October 8, 2008 Meeting Minutes

12 Oct
October 12, 2008

As recorded by John Bunch, Secretary

Curtis Newsome was not at the meeting tonight and Jeff Turner filled in for him. Jeff opened the meeting by asking that John Bunch read the minutes from the previous month’s meeting. During this reading, Jeff made comments on the regulations in order to explain to members that weren’t at the previous meeting. Following the reading, Jeff made the motion to adopt the minutes as is, was seconded by Nancy Turner, and were adopted without any changes.
Nancy Turner reported September expenses to be $1470.19, revenues of $4050.98. Other than the Riverkeeper salary, there were no large expenditures and the bulk of the influx came in the form of a contribution from the City of Franklin.
Bobby Turner then reported that the group had gained two group memberships – both were Ruritan Clubs, Holland and Newsomes. Membership total now stands at 134.
The meeting had 7 in attendance and the BOD members present were Nancy Turner, Jeff Turner, and Sherri Woodard.

The Riverkeeper Report
As presented by Jeff Turner

On 9/19 – Spent three days on the Nottoway at the Cypress Bridge. Upriver from the bridge the trash was heavy, but Cypress Bridge area looked good, no doubt due to Hercules looking after it.
On 9/24 – Had a discussion with VDGIF & DEQ on the Nottoway fish consumption advisory signs. They are being put up by the VDGIF CPO’s and myself.  The signs are warnings for Mercury contamination contained in particular fish species.
On 9/29 – Met with Dominion Power Max Bartholomew to discuss a pier addition at Barrett’s Landing. The new addition would aid people in boarding the Eco-Cruise boat. This would make it safer by creating a step-down platform as the existing pier is very high out of the water. It would also help other boaters who would like to get out to eat or shop or attend concerts downtown. Dominion has presented the BNRP with a check of $2500 for materials for this project and their volunteers will build the pier addition.
Received the Community Service Award from the South Centre’ Corridors Resource Conservation & Development Council. The group was presented this nice looking award at a banquet that was held in Hopewell at the Beacon Theater.
On 10/4 – Set up and tended the BNRP informational booth from 9 to 3 at the Wakefield’s Family Day held at the old Wakefield High School. It was a good event and well attended. Had about 20 people to show interest in the program.
Wrote a letter to Delegate Bill Barlow asking for help on the cows in the rivers problem. The way the laws are written, regulations just don’t deal with a cow herd this small.
On 10/6 – Gave a presentation and showed a video on the BW & Nott Rivers to the Cub Scout Pack 17 at the Methodist Church in Franklin.
Spent three days on the BW below the Steel Bridge. The trash was bad, but did get to see a Bald Eagle. Also saw Eric Brittle electro-shocking on the last day I was there. They were checking Largemouth Bass numbers.
IP had put a notice in the Tidewater News for public comments concerning a request for a VPDES permit modification. The request was to allow for effluent discharge out of the normal discharge season, which is from Nov through March. DEQ, DCR, and NC DENR all decided that the migration, spawning, and nursery of herring and shad would not support discharges from IP in the months of April through September. However, permit modification will allow IP to discharge in Sept and Oct if the river conditions are favorable in the case of high holding-pond levels.

Received a phone call concerning a leaking pipe at the trestle at Hercules. After investigation it turned out to be a pipe carrying a communications cable that appeared to be leaking groundwater or accumulated rainwater. Hercules responded to make sure it wasn’t theirs by putting in a boat to check it out. It was also noticed that someone had placed a hand painted sign under the leak that said “Don’ Eat the Fish”.

This concluded the Riverkeeper Report

Other Items:

– Bobby Turner brought up that someone had asked him how much worse Franklin would be flooded with the dike in place at IP should the river flood again. A study had been done and the river would only rise another 1/8” or so.

– Discussion was held on the lining up of some Eco-Cruises for the upcoming several weeks with the Garden Club and some Master gardeners from the Emporia area.

– Andy Chapman, from Hercules, took the floor to bring the group up to-date on what is currently going on at his plant. Employee count has gone from 93 to 68 in their cutbacks. The Tall Oil Facility part has been shut down, the equipment is being dismantled, and the lagoon will be excavated, neutralized, and hauled to an appropriate landfill. Subtracting out the non-contact wastewater, the wastewater flow has dropped from 50-60 gpm to ~10 gpm. They will also be using ~1.5 mmgd less groundwater (which represents 40% of their usage). They are working with DEQ to get their groundwater withdrawal and wastewater discharge permits changed to reflect their new state of operation.

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