To contact us, email IndianCreekWater@gmail.com
Our mission is to preserve and protect Monroe County’s abundant, pure water. Education that leads to citizens’ involvement with watershed issues and local planning efforts are the key to Monroe County water protection.
Click to download information about recent and ongoing ICWA activities.
NEW! DEP HEARING ON AVIAGEN TURKEY OPERATIONS PERMIT:
On Thursday October 28, 2021, the WV Department of Environmental Protection held a public hearing to hear comments about whether DEP should issue a stormwater pollution control construction permit allowing Aviagen to build what may be the ninth turkey operation in Monroe County. The format was a “virtual hearing” and people took part by internet or phone.
Click here for more information and to view a recording of the public hearing.
TURKEY OPERATIONS IN MONROE COUNTY: Click here for more information
Aviagen, Inc. has purchased property for two neighboring turkey operation sites on the Peters Mountain side of Zenith Road. Zenith Site #30 received a DEP stormwater pollution control permit in October 2020. The current permit application is for Zenith Site #31.
In a written comment to DEP on August 16, Indian Creek Watershed Association noted that Aviagen’s Zenith Sites are located on karst at the base of Peters Mountain where there are known sinkholes and blind valleys. The group expressed concern that all neighboring families and farms rely on private springs and wells, and that no testing had been done to determine what streams and springs might be impacted by runoff waters from these operations. They requested that testing be done and that stronger pollution control measures and water monitoring procedures be put In place before a permit is issued. Two streams in the Indian Creek watershed likely to be affected are Dropping Lick and Turkey Creek.
Earlier this summer, on July 20,2021 Indian Creek Watershed volunteers filed a complaint to DEP with photos showing that sediment (mud) entered a sinkhole near the Aviagen Site #30 on the Zenith Road. After a DEP inspector who visited the site observed the sinkhole, DEP determined that Aviagen had failed to comply with the terms of its permit and issued a Notice of Violation to Aviagen.
On October 4, Indian Creek Watershed Association filed a complaint to DEP that Aviagen was constructing on Site #31 in spite of the fact that no permit had yet been issued. In filing their complaint, ICWA submitted photos showing major earth-moving activity. An inspector confirmed ICWA member observations, and it is anticipated that DEP will issue a second Notice of Violation to the Aviagen sites at Zenith for violating the Clean Water Act.
FIELD-BASED STUDIES are building a better understanding of Monroe County’s water resources and vulnerabilities
- County-wide water study: ICWA continued to work with the USGS and Monroe County Commission to support the first comprehensive hydrogeologic mapping of the county and the first USGS mapping update since 1926. Members and friends contributed $5,000 to upgrade the USGS stream gauge on Indian Creek at Red Sulphur Springs to add discharge measurements that improve data collection and interpretation during the study. Read more >>
Access live data from Indian Creek Gauge >>
- Research on Peters Mountain springs: The multi-year WVU study of interconnectivity of springs and water on Peters Mountain by WVU professor of geology Dr. Dorothy Vesper and graduate student Emily Bausher concluded in 2018. ICWA volunteers helped WVU researchers check data and measure water flow. Results were shared at national and international workshops and published in Emily’s master’s thesis. Dr. Vesper also submitted a report to the WV Department of Health and Human Resources about our springs’ source water vulnerability. Read more about the Peters Mountain research and reports >>
- Peters Mountain cave mapping, dye-tracing, and new cave in-the-making: Since 2014, ICWA has raised concerns about MVP’s route over Peters Mountain through karst and close to the Rich Creek Spring and Cave. We have worked with DEP karst specialist Nick Schaer, local landowners, and caving experts to help expedite mapping of the previously unexplored Rich Creek Cave (download photos, map and story). Dye-tracing has revealed a groundwater connection between a cave northeast of the MVP corridor to the Rich Creek Cave and Spring on the opposite side. A new sinkhole/cave forming on farmland close to the route also shows a dye-traced connection across the corridor to the Rich Creek Cave and Spring.
