As recorded by John Bunch, Secretary
Jeff Turner opened the meeting by asking that John Bunch give a planned presentation on International Paper’s upcoming VPDES Permit modification and also on the cleanup efforts that are associated with IP’s RCRA Permit.
Concerning the VPDES Permit modification, IP is working with DEQ to get allowances for out-of-season discharges to the Blackwater River. This would allow the mill to take advantage of high flows from hurricanes or tropical storms and would only occur on a case-by-case basis with DEQ approval.
Concerning the cleanup, it was explained that it was common practice years ago to dump into ponds spent lime and tall oil. These materials have, through the years, proved to be of harm to the soils and groundwater. Realizing this, the mill voluntarily excavated and removed these contaminants to try and restore the land back to its natural state. The EPA reviewed the collected data and the work performed, and has concluded there are no threats to human health or the environment and has recently issued its conclusion to the public. DEQ is preparing to incorporate the on-going requirements in a permit.
Cutis then asked for the reading of the minutes by John Bunch. Following the reading Jeff made the motion to accept, seconded by Nancy, and adopted by voting with no changes.
Nancy Scott reported June expenses to be $29,781.28, revenues of $113.24. The large expense for the month, along with the Riverkeeper salary, was for the purchase of the new truck and associated insurance, tail gate, bug shield, and truck liner. Curtis asked how the gas mileage compared with the old one and Jeff reported that it was a little better, but it was really too soon to tell.
Bobby Turner then reported that since the previous meeting that the group picked up the four members of the Tiller family bringing the membership total to 132.
The meeting had 10 in attendance and the BOD members present were Nancy Scott, Sherri Woodard, Jeff Turner, Curtis Newsome, and Mark Smith.
The Riverkeeper Report
As presented by Jeff Turner
On 6/13 – Received the new replacement Riverkeeper truck.
On 6/16 – BOD voted by email and phone to approve $1300 for the bedliner, tailgate and logo to be put on the front. The voting passed on this. The logo is not a magnetic sign, but rather applied to the truck.
On 6/18 – Took participants from the Village-at-Woods-Edge on a 2 ½ hr cruise on the Blackwater. Put in at the new boat landing. The cruise was nice with a full boat.
On 6/19 – Took 2 sets of PDCCC Kids College on an Eco-Cruise on the Blackwater. The teachers are paid for their participation, but Jeff declined payment for his role. Coming up in the future there will be two additional dates for more of this.
There was another email and phone vote by the BOD to sell the old Riverkeeper boat. This was approved by majority.
On 6/24 – Spent three days on the Blackwater below Franklin. The DO measured was very low and the water appeared stagnant due to low or no flow. But on a good note, the trash level was light.
On 6/27 – Sent a packet of information to Dan Howe, Manager of Franklin Downtown Development on how to better utilize the downtown waterfront. Included were ideas on the new boat landing and providing better accessibility to Barrett’s Landing from the water.
On 7/7 – Graffiti on the railroad trestle downstream from Hercules that needed removing was blacked out.
On 7/9 – Received a call from Dan Howe on information that he was relaying concerning a downed tree in the river channel at Barrett’s Landing. Checked this out and did not find any tree that fit this description, so not sure about the call.
This concluded the Riverkeeper Report
– There was discussion on whether the group should purchase a laptop computer in order to be able to make PowerPoint presentations or to continue to rent one. The current mode of presentations is by using a portable DVD player coupled with the InFocus. The presentation that was given tonight at the beginning of this meeting was made from rental equipment from the Work Force Development Center. A final decision was not made tonight.
– The Blackwater River Fish Consumption Advisory Signs have been delivered and are ready to be put up. The VDH will be telling us the locations for their placement.
– The new replacement bridge over the Blackwater for Franklin has begun. Jeff mentioned that he will be closely monitoring their activity as it progresses.
– Bobby informed us that one of our members, Doug Rogers, has been diagnosed with Lyme disease and is currently on a 21 day antibiotic treatment.
– Curtis mentioned that Jane March sent an email asking for the writing of grants and to sit on a board to start a museum. Jeff declined.