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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 4, 2011

DHEC to check for environmental releases along Pacolet River, Kelsey Creek

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A project to look for evidence of historical or ongoing environmental releases along the Pacolet River and Kelsey Creek in Spartanburg County is scheduled to start later this month, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

“We’ll concentrate on collecting sediment and surface water samples, but we might also gather soil and groundwater samples,” said Daphne Neel, chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Land and Waste Management.

Neel said the study will include approximately 15 stream miles along the Pacolet with samples being taken from the river and all major stream contributors in the area including: Island Creek, Cherokee Creek, Pole Bridge Branch, Cinder Branch, Lawsons Fork Creek, Richland Creek, as well as other substantial unnamed tributaries. The study will also focus on the upper reaches of Kelsey Creek. Samples from the creek’s lower reaches, including Lake Craig, will also be collected.

“Given that a major factor behind this initiative was concerns of local citizens, public participation will be an important part of the process,” Neel said. “We’re currently identifying local citizens that might be interested in participating on a focus group for each of the two geographic areas of this initiative."

According to Neel, DHEC will be identifying selected sampling locations and the focus groups will allow residents to share their areas of concern. As the initiative progresses, information will be shared with the public through a community meeting or availability session.

“This study should give us a useful snapshot of the quality of the surface water and sediment in the assessment area,” Neel said.

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For media inquiries:
Adam Myrick – (803) 898-3884
Email – myrickar@dhec.sc.gov
MNR0543