As recorded by John Bunch, Secretary
Curtis Newsome opened the meeting by asking that John Bunch read the minutes from the previous month’s meeting. It was noted at the end of the reading that a change was needed concerning the signs being removed. It should have read Adopt-a-Stream signs rather than Protect the Rivers signs and at the location of Rt. 671 Hercules Boat Landing rather than the Steel Bridge. It was decided to adopt the minutes following making the changes. This motion was made by Nancy Turner, seconded by Jeff Turner and passed upon receipt by Jeff of those changes.
Curtis then asked that Nancy give the Treasurer’s report for September. She reported that revenues were $3788.73 (mostly from contributions by Southampton Co and river atlas sales), expenses were $1091.95.
Curtis then asked Bobby Turner to give the membership report. The group remains at 141. This is no change from last month.
The meeting had 8 in attendance and the BOD members present were Nancy Turner, Anne Parker, Curtis Newsome, and Jeff Turner.
The Riverkeeper Report
As presented by Jeff Turner
On 9/9 – Talked to Melissa at the Chamber of Commerce concerning the pier project. They had contacted Dominion Power and have not heard back from them. (We have decided to write a letter to get deliberation of that pier project money).
– Interviewed Sam Butler for the Grist Mill Project. Also asked him questions on the old Camp Sawmill tape to gather additional historical information.
– Talked with Mike Johnson concerning trash blowing out when the trash haulers are driving down the road. Actually had a couple empty plastic milk cartons to hit my vehicle that had blown out.
On 9/11 – Attended Heritage Day that is held annually in Courtland. Good participation of people and there was much interest at the informational booth. I was also able to sell a lot of river atlases.
On 9/17 – Hercules/Ashland reported a fish kill in their discharge ditch. Sean Maconaghy stated that a preliminary search did not locate the cause. Further searching turned up some leaking tubes in the Ammonia condenser. The fish that were killed were only in the ditch and not the river.
On 9/21 – Showed 1945 film footage of the Camp Sawmill to people still remaining at IP. Was well received.
On 9/25 – Gave three Eco-Cruise tours to a total of 27 people from the Southampton County Historical Society. I had recently hurt my back prior to this and the tours really took a toll on me. The Society made a donation for these tours and in response we will be providing them with a membership.
On 10/1 – Tony Cobb sent a cell phone picture of what appears to possibly be some type of nest located ~75’ up a tree and in the shape of a large sphere. The photo is very small and I’m hoping that Tony will be able to get a better picture of it later. Harvey Darden (with the Forestry Dept) may go look at it and I will at some point when I’m able.
On 10/2 – The Tidewater News ran a story of the Franklin Airport to be used for Navy training of 2 types of prop planes.
On 10/9 – The Blackwater River crested on 10/3 at 13.53’ in Burdette due to the rains from Tropical Storm Nicole. The gauge in Franklin reports in a different fashion than the one in Burdette and will take some getting used to. When the Burdette gauge read 12.49 (12 being flood stage in Burdette), the Franklin Gauge read 5.32. Today the Burdette gauge reads 7.11 vs the one in Franklin reading 0.93
On 10/11 – From this date through 10/14, I gave presentations at the Riverdale Elementary School for Julie Herbert’s exceptional students class. Four different groups of students watched the BNRP film ‘A Tour of the Blackwater and Nottoway Rivers’. Discussions and questions on water quality issues and on wildlife followed the film. The school was given a copy of the film and a river atlas for their library. I also distributed workshop booklets ‘The Water Connection’ and ‘Share the Water’ to the four classes. Each student wrote a note, many with drawings of some representation of the film, and gave them to me. Looking for ideas on what may be done with these notes. (Those letters were passed around to the group to see and read).
This concluded the Riverkeeper Report
– Annual Banquet – topic was brought up to see if we want to continue to hold this. It has become quite expensive and takes a great deal of effort to put on. In an upcoming meeting there will be more discussion centered on this topic, but at this point in time we are leaning on holding the banquet as this is the tenth anniversary.
– John Bunch went over some of the details of a slump of part of International Paper’s Landfill and a leachate release that was all due to the heavy rains received from the recent Storm Nicole. Rainfall exceeding a >25 year storm in a 24 hr period of time caused an over loading of the leachate system that was designed for that 25 year storm rainfall event. Some of the leachate got out into a stormwater outfall and into Lee’s Mill Pond. The breached dike was sandbagged and a temporary pump set up to recover leachate. DEQ came onsite and was pleased with the manner that personnel was handling the issue. Following that, a landfill consultant was brought in to assess the impacted areas and make recommendations for permanent repairs.
Upon contacting DEQ about the incident DEQ responded as follows:
IP called in a release to the DEQ on September 30th, October 1st and
October 4th. The overall incident occurred from Sept. 30th to Oct. 3rd.
They reported a release of leachate on Sept. 30th associated with the
northwest corner of Cell E Phase III where a rain event of 6.83 inches
caused the waste to top the berm of the cell and broke through the dike
and discharged through outfall 009 to Lees Mill Pond. Sandbags were
used to stop the flow and a pump was brought in to pump recovered
leachate back to the landfill. A breach in the sandbagged area occurred
on Oct. 1st, repairs were made and recovered leachate pumped back to the
landfill. On the night of Oct.1, waste an leachate spilled over the
Phase II Cell A berm on the south side of the landfill. The waste and
leachate went to a storm water ditch that drains to a sedimentation
basin. This amount was estimated to be less than 10 cubic yards and
contained mostly in the sed basin. On Oct. 3, a portion of the south
side of the landfill breached, causing leachate to overflow the south
berm. IP worked to contain the overflow, using equipment and pumps to
restore the berm, dig a containment pit and pump the leachate back to
the pond. IP had a landfill consultant on site on Oct. 5th to evaluate
and recommend permanent repairs.