On Virginia Water Radio of July 28, 2014: Kingfisher

This week, Virginia Water Radio features sounds that might make a water-side visitor duck or a crafty fish dive.    Click here to have a listen (2 min./23 sec.)

Kingfisher Bob Abraham Radford river walk July 23 2014

A female Belted Kingfisher along the New River in Radford, Va., July 23, 2014. Photo by Robert Abraham, used with permission.

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

Proposed New Regulations on Safety of Rail Transport of Crude Oil and Other Flammable Materials Announced July 23, 2014, by U.S. Dept. of Transportation

On July 23, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation/Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration announced new proposed regulations for improving the safety of rail transport of flammable materials, particularly crude oil and ethanol.  Since 2012, the Department of Transportation had been studying possible changes to this area of regulations, but the issue took on more public urgency following the April 30, 2014, derailment in Lynchburg of a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota to Norfolk (which lead to an explosion and fire in the city’s downtown and resulted in three cars falling into the James River), as well as other recent (and even more serious) incidents.  The proposed regulations cover these areas particularly:
Defining the term “high-hazard flammable train” (HHFT);
Better classification and characterization of mined gases and liquids;
Rail routing risk assessment;
Notification to State Emergency Response Commissions;
Reduced operating speeds;
Enhanced braking; and
Enhanced standards for both new and existing tank cars.

Access to the complete documents on the proposed regulations are available online at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/osd/chronology.  The proposal will undergo a 60-day public comment period, beginning when the proposal is published in the Federal Register.  The news release on the Dept. of Transportation proposal recommended that people wishing to comment online use this Web site: http://www.regulations.gov/#!home.

Source: U.S. DOT Announces Comprehensive Proposed Rulemaking for the Safe Transportation of Crude Oil, Flammable Materials, U.S. Department of Transportation News Release, 7/23/14.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for July 28–August 11, 2014

For more information, click on underlined meeting dates.  Click here for the Commonwealth Calendar listing of all government meetings open to the public, and here for the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall listing of all government meetings of a regulatory nature.

For other, non-governmental, events, please see the Water Central News Grouper post, Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events.


8/4/14, 1 p.m.: Aquaculture Advisory Board. At Hampton Inn, Sunchase Boulevard in Farmville.

8/6/14, 9:30 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board. At the Virginia Department of Forestry Board Room, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.

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For meetings of legislative committees and commissions during General Assembly sessions (regular and special), see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?142+oth+MTG; use the drop-down menu on the left to pick the session of interest (current or past).

8/6/14, 10 a.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science. At the General Assembly Building, House Room D, in Richmond.

8/8/14, 10 a.m.: Coal and Energy Commission. At Wytheville Community College, Galax Building Rooms 201 and 202, 1000 East Main Street in Wytheville.

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For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site; click on “Public Notices” in the menu to the left to access upcoming meetings and public-comment periods. A search tool to find approved TMDL reports is available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx.

7/29/14, 6 p.m., at Rocky Gap United Methodist Church, 12508 North Scenic Highway in Rocky Gap, on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in Dry Fork, Laurel Creek, and Wolf Creek (New River watershed) in Bland, Giles, and Tazewell counties.

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(topics listed alphabetically)

Energy – Fossil Fuels
7/28/14, and 8/7/14, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. each date: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public listening sessions on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulation to cut carbon emissions (greenhouse gases) from existing power plants that generate electricity from fossil fuels. Locations: July 28 – Virginia Beach Public Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Boulevard; August 7 – Administration Board Room, Henrico County Government Center, 4301 East Parham Road in Henrico. Previous meetings were 7/22/14 in Wytheville and 7/24/14 in Alexandria.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice about this meeting: “Implementing [the proposed rules] …in the best way for Virginia will require the integrated efforts of DEQ, other state agencies involved in power generation, the regulated community, and the public.  Therefore, prior to taking any formal action, DEQ is seeking general input from the public on the best way for the Commonwealth to implement EPA’s plan as currently proposed.  Proposal information: EPA issued proposed emissions guidelines for the control of carbon dioxide (CO2) from existing power plants (79 FR 34830) and for modified and reconstructed power plants (79 FR 34960) on June 18, 2014.  The EPA comment period for these proposals is currently open, and will close on October 16, 2014.”  More information on the proposed rule is available from the EPA online at http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards.  The Virginia DEQ also has a Web site dedicated to regulations on greenhouse gases: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/GreenhouseGasPlan.aspx.

8/11/14, 1 p.m.: Forest Products Tax Working Group.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “the Virginia Department of Taxation and the Virginia Department of Forestry have recently determined that some members of the forest products industry are using different methods to comply with their obligations under the Forest Products Tax laws.”  The departments plan to meet with industry representatives to gather information on the situation and discuss possible solutions.

