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Justice Opens 30-Day Public Comment Period on Proposed Settlement with Blacksburg Country Club in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia


03/22/2012


endangered Roanoke logperchRoanoke logperch (Percina rex) is a freshwater fish listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. An estimated 169 Roanoke logperch were among the more than 10,000 fish killed by the hazardous substances release on July 9, 2007 into North Fork Roanoke River from the Blacksburg Country Club in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia. Illustration credit: Mike Pinder, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

 

On March 22, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposed settlement between the U.S., on behalf of the Secretary of Department of the Interior, and Blacksburg Country Club, Inc. for natural resource damage claims arising from a hazardous substances release at its golf course in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia. The proposed settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was lodged with the U.S District Court for the Western District of Virginia on March 22, 2012.

On July 9, 2007, hazardous substances, including chlorothalonil, were released from the grounds of the golf course when a tank being filled with fungicides and a plant growth inhibitor overflowed. The release entered the North Fork Roanoke River and resulted in injury to the aquatic ecosystem of the River and the mortality of resident fish. An estimated 10,335 fish, including 169 Roanoke logperch -- a freshwater fish listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 -- were killed.

Department of the Interior, acting through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the only natural resource trustee participating in the proposed settlement. The proposed settlement calls for Blacksburg Country Club to:

  • Finance and implement a Restoration Plan, called “River Restoration Plan for the North Fork Roanoke River Fish Kill,” dated December 2011, which is incorporated in the Consent Decree as Appendix A;
  • Pay $18,964.34 plus accrued interest to Department of Justice for past natural resource damage assessment costs and for future restoration oversight costs; and,
  • Pay all future travel costs of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for restoration projects implementation and monitoring.

Written comments regarding the lodged Consent Decree must be received by the U.S. Department of Justice by April 23, 2012.

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