Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials said Monday that the agency is conducting a review of whether there are any new and potentially harmful contaminants in the state’s waters after two more cases of algae blooms were reported.
The two new cases were reported in Hampton Roads and Wilmington, the state-run Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEP) said in a statement.
The agency has been monitoring the water quality since May 31, and there have been no other cases in the region since that date, said DEQ spokeswoman Jessica Giesbrecht.
Giesbecht said that, as a precaution, DEQ is limiting the number of samples it collects in the first week of July.
The department has been testing the waters around the state since June 6, but has found no signs of any additional contaminants.
The algae bloom occurred last week and officials say the bloom is continuing to grow.
Officials have said the algae is caused by the fungus known as Pseudomonas hydrophila, which is responsible for a wide variety of environmental problems, including toxic algae bloats, toxic sewage, and acid rain.
Since March, there have also been reports of another algae bloom that is thought to be caused by another fungus known, Pseudotrophic Stomatopoda.
Officials believe the algae bloom may have been triggered by an industrial runoff from an industrial site in Hampton, which was released into the ocean.
Authorities said in January that the algae bloat was the worst environmental event in the history of the state, and officials have been working with local authorities to try and stop it.
The state has been trying to figure out how to deal with the algae crisis, and Gov.
Terry McAuliffe said in May that he wanted to “get it under control.”
He said that the state had taken measures to control the algae outbreak and that he is “very confident that we are going to have a good response” to the algae problem in the coming months.
A recent study by Duke University scientists found that the toxin, known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), can persist in soil for more than 1,000 years.
It is believed that algae bloates can cause serious respiratory problems and that the bloom can damage the lungs.
The EPA has also been investigating whether the algae problems are due to human-caused pollution, such as nitrogen oxide pollution.
EPA said it was reviewing the findings from the Duke study.
EPA has said that it has been working to reduce pollution, but is still evaluating how much of the problem can be prevented.