Indian Creek Watershed Association will conduct its annual Make It Shine cleanup of Indian Creek as soon as the threat of the Corona Virus has abated. Once again we will canoe or kayak from the Old Mill in Greenville to the Hans Creek bridge picking up tires and trash along the way. The ride is about 3 miles and takes a couple of hours. If you have a boat, and would like to join us, we will meet behind the Old Mill at 1:00. Gloves and trash bags will be provided. For more information, contact Howdy Henritz at 304-832-6566.
- Status and Legal challenges to the FERC, WV Department of Environmental Protection, and the Jefferson National Forest
- Access to comments and reports (karst, hydrology, cultural attachment, economic)
- ICWA Interactive Environmental Map
- Water testing information for landowners concerned about the MVP
Indian Creek Watershed Association (ICWA) has been an active watershed organization since 1996. Our focus and mission is “The preservation and protection of Monroe County’s abundant, pure water.” Our members come from all walks of life including the public and private sectors, self-employed and retired individuals, outdoor enthusiasts, old time families and newcomers, farmers, homemakers, school employees, social workers and historians. We are fortunate to have a strong core of individuals who are extremely interested in how the quality of our waters impacts the well being of area citizens and we continue to seek out ways to expand our membership.
Water is essential for life. It is in constant motion, running over and through the earth in groundwater, creeks, streams and rivers, collecting in lakes and ponds, and flowing into the oceans. Along the way, it evaporates into the air and returns to the earth as rain, ice and snow.
A watershed is an area of land that acts like a funnel, collecting all of the water that falls from the sky and delivering it back into a common body of water. Most of the water that falls on Monroe County flows west into the New River. Indian Creek and Rich Creek flow directly into the New, while waters from Second Creek and Wolf Creek get to the New by way of the Greenbrier River. A small amount of water in the eastern part of the county flows eastward into the James River. The water we drink and use in Monroe County comes out of our watersheds from springs and wells tapped into groundwater.
Unlike 90% of all watersheds on earth, our water runs through karst formation. Karst is a landscape with sinkholes and caves caused by underground erosion of limestone bedrock. Cracks and hollows in the limestone create underground streams and aquifers that allow surface water to rapidly join with ground water. There are both advantages and disadvantages to living on karst formation. Water in our area is abundant. Unlike some other watersheds, our ground water is rapidly replenished by surface water. However, in other watersheds toxins and other contaminants are filtered out of surface water as it works it way slowly through the soil and rock into the ground water. Flowing through relatively hollow karst, contaminants can be rapidly dumped directly into our groundwater. People living in a karst region need to educate themselves and their neighbors about the nature of their water source and work together to protect the quality of their water.
Indian Creek Watershed Association pipeline statement:
Indian Creek Watershed Association is very concerned about the impact of the two proposed pipelines on the water and watershed areas. The large size and scale of the pipes and required easement corridors; the numerous stream crossings, including in sensitive limestone and karst areas; and the erosion and run-off from vertical cuts over ridges and Peters Mountain—all of these put our watersheds at serious risk and threaten the quality of life unique to Monroe County. There must be a very transparent review and decision-making process that both solicits and takes into consideration the concerns of everyone affected.
As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) considers its environmental impact study of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) routes, Indian Creek Watershed Association continues to help Monroe County landowners gather information that they can use to protect our environment and culture.
Additionally, ICWA continues to file comments at the FERC, the Jefferson National Forest, the WV Department of Environmental Protection, and the Bureau of Land Management to oppose the MVP crossing Monroe County waters. Click here for more pipeline information
Suggested ICWA membership donation is $10 for individuals and $15 for families.
For more information or to become involved, email: email@example.com
For more information about membership and how to print a brochure about our past year’s activities and projects click here.
ICWA is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible.
Here are two ways to support Indian Creek Watershed Association
- Send a check: Please make your check payable to Indian Creek Watershed Association or ICWA. Mail to: Indian Creek Watershed Association, P.O. Box 711, Union, WV 24983.
- Click here for more information about donating to ICWA and how to donate on-line