Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Aug. 25-Sep. 8, 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.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

8/26/14, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission. At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

9/5/14, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board. At House Room C in the General Assembly Building, 9th & Broad Streets in Richmond.

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

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).

8/28/14, 10 a.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science’s Education and Technology Advisory Committee. At House Room C in the General Assembly Building, 9th & Broad Streets in Richmond.

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MEETINGS ABOUT TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (or TMDLs) for IMPAIRED WATERS

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.

8/26/14, 10 a.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Accotink Creek and Long Branch (Potomac River watershed) in Fairfax County. At Richard Byrd Library, 7250 Commerce Street in Springfield.

8/27/14, 1 p.m., Steering Committee meeting on the TMDL implementation plan for aquatic life (streambed sediment) and bacteria impairments in Crab Creek, in the New River watershed in Montgomery County. At Christiansburg Town Hall, 100 East Main Street in Christiansburg.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Agriculture
8/26/14, 9 a.m.: Virginia Agricultural Council.   At the George Washington Hotel, 103 East Piccadilly Street in Winchester. The Virginia Agricultural Council was established by the General Assembly in 1966 to assist in financing agricultural research, education, and services. More information about the Council is available online at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/about/boards.shtml.

Biosolids (Treated Sewage Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
9/3/14, 5 p.m.: On the permit application by Bio-Nomic Services, Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., to modify a Virginia Pollution Abatement permit for applying biosolids to 3145 acres in Franklin County. At Town Hall, 117 Butler Street in Bowling Green.

Energy – Fossil Fuels
8/27/14, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Regulatory Advisory Panel. At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon. This panel, which first met on June 4, 2014, is assisting the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) in its regulation of practices and ingredients used in gas and oil well stimulation and completion. This includes the practices of hydraulic fracturing, in which fluids are added to gas/oil formations to facilitate remove of the gas or oil, and of horizontal drilling.  The pertinent section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 4 VAC 25 -150.  More information about this proposed regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4117 and http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewStage.cfm?stageid=6829 (see, particularly, the “Agency Statement” PDF at the latter link). The DMME’s main Web site for Virginia gas and oil regulations is http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/LawsRegs.shtml#gasoil.

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
8/25/14, 9 a.m.: Eleven Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) assessment conferences on civil penalties for notices of violation or cessation orders. At the DMME office at 135 Highland Drive in Lebanon. Click on the numbers below to go to Regulatory Town Hall information for a particular conference:

1—On Notice of Violation JRJ0001491 for Virginia Fuel Corporation. The mine site is located 2.4 miles west of Keokee on Little Bundy Creek in Lee County, in the Powell River/Upper Tennessee River basin.

2—On Cessation Order WAC0009500 for Baden Reclamation Company. The mine site is located 0.2 mile northeast of Baden on Georges Fork in Dickenson County, in the Pound River/Big Sandy River basin.

3—On Notice of Violation Notice of Violation LJJ0001002 for A & G Coal Corporation. The mine site is located 3 miles northeast of Appalachia on Mill Branch in Wise County, in the Powell River/Upper Tennessee River basin.

4—On Notice of Violation Notice of Violation CEV0008858 for A & G Coal Corporation. The mine site is located 0.5 mile west of Roda on Black Mountain in Wise County, in the Powell River/Upper Tennessee River basin.

5—On Notice of Violation RDS0010442 for A & G Coal Corporation. The mine site is located 1 mile northwest of Roda on Black Mountain in Wise County, in the Powell River/Upper Tennessee River basin.

6—On Notice of Violation Notice of Violation CEV0009197 for A & G Coal Corporation. The mine site is located 0.5 mile west of Roda on Black Mountain in Wise County, in the Powell River/Upper Tennessee River basin.

7—On Cessation Order CEV0009159 for A & G Coal Corporation. The mine site is located 0.5 mile west of Roda on Black Mountain in Wise County, in the Powell River/Upper Tennessee River basin.

8—On Notice of Violation LJJ0001158 for Cane Patch Mining Company, Inc. The mine site is located 5.5 miles northeast of Appalachia on Roaring Fork in Wise County, in the Powell River/Upper Tennessee River basin.

