Report: Manure Runoff Tainting Shenandoah River With E. Coli

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A report from an environmental advocacy group says excessive livestock manure runoff is polluting the Shenandoah River.

The Environmental Integrity Project analyzed hundreds of public records for the report released Wednesday.

The state regularly samples the river and its tributaries at water monitoring stations. The report found that more than 90 percent of those stations had E. coli at levels unsafe for human contact over the past two years.

The report also found elevated levels of phosphorous at nearly half the monitoring sites. Excessive phosphorous can lead to algae overgrowth and fish kills.

A Department of Environmental Quality spokesman says there’s room for improvement in Virginia’s manure management program, but bacterial contamination in the Shenandoah is improving.

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation called the report “an opinion piece.”

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