The Town of Maysville has received a Notice of Violation and Assessment of Civil Penalty for Violations and Notice of Violation/Notice of Intent to Enforce. I have attached these for you to review. In summary, the Town of Maysville is paying a $4,000 fine to Department of Environmental Quality because of violations dating October, November, and December 2014 and January and February of 2015. These violations pertain to discharging waste water above permitted flow, exceeding the permitted monthly & weekly discharge of fecal coliform, and failure to properly monitor Mercury and pH.
*A side note on Mercury – Mercury exists in three different chemical speciations: elemental/metal, inorganic, and organic. It is the organic mercury, methylmercury, you want to be concerned about most because it bioaccumulates (adds up in a biological organism, for example smaller organism eats mercury that has bonded with sediment, fish eats small organism, then human eats fish) once it enters the food web. Once this happens it also biomagnifies, meaning the trophic organisms (including humanimals 🙂 ) eat the affected organism, and exponential increases in mercury are being consumed. Yikes! Trouble is, mercury comes from many natural sources, like rocks and soil. But it is also present in agricultural runoff. And we have a high instance of agricultural areas all around us. Mercury can affect human health in the following: fetal development – affecting things like neurological performance, causing speech delays, shorter attention span, learning disabilities. In adults – tremors, memory loss, numbness in fingers and toes, possible heart disease… The list goes on…
Coming off of that tangent…
As I had mentioned in a previous update, the last thing we at WONRA want is for the Town of Maysville to pay fines when they have little money to work with. The Notice of Violations does incorporate fines for “the amount of money saved from noncompliance” among other things. I think it is important to remember that environmental compliance should not be seen as arbitrary. This is the health of the White Oak river at stake. This is the health of the community at stake.
At any rate, we all need to stay tuned to this issue for the health of our River.
Nicole L. Triplett