9—On Notice of Violation TMM0008825 for Chestnut Land Holdings, LLC. The mine site is located 2 miles west of Routes 641 & 16 intersection in Tazewell County, in the Big Sandy River basin.

10—On Notice of Violation TMM0008822 for Justice Low-Seam Mining, Inc. The mine site is located 0.6 mile northwest of the intersection of Virginia Route 16 and West Virginia Route 161 near Bishop in Tazewell County, in the Tug Fork/Big Sandy River basin.

11—On Notice of Violation LJJ0001169 for MegLynn Land Company, Inc. The mine site is located 0.3 mile northeast of Roaring Fork in Wise County, in the Powell River/Upper Tennessee River basin.

State Parks
9/4/14, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation public meeting on the Kiptopeke State Park Master Plan. At Kiptopeke Elementary School, 24023 Fairview Road in Cape Charles (Northampton County). Information on Virginia’s state parks is available online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
8/25/14, 9:30 a.m.: Advisory Group on the Virginia Water Protection Permit (VWP) Regulation and VWP General Permit Regulations. At the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), 2nd Floor Training Room, 629 East Main Street in Richmond. The advisory groups is assisting the DEQ and State Water Control Board in development of possible amendments to these regulations, specifically the following Virginia Administrative Code sections and subjects 9 VAC 25-210: Virginia Water Protection Permit Regulation; 9 VAC 25-660: General Permit for Impacts Less Than One-Half Acre; 9 VAC 25-670: General Permit for Facilities and Activities of Utility and Public Service Companies Regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the State Corporation Commission and Other Utility Line Activities; 9 VAC 25-680: General Permit for Linear Transportation Projects; 9 VAC 25-690: General Permit for Impacts from Development Activities. The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on June 2, 2014. More information about the proposed regulatory actions is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1893.

Waterworks Regulations
8/28/14, 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.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Aug. 18–Sept. 1, 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.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
8/18/14, 2 p.m.: Board of Game and Inland Fisheries Education, Planning, and Outreach Committee. 8/18/14, 4 p.m.: Finance, Audit, and Compliance Committee; 8/19/14, 9 a.m.: full board meeting. All at 4000 West Broad Street in Richmond.

8/21/14, 10 a.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation. At Douthat State Park, 14239 Douthat State Park Road in Millboro.

8/26/14, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission. At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

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).

None during this period.

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MEETINGS ABOUT TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (or TMDLs) for IMPAIRED WATERS

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.

8/20/14, 1:30 p.m.: Meeting of the steering committee for the Roanoke River Watershed Clean-up Plan, the TMDL implementation plan for sediment impairment in the Roanoke River and for bacterial impairments in the Roanoke River and tributaries Back Creek, Carvin Creek, Glade Creek, Laymantown Creek, Lick Run, Mason Creek, Mudlick Creek, Murray Run, Ore Branch, Peters Creek, and Tinker Creek; the waterways are located in the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Floyd, Franklin, Craig, Montgomery, and Roanoke and in the cities of Roanoke and Salem. At the Department of Environmental Quality’s Blue Ridge Regional Office, 3019 Peters Creek Road in Roanoke.

8/26/14, 10 a.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Accotink Creek and Long Branch (Potomac River watershed) in Fairfax County. At Richard Byrd Library, 7250 Commerce Street in Springfield.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

AgricultureForestry
8/26/14, 9 a.m.: Virginia Agricultural Council.   At the George Washington Hotel, 103 East Piccadilly Street in Winchester. The Virginia Agricultural Council was established by the General Assembly in 1966 to assist in financing agricultural research, education, and services. More information about the Council is available online at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/about/boards.shtml.

Energy – Fossil Fuels
8/18/14, 5 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a request for a permit amendment by James River Genco, LLC, for its co-generation (natural gas and coal as fuels) facility in Hopewell. At the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen.

