aquatic life in 2002. Recent biological sampling indicated the segment is no longer considered impaired but fully supporting the aquatic life use.
The source of the benthic impairment on Stone Creek was a combination of impacts from abandoned mine lands and acid mine drainage. Over 215 acres of mined land have been reclaimed in the Stone Creek watershed, primarily to forest. In addition, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) has completed three important abandoned mine land reclamation projects with total costs of nearly $420,000. These projects have addressed acid mine drainage and landslides. DMME believes the pollution reductions from these areas have contributed to the improved benthic macroinvertebrate scores that DEQ has observed in the stream.

Gin Creek
Located in Lee County, this segment includes the headwaters and tributaries downstream through the Darbyville community to the Straight Creek confluence at Turners Siding. The segment is 2.59 miles long and was first listed as impaired for failure to support the general standard for aquatic life in 2002. Recent biological sampling indicated the segment is no longer considered impaired but fully supporting the aquatic life use.
The source of the benthic impairment on Gin Creek was a combination of impacts from abandoned mine lands and acid mine drainage. There is currently only one active coal mine permit in the Gin Creek watershed. The total permit area for that facility is 23.5 acres but the mining was finished in 2008 and 20 acres of the permit area has now been reclaimed. The remaining permitted area is the haul road to the site. The site will be under a performance bond for a minimum of three more years to insure a successful post mining land use of forest.

Swords Creek
Located in Russell County, this segment of Swords Creek includes the mainstem from the Sulphur Spring Branch confluence at Dye downstream to the confluence with the Clinch River. The segment is 2.91 miles long and was first listed as impaired for failure to support the general standard for aquatic life in 2002. Recent biological sampling indicates this segment is no longer considered impaired but fully supporting the aquatic life use.
The suspected cause of the impairment was runoff from rural residential areas. The reasons for improvements are unknown; however, the improved benthic scores reinforce the point that the segment is now fully supporting the aquatic life use. This segment remains listed as impaired for failure to meet the bacteria water quality standard.

Clear Creek
Located in Wise County, Clear Creek is a tributary of the Guest River located near the Ramsey community downstream of the Jefferson National Forest. The segment is 3.77 miles long and was first listed as impaired for failure to support the general standard for aquatic life in 2010. Recent biological sampling indicated the segment is no longer considered impaired but fully supporting the aquatic life use.
The suspected cause of the impairment was runoff from rural residential areas. The reasons for improvement are unknown; however, the improved benthic scores reinforce the point that the segment is now fully supporting the aquatic life use.

Eastland Creek
Located in Wise County, Eastland Creek is a tributary to Clear Creek south of Norton in the Jefferson National Forest. The segment is 2.00 miles long and was first listed as impaired for failure to support the general standard for aquatic life in 2010. Recent biological sampling indicates this segment is no longer considered impaired but fully supporting the aquatic life use.
The suspected cause of the impairment was unknown. The reasons for improvement are unknown; however, the improved benthic scores reinforce the point that the segment is now fully supporting the aquatic life use.

Machine Creek
Located in Wise County, this segment includes the headwaters of Machine Creek on Stone Mountain in Jefferson National Forest. The segment is 2.24 miles long and was first listed as impaired for failure to support the general standard for aquatic life in 2010. Recent biological sampling indicated the segment is no longer considered impaired but fully supporting the aquatic life use.
The suspected cause of the impairment was unknown. The reasons for improvement are unknown; however, the improved benthic scores reinforce the point that the segment is now fully supporting the aquatic life use.

Stony Creek
Located in Scott County, this segment includes from Greens Chapel to the Clinch River confluence near Fort Blackmore. The segment is 5.25 miles long and was first listed as impaired for failure to meet the recreational use in 2008. Recent ambient sampling show 0 bacteria violations in 11 samples.
The source of the bacteria impairment on the Stony Creek was unknown. The reasons for the improvement are unknown; however, the improved bacteria data reinforces the point that the stream is no longer impaired but fully supporting recreational uses.

Wallen Creek
Located in Lee County, this segment includes the mainstem of Wallen Creek from the confluence with Lone Branch downstream to the confluence with the Powell River near Towell Fork. The segment is 2.04 miles long and was first listed as impaired for failure to meet the recreational use in 2006. Recent ambient sampling show 1 bacteria violations in 11 samples.
The source of the bacteria impairment on the Wallen Creek was unrestricted cattle access and rural residential areas. The reasons for the improvement are unknown; however, the improved bacteria data reinforces the point that the stream is no longer impaired but fully supporting recreational uses.