- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

ALTAVISTA, Va. (AP) - Altavista faces a March 31 deadline to submit a treatment plan to the state for PCBs in an emergency wastewater overflow pond.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says the town also must submit a schedule to reduce the level of polychlorinated biphenyls in the pond to 50 parts per million. The agency notified the town of the deadline in a letter earlier this month, The News & Advance (https://bit.ly/13sv1T4) reported.

Altavista entered the state agency’s voluntary remediation plan in 2002 to find economical and environmentally friendly ways to treat the 6.1-acre pond. The town also has been working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on experimentation with treatment methods.

Town officials must decide whether to continue the experimentation under the EPA or choose something from DEQ’s voluntary remediation plan.

Town staff plan to talk to EPA Region 3 staff to determine the agency’s level of support with continued experimentation. Altavista officials also want to determine what penalties the town would face if the state agency doesn’t accept the town’s treatment proposal.

“We’ve got a lot of questions to ask the EPA because we need some solid answers,” Altavista Town Manager Waverly Coggsdale III told the newspaper.

Coggsdale said a list of treatment alternatives has been prepared by Christiansburg-based Gay and Neel Inc., a consultant hired by Altavista for the cleanup effort.

He also said he spoke with an EPA official last week to share ideas concerning remediation, including the suggestion that researchers studying the pond share their findings so far.

Polychlorinated biphenyls were used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications before the chemical’s manufacture was banned in 1979.

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Information from: The News & Advance, https://www.newsadvance.com/

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