8/27/14, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Regulatory Advisory Panel. At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon. This panel, which first met on June 4, 2014, is assisting the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) in its regulation of practices and ingredients used in gas and oil well stimulation and completion. This includes the practices of hydraulic fracturing, in which fluids are added to gas/oil formations to facilitate remove of the gas or oil, and of horizontal drilling.  The pertinent section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 4 VAC 25 -150.  More information about this proposed regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4117 and http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewStage.cfm?stageid=6829 (see, particularly, the “Agency Statement” PDF at the latter link). The DMME’s main Web site for Virginia gas and oil regulations is http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/LawsRegs.shtml#gasoil.

Energy – Solar
8/21/14, 10 a.m.: Distributed Solar Generation and Net Metering Stakeholder Group. At the Department of Forestry Office, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville. This group is advising the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Department of Environmental Quality in the study of the costs and benefits of distributed solar generation and net metering. These terms refer, respectively, to the generation of electricity by solar facilities on households, etc., and not owned or operated by electric-utility companies; and to the practice of utilities metering, and giving credit for, how much electricity such facilities generate and return to the conventional electrical-transmission grid.

Fort Monroe
8/21/14, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees. At Bay Breeze Conference Center, 490 Fenwick Road in Fort Monroe. In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly (Senate Bill 1400) established the Fort Monroe Authority to manage the historic areas of Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort—at the confluence of Hampton Roads with the Chesapeake Bay—after the federal government closed its military facilities there. Fort Monroe had been a U.S. military base since 1836. In 2011, the area was designated as Fort Monroe National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/fomr/index.htm). More information about Fort Monroe and the Authority is available online at http://www.fmauthority.com/.

Infrastructure Construction Funding
8/19/14, 2 p.m.: Virginia Resources Authority subcommittee on the Security and Exchange Commission’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative (regarding procedures for disclosing information about debt obligations by municipalities). At 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1920, in Richmond.

Waterworks Regulations
8/28/14, 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.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Aug. 4–Aug. 18, 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.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

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.

8/6/14, 10 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Advisory Committee. At the Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

8/13/14, 9 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board. At the Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

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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MEETINGS ABOUT TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (or TMDLs) for IMPAIRED WATERS

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.


None during this period.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Energy – Fossil Fuels
8/7/14, 5 p.m.-8 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public listening session 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. At the Administration Board Room, Henrico County Government Center, 4301 East Parham Road in Henrico. Previous meetings were 7/22/14 in Wytheville, 7/24/14 in Alexandria, and 7/28/14 in Virginia Beach. 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.

8/18/14, 5 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a request for a permit amendment by James River Genco, LLC, for its co-generation (natural gas and coal as fuels) facility in Hopewell.  At the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen.

Energy – Solar
8/6/14, 10 a.m.: Distributed Solar Generation and Net Metering Stakeholder Group. At the George Washington Regional Commission, 406 Princes Anne Street in Fredericksburg. This group is advising the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Department of Environmental Quality in the study of the costs and benefits of distributed solar generation and net metering. These terms refer, respectively, to the generation of electricity by solar facilities on households, etc., and not owned or operated by electric-utility companies; and to the practice of utilities metering, and giving credit for, how much electricity such facilities generate and return to the conventional electrical-transmission grid.

Forestry
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.

Fort Monroe
8/14/14, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Finance Committee. At 151 Bernard Road in Fort Monroe. In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly (Senate Bill 1400) established the Fort Monroe Authority to manage the historic areas of Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort—at the confluence of Hampton Roads with the Chesapeake Bay—after the federal government closed its military facilities there. Fort Monroe had been a U.S. military base since 1836. In 2011, the area was designated as Fort Monroe National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/fomr/index.htm). More information about Fort Monroe and the Authority is available online at http://www.fmauthority.com/.

Land and Watershed Management
8/13/14, 11 a.m.: Department of Taxation’s Land Evaluation Advisory Council. At the Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources in Charlottesville. According to the Virginia Code Sec. 58.1-3829, the “Advisory Council shall determine and publish a range of suggested values for each of the several soil conservation service land capability classifications for agricultural, horticultural, forest and open space uses in the various areas of the Commonwealth….” Those values are used in assessing properties that qualify for use-value taxation in those land classifications.