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
7/29/14, 9 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) Formal Hearing to review the Decision to Deny Application #1003841 for A & G Coal Corporation.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap.  The proposed mine site is located 0.8 miles west of Andover on Ison Rock Ridge (Powell River/Clinch River watershed) in Wise County.

7/28/14, 1 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services meeting.  At Virginia Tech’s Livestock Teaching Arena, 500 Plantation Road in Blacksburg.  The meeting will include consideration of regulations governing pesticide-applicator certification under the Virginia Pesticide Control Act (Virginia Administrative Code section 2 VAC 5-685.  More information on this regulation is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2843.

Solid or Hazardous Waste Management
7/30/14, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on a draft permit modification for the 623 Landfill, Inc., in Goochland County, regarding increasing the landfill’s size.  At Centerville Fire Station, 52 Broad Street in Manakin-Sabot.  The public comment period is 6/28/14 to 8/15/14.

State Parks
8/5/14, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation meeting on updated Douthat State Park Master Plan.  At Douthat Highlands Conference Center, 14239 Douthat State Park Road in Millboro (Bath County).  Information on Virginia’s state parks is available online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/.

Waterworks Regulations
8/7/14, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Health Regulatory Advisory Panel meeting on development of possible amendments to the Waterworks Regulations (Section 12 VAC 5-590 in the Virginia Administrative Code).  At English Inn, 2000 Morton Drive in Charlottesville.

Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events – July 24, 2014 Edition

Boats and crews 2 Batteau Fest Jun15 2013

The annual James River Batteau Festival launches every June in Lynchburg, Va.  Shown above is the launch on June 15, 2013.

This post, updated as information becomes available and re-posted monthly,  lists conferences, meetings, and other events related to Virginia’s water resources.  Except for online meetings or seminars, the events here typically are at least several hours long (for example, this site does not list the frequent one-hour water-related seminars held at Virginia colleges or universities).

This list does not include Virginia government meetings related to water; the News Grouper blog has a post on those meetings each week, at  http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Water-related+Government.

For water-related meetings outside of Virginia, please see the Grouper post, “Water Conference Sampler from around the United States, Canada, and Mexico,” re-posted quarterly.

Thanks to the Virginia Water Monitoring Council for providing some of the information in this post.

For links to events lists from several other organizations, please see the bottom of this post.

August 2014
Aug. 22-24, 2014, Roanoke: 10th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture.  More information: http://www.recircaqua.com/index.html; phone (540) 553-1455; e-mail: aquaconf@gmail.com.

September 2014
Sept. 1-Oct. 31, 2014 (also ran Apr. 1-May 31): Stewardship Virginia.  Statewide initiative held twice annually to help citizens with projects that enhance and conserve Virginia’s natural and cultural resources.  The program seeks to promote waterway adoption, trail improvement, riparian buffers, invasive species control, habitat improvement, landscaping for conservation, environmental education activities, and other projects.  More information: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/stewardship/index.shtml; Bonnie Phillips, (877) 429-2837 or bonnie.phillips@dcr.virginia.gov.  See also: Governor McAuliffe Unveils Spring Stewardship Virginia Campaign, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 3/28/14.

Sep. 5.-7 at the Airfield Conference Center in Wakefield. Annual Landowner Weekend Retreats (fall session).  Organized by the Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program (Virginia Cooperative Extension).  A summer retreat was held Jun. 28-29 at Matthews State Forest in Galax.  More information: http://www.forestupdate.frec.vt.edu/landownerprograms/retreats/index.html; Jennifer Gagnon at (540) 231-6391 or jgagnon@vt.edu.

Sept. 18, every year, everywhere: World Water Monitoring Day.  This is the official “day” highlighting an initiative to promote water monitoring throughout the year (March 22 through December 31).    More information on World Water Monitoring Day is available at http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org/About.aspx.

Sep. 22-23, 2014, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond: A New Paradigm of Flows: Water and Design in the Greater Chesapeake Watershed Region.  2014 annual workshop of the National Academy of Environmental Design.  More information: check the NAED “Workshops” Web page at http://www.naedonline.org/workshops.html, or e-mail NAED at info@naedonline.org.

Sep. 26-28, 2014, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, W. Va.: Chesapeake Watershed Forum.  Organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  More information: https://allianceforthebay.org/initiatives/connecting-people/chesapeake-watershed-forum/; (804) 775-0951 (Virginia office) or contact@allianceforthebay.org.

October 2014
Oct. 4, Blacksburg, and Oct. 11, Roanoke: Virginia Science Festival.  Events also taking place between Oct. 4 and 11 in Hampton Roads, the Shenandoah Valley, and Southside.  Organized by the Science Museum of Western Virginia (in Roanoke) and Virginia Tech.  More information: http://virginiasciencefestival.org/.

Oct. 13-19, 2014, on the Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore, Md., and Portsmouth Virginia: 25th annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race.  The actual 127-nautical-mile race will begin at near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland.  More information: http://www.schoonerrace.org; phone (757) 393-2220; e-mail: race@schoonerrace.org.

