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July 03, 2006

City joins Rivanna River Basin Commission

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MoormanswheelerTonight the Charlottesville City Council received a report on proposed Rivanna River Basin Commission from Ridge Schuyler, Director of the Piedmont Program at The Nature Conservancy.  After the report, the Council approved a resolution to join and participate in the Commission.

The Rivanna River Basin Commission should not be confused with the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority (RWSA).  The latter is responsible for delivering drinking water and wastewater treatment services to the City and the Albemarle County Service Authority.  The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation in early 2004 authorizing the Rivanna River Basin Commission. According to The Nature Conservancy, "one of the Commission’s most critical responsibilities will be to develop and disseminate comprehensive science-based information to local governments and residents."  On issues like riparian buffers and low impact development techniques, the Commission would "assist localities in making decisions that are both well informed and consistent with a unified plan to preserve the river [basin’s] health."

Over the last two years, $450,000 in private money has been raised by The Nature Conservancy to support the Commission.  In his report, Mr. Schuyler suggested an immediate project of the Commission would be to conduct a threat assessment of where sedimentation is coming from that is filling the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir.  The Commission's scientific research would assess and prioritize sedimentation and erosion threats that might be addressed by remediation projects or better land use and building practices.

Mr. Schuyler asked the City Council to approve a resolution agreeing to join and participate in the Commission.  City Council agreed and passed that motion unanimously.  City Council appointed Kevin Lynch and Kendra Hamilton as its representatives to the Commission.  The City joins Fluvanna County and Greene County which have both passed resolutions to join the Commission. Next, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will hear a similar presentation at their July 12, 2006 meeting where they will be encouraged to participate.  Once Albemarle makes a decision, the other participating localities would all appoint their members to the Commission and commence its operations. 

Podcast produced by Charlottesville Tomorrow * Player by Odeo

Listen using player above or download the podcast:
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You can read more about the Commission on The Nature Conservancy's website.

You can also view this item from the City Council's July 3rd Agenda.

Brian Wheeler

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