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/.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
8/7/14, 9:30 a.m.: Advisory Group on the Virginia Water Protection Permit (VWP) Regulation and VWP General Permit Regulations. At the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), 2nd Floor Training Room, 629 East Main Street in Richmond. The advisory groups is assisting the DEQ and State Water Control Board in development of possible amendments to these regulations, specifically the following Virginia Administrative Code sections and subjects 9 VAC 25-210: Virginia Water Protection Permit Regulation; 9 VAC 25-660: General Permit for Impacts Less Than One-Half Acre; 9 VAC 25-670: General Permit for Facilities and Activities of Utility and Public Service Companies Regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the State Corporation Commission and Other Utility Line Activities; 9 VAC 25-680: General Permit for Linear Transportation Projects; 9 VAC 25-690: General Permit for Impacts from Development Activities. The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on June 2, 2014. More information about the proposed regulatory actions is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1893.

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.

Geographic Information Systems’ Value to Virginia Localities Described in July 28, 2014, Richmond Times-Dispatch Article; Plus “Geography on the Web” from Va. Tech Department of Geography

GIS a crucial tool for localities,” published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on July 28, 2014, describes various uses by Virginia’s local governments of computerized mapping and geographic data management technology, known as geographic information systems or GIS.  The article is available online at this link: http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/henrico/gis-a-crucial-tool-for-localities/article_35a68546-8d45-5ffd-babc-4cc643bd1dcf.html; or contact the newspaper at 300 East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219; phone (804) 649-6000; e-mail: content@timesdispatch.com.

For a list of many sources of information about geography and GIS, see “Geography on the Web,” Virginia Tech Geography Department, online at http://geography.vt.edu/geog_on_web/geogonweb.htm.

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 14–July 28, 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.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

7/15/14, 10 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Advisory Committee. At the James Madison Building, 109 Governor Street in Richmond.

7/17/14, 10 a.m.: Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro, 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

7/22/14, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

7/24/14, 9 a.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

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).

None during this period.

*     *     *

MEETINGS ABOUT TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (or TMDLs) for IMPAIRED WATERS

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.

7/23/14, 6 p.m., at the L. E. Smoot Memorial Library (Meeting Room A), 9533 Kings Highway in King George, on the TMDL plan for bacterial impairments in the Potomac River at Fairview Beach.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Biosolids (Treated Sewage Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
7/15/14, 6 p.m.: On the permit application by Synagro Central, LLC, of Champlain, Va. to land-apply biosolids to 557 acres in Culpeper County.  At Germanna Community College, Daniel Technology Center, 18121 Technology Drive in Culpeper.

Energy – Fossil Fuels
7/22/14, July 247/28/14, August 7, all 5 p.m.-8 p.m.: 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.
The meeting locations are as follows:
July 22, Wytheville – Snyder Auditorium, Wytheville Community College, 1000 East Main Street.
July 24, Alexandria – Meeting Room, John Marshall Library, 6209 Rose Hill Drive.
July 28, Virginia Beach – Public Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Boulevard.
August 7, Richmond area – Administration Board Room, Henrico County Government Center, 4301 East Parham Road in Henrico.
According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice about these meetings: “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.

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
7/17/14, 10 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) Informal Public Conference on renewal application 1003090 for Dickenson Russell Coal Company.  At Southwest Virginia Technology Center, 141 Highland Drive in Lebanon.  The mine site is 2.2 miles north of South Clinchfield on Hurricane Fork (Clinch River watershed) in Russell County.

7/17/14, 10 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) Informal Public Conference on renewal application 1003091 for Dickenson Russell Coal Company.  At Southwest Virginia Technology Center, 141 Highland Drive in Lebanon.  The mine site is located on Dumps Creek near South Clinchfield in Russell County (Clinch River watershed).

Pesticides
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.

Resource Management Mapping and Planning
7/16/14, 10 a.m.: Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) Advisory Board.  At 1751 Meadowville Lane in Chester.  VGIN was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1997 to help support the creation, development, and use of geographic information and related technology for state and local government agencies, colleges and universities, and other Commonwealth users of maps and geographic information.  It’s coordinated by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA). More information is available online at http://www.vita.virginia.gov/isp/default.aspx?id=8482.

