The New River is not one of the most polluted rivers in America, speakers at a symposium said Thursday, and attempts to portray it that way tend to be distracting from serious issues.
The New River Syposium, taking place at Radford University Thursday and Friday, features scientists and regulators, and a few writers and artists, who are concerned about the river and the region’s environment.
In a session chaired by Tamim Younos of the Cabell Brand Center, several speakers said the “most polluted” canard originates with the high level of nitrate emissions reported by the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Yet nitrates are not as serious as other sorts of contaminants, such as heavy metals.
On balance, the New River is relatively healthy, speakers said. Coverage of the symposium will continue Friday.