DEQ: No hazards after paper mill issue discolored river

July 18, 2018

COVINGTON, Va. (AP) — State regulators say they have found no environmental hazards after a problem at a paper mill’s waste treatment plant caused discoloration in waterways outside of Roanoke.

The Roanoke Times reports an issue last week at the WestRock Co. mill in Covington required a larger-than-normal amount of defoamer to be added at the treatment plant. Residue from the defoamer had a white, filmy appearance on downstream water, and discoloration extended downstream into the upper James River in Botetourt County.

Sam Hale is a water compliance manager with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. He says tests done last week found that dissolved oxygen levels downstream were well above water quality standard.

Hale also said the plant is now operating at near-normal conditions and no limits have been exceeded since Wednesday’s incident.


Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com