Scenic Rivers
7/14/14, 4 p.m.: Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Board.  At the Lovettsville Library, 12 North Light Street in Lovettsville (Loudoun County).

7/23/14, 1 p.m.: Goose Creek Scenic River Advisory Board.  At the Loudoun County Government Center in Leesburg.

Va. DEQ Public Listening Sessions in Summer 2014 on EPA Proposed CO2 Regulation on Existing Power Plants: July 22 in Wytheville; July 24 in Alexandria; July 28 in Virginia Beach; August 7 in Richmond

From July 24 to August 7, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold four public listening sessions on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulation to cut carbon emissions (greenhouse gases) from existing power plants that generate electricity from fossil fuels.

The meeting dates and locations are as follows (all are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.):

July 22, Wytheville: Snyder Auditorium, Wytheville Community College, 1000 East Main Street.

July 24, Alexandria: Meeting Room, John Marshall Library, 6209 Rose Hill Drive.

July 28, Virginia Beach:  Auditorium, Virginia Beach Public Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.

August 7, Richmond: Administration Board Room, Henrico County Government Center, 4301 East Parham Road, Henrico.

According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice about the meetings (click on meeting dates above to access that notice): “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.”

Following is an account of the listening session held in Wytheville on July 24:
Speakers rally for and against new EPA energy regulations, swvatoday.com, as published by Roanoke Times, 7/24/14

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.

Please also see this previous Water Central News Grouper item:
Carbon Emissions from Existing Power Plants to be Reduced by 30% Nationwide under Proposed Regulation Released by U.S. EPA on June 2, 2014; States Would Have Individually Set Reduction Targets, posted 6/3/14.

Operation Dry Water Aims to Reduce Boating Under Influence of Alcohol (BUI); June 27-29, 2014, Will Bring Increased Patrolling for BUI

Operation Dry Water, coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, is a national effort by law enforcement to reduce Boating Under the Influence (BUI), that is, boaters operating their vessels while under the influence of alcohol or other substances that can impair safe operation.  According to Operation Dry Water, alcohol is estimated to contribute to about 17 percent of boating accident fatalities nationwide.  In Virginia, it’s illegal to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more.

Each summer, Operation Dry Water chooses one weekend for a special focus on BUI.  In 2014, on June 27-29, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) conservation police offices will join boating law enforcement officials in other states in having increased patrolling for BUI.

More information on the Operation Dry Water is available from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, online at http://operationdrywater.org/.  More information on boating and boating law in Virginia is available from the VDGIF, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/boating/, or phone the central office in Richmond at (804) 367-1000; local VDGIF offices are usually listed in the government pages of your local phone book.
ODWBanner-300x250pixels2014

Promotional poster provided by Operation Dry Water.

Hydraulic Fracturing and Other Gas/Oil Drilling Issues in Relation to Va.’s Regulations Under Review in 2014 by Va. Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy; Related News Headline Compilation

As of early June 2014, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) was conducting a process of reviewing the Commonwealth’s regulations on the hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling methods of extracting gas and oil from shales and other geologic formations.  June 4 was the first meeting of a Regulatory Advisory Board assembled to help DMME review and make recommendations about current regulations; information about that meeting is available from the Virginia Regulatory Townhall Web site, at this link: http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=21509.

The DMME states in online information about the proposed regulation (see link below) that “hydraulic fracturing has been used safely inVirginia since the 1960s, [but that] DMME believes expanding disclosure of ingredients used in well stimulation and completion is an appropriate and necessary safeguard for the citizens of the Commonwealth.  There is also a need to ensure that the regulation appropriately reflects current industry best practices, as the use of technology such as horizontal drilling has expanded considerably in recent years.”