Oct. 16, 2014, 10:16 a.m., across the southeastern United States: Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake drill.  Organized by the Central US Earthquake Consortium and several other partners.  Participants may hold their drill anytime within two weeks of October 16.  More information: http://www.shakeout.org/southeast/; Mark Benthien
Global ShakeOut Coordinator, Southern California Earthquake Center, (213) 740-0323, or ibenthien@scec.org.

Oct. 16-18, 2014, Richmond: National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and Virginia Environmental Educators Joint Conference.  This year’s theme is “Celebrate Science Inside & Out!”  and the three conference strands are watershed science, partnerships and collaborations, and integrating Science with other disciplines. More information: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/virginia_naturally/celebrate-science.shtml; or contact the NSTA in Arlington, Va., at (703) 243-7100, or e-mail: conferences@nsta.org.

Oct. 17-19, 2014, Virginia Beach: Virginia Native Plant Society Annual Meeting.  Hosted by the South Hampton Roads Chapter.  More information: http://www.vnps.org; (540) 837-1600; vnpsofc@shentel.net.

Oct. 20-24, 2014, Fairfax: International Symposium on Weather and Climate Extremes, Food Security, and Biodiversity.  Organized by George Mason University.  More information: http://iscefs.org; John J. Qu, phone (703) 993-3958, e-mail: jqu@gmu.edu.

November 2014
Nov. 3-6, 2014, Tyson’s Corner: 2014 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Conference.  More information: http://www.awra.org/meetings/Annual2014/; or send e-mail for Gerry Galloway or Betsy Cody to 2014AnnualSpecialSessions@awra.org.

Nov. 14-16, 2014, Wildlife Center of Virginia, Waynesboro: 19th Annual Call of the Wild Conference on wildlife rehabilitation.  Organizzed by the Wildlife Center and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  More information: http://wildlifecenter.org/call-wild-conference; phone: (540) 942-9453; e-mail: wildlife@wildlifecenter.org.

Dec. 5-8, 2014, Wallops Island (Accomack County): Winter Birding Colloquium.  Organized by the Chincoteague Bay Field Station.  More information:  http://www.cbfieldstation.org/calendar.html; phone (757) 824-5636.


Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Virginia Center for Onsite Wastewater Training at Southside Community College

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s “Virginia Outdoors”

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program

Virginia Green

Virginia Household Water Quality Program List of Drinking Water Clinics and Master Well Owner Network Training

Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)

Virginia Master Naturalists

Virginia Native Plant Society

Virginia Naturally Environmental Education Network

Virginia Sea Grant’s Links to Marine-education Opportunities for K-12 Teachers (click on “Professional Development”)

Virginia State Parks Events

Virginia Water Environment Association

American Water Resources Association-National Capital Region Section

U.S. EPA Watershed Academy Monthly Webcast Seminars

Appomattox River Dam Removal, Farm Ponds Captured in a Young Writer’s Essay, and More Available in July 23, 2014, Outdoor Report from Va. Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries

The July 23, 2014, “Outdoor Report” from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) in now available at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/outdoor-report/2014/07/23/.

Each edition of the Outdoor Report is full of information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, boating, and other outdoor activities.  The sections of the 7/23/14 report are listed below, with hyperlinks to go to the individual items.

Tornado Reported in Virginia’s Northampton County on July 24, 2014; Two People Killed and over 20 Injured, According to Reports on July 24-25

An apparent tornado touched down in the morning of July 24 in Northampton County on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  The storm hit the Cherrystone Campground near the town of Cape Charles, leaving two people dead and over 30 injured according to reports as of July 25.  Following are four sources of information on the event:

Storm Prediction Center/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, daily severe storm report map and notes for 7/24/14: online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/140724_rpts.html.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management on Twitter

WVEC TV/Norfolk

Newport News Daily Press

Governor McAuliffe Statement on Reported Tornado on Eastern Shore, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 7/24/14

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending July 22, 2014

Below are images showing precipitation in the southeastern United States and stream flow in Virginia over the seven-day period ending July 22, 2014. The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images.


The following maps—accessed 7/23/14 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps — show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts over the past seven days (top map), and the percent of normal precipitation for the given location at this time of year (bottom map).  As of 7/23/14, these data remained provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).

Precip Jul 22

Precip perc Jul 22


For another precipitation-information source: The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, http://water.weather.gov/precip/, provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years. The site also has the capability to show county boundaries.

Stream Flow

Average Virginia stream flow over week ending July 22, 2014, is indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/classic.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=mv01d%2Cmap, accessed 7/23/14). The map compares the previous week’s average stream flows at about 140 stream-gaging stations (in Virginia and just beyond the state border) to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station. The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month are as follows:

Stream Flow Chart
Streams July 22