Blackwater-Nottoway Riverkeeper Program April 12, 2017
As recorded by Felice Hancock, Secretary
The monthly meeting of the BNRP, held at the Paul D. Camp Community College Workforce Center, had eight people attending. Board Members present were: Curtis Newsome, Jeff Turner, Anne Parker, and Nancy Turner. Also present were Bobby Turner, John Bunch, Felice Hancock, and Rex Alphin (Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors).
Curtis Newsome opened the meeting with a welcome and called upon John Bunch to read the March Minutes as well as the Minutes from the following closed meeting. Jeff Turner motioned that the minutes be passed and this was seconded by Anne Parker.
Curtis next requested that the Treasurer’s Report be read. Nancy reported that for March 2017 the revenue was $896.30; expenses were $948.42.
Following, Curtis then asked for the Membership Report. Bobby Turner reminded everyone that the BNRP Membership is carried over from the earlier year through April of the current year. Therefore, 144 members are current with only 99 paid for 2017.
April 2017 Riverkeeper Report By Jeff Turner, Blackwater-Nottoway Riverkeeper
3/9 Two-day patrol on Blackwater River below Franklin. Trash not bad. Took Franklin Mayor Frank Rabil for tour to look at old Franklin dumpsite along river: 6 foot fencing has been erected. There was a lot of sawdust on the water coming in the second day. Contacted Department of Environmental Quality/DEQ.
3/12 Had discussions with International Paper/IP about sawdust. Their stated position was that no sawdust was being produced at the facility and none could get into the river.
3/15 DEQ visits IP and Franklin Lumber and finds an issue with sawdust. IP and Franklin Lumber issued a RCA (Request for Corrective Action) due April 14, 2017 to correct fugitive dust issue.
3/16 IP contacts me about sawdust issue and explains how they will work to correct the problem. Including fixing hole in debarking drum and designing some type of wind block at the chute that drops wood chips onto large pile. This will be installed in May during shutdown.
3/19 Three-day patrol on Blackwater River below Franklin. Trash not bad, strange flow out of creek before 58 by-pass. Contacted IP; investigation proved from swamp runoff.
3/27 Sent letter of inquiry to IRS about asset distribution.
4/1 Three-day patrol on Blackwater River below Franklin. Trash as bad as ever seen. Filled up boat.
4/4 Sent letter to Franklin Mayor Rabil about trash and trash boom idea for Bogart Pond.
Learned DEQ fined City of Franklin $10,431 for September 2014 violations discovered after I reported overflow issue.
Several groups are going to be cleaning up along rivers this month. I am encouraging groups that want to clean-up in locations that directly affected the rivers or groups that going on the rivers. These type clean-ups I will help with all year long. Essentially having CRD Year (Clean Rivers Day Year).
Anne Parker went to Adopt a Spot meeting at the City of Franklin during March, in regards to litter clean-up. Since BNRP is not officially “holding” a CRD, she offered a list of groups which usually participate. It appeared that the City did not pursue contacting the groups.
Jeff noted that Southampton County will be accepting tires in April from clean-ups.
Rex Alpin offered a word of thanks and appreciation to all that Jeff and BNRP have done towards the rivers’ environment in the past years.
Jeff next passed out a draft of a BNRP grant application which could be used to provide monies to 501-c-3 non-profits with environmental programs for our rivers. He also passed out copies of forms from the IRS and Commonwealth of Virginia in regards to disbursement of assets from non-profits, such as BNRP. Jeff would like clarification form IRS prior to filing any of these forms.
John Bunch provided a Show and Tale from along the rivers. He passed around and informed the Meeting of a modern live plant and its giant fossil ancestor (horse tail plant, Equisetum).
With no further business Curtis Newsome dismissed the BNRP Meeting.