Altavista Town Council has given the green light for a water treatment project at the overflow pond. The use of PCBs was outlawed in 1977—but up until then, nearby industries unknowingly deposited, for many years, into the town’s 6.1 acre pond adjacent to the waste water treatment plant. In 2002, the town entered the DEQ’s voluntary remediation plan. Members of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research’s (IALR) Applied Research team met with officials in October with a proposal to treat the contaminants. The suggestion is to plant switchgrass with the expectation, the roots will secrete sugars to keep the bacteria alive, which inoculates the soil, while spreading beneficial bacteria as the roots grow. Funding was approved last month.