As of mid-2014, natural-gas extraction in Virginia occurs only in the southwestern coalfields region.  But in 2010 to 2012, a gas-drilling operation was proposed in an area of Rockingham County that overlies the large Marcellus shale formation, the source of greatly expanded gas-drilling operations in recent years in the mid-Atlantic region, particularly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia; that proposal did not receive necessary local permits.   In addition, as of early 2014, Shore Oil and Exploration Corporation had acquired gas-drilling leases in five counties on Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula that overlie the Taylorsville basin formation.  And the U.S. Forest Service has been considering how to address natural-gas drilling in the current revision of the strategic plan for the George Washington National Forest, which covers a large area of western Virginia (information on the planning process for the GW National Forest is available online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/land/gwj/landmanagement).

Sources:
Panel to review Virginia oil and gas regulations, Bay Journal, 6/3/14.

With natural gas drilling possibly shifting to eastern Va., state looks anew at regulations, Associated Press, as published by Greenfield [Indiana] Daily Reporter, 5/31/14.

Virginia Regulatory Town Hall information about the proposed regulatory action, available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewStage.cfm?stageid=6829 (see particularly the “Agency Statement” link, which takes you to the 12/4/13 Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) describing the proposed action’s purpose, issues, and legal basis).

Below are a collection of headlines from news articles about natural-gas drilling in Virginia, started December 2013.  The headlines are listed frommost recent to oldest; all hyperlinks to the actual article were functional as of the date(s) they were added to this post.  For news stories and information resources since 2011 on natural gas activities in the Marcellus shale region overall, please see the Water Central News Grouper items at this link: http://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/category/marcellus/.

Drilling company official says no rush on fracking [King George County, Va.]; Regional fracking discussion set Sep. 3 [at Rappahannock Community College in Warsaw, Va.], Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 8/9/14.

Drilling, fracking controversial for Va., Hampton Roads [Virginia Conservation Network public meeting on hydraulic fracturing, July 31, 2014, in Virginia Beach], Daily Press, 7/30/14.

Webinar will detail fracking in Virginia [held online July 9, 2014, by Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, sponsored by Virginia Master Naturalist program], Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 7/7/14.

Fracking pros, cons debated, [at town-hall meeting, attended by some 160 people, at in King George County, Va., on 6/12/14. Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 6/13/14.
Advisory panel on fracking calls for full disclosure on chemicals, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 6/4/14.
Fracking workshop includes DEQ and DMME [workshop held 5/8/14 by VACO in Hanover County, Va.], Westmoreland News, 5/12/14.
Local citizens tackle issue of fracking, Northern Neck News, 5/7/14.
Oil and gas leases in bay region spark debate, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4/19/14.
State is revising drilling guidelines, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/21/14.
Potomac Watershed Roundtable Considers Fracking in the Taylorsville Basin, Bay Journal, 4/8/14.
Fracking worries arise at conservation forum in city, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/17/14.
Land trust may change policy on gas drilling, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/13/14.
“A lot of fear” about fracking, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/9/14.
Local officials dig into fracking, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/8/14.
Virginia tidewater fracking bill modified to increase oversight of fracking, but stops short of ban; SB 48 has moved from committee to full state senate with significant modifications, Bay Journal, 2/4/14.
Fracking in George Washington National Forest could threaten D.C. area drinking water, Washington Post, 2/1/14.
Proposed fracking in Virginia meets broad opposition, Associated Press, as published in Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/27/14.
[King George County] to study up on fracking issue, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 1/20/14.
Fracking prompts water worries, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 1/10/14.
Fracking impact weighed in area, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 12/12/13.
VA Tidewater communities educating themselves on fracking issues; Taylorsville Basin’s shale oil deposits raising interest, concerns, Bay Journal, 12/5/13.

Carbon Emissions from Existing Power Plants to be Reduced by 30% Nationwide under Proposed Regulation Released by U.S. EPA on June 2, 2014; States Would Have Individually Set Reduction Targets

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. EPA announced its proposed regulation to require existing power plants to reduce their emission of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds (often referred to as “greenhouse gases”) that contribute to global warming and climate change.  The proposed rule was published in the June 18, 2014, Federal Register, starting  on page 34829; the Web site for searching the Federal Register is https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/search.  From that publication date, the proposed regulation will undergo a 120-day public-comment period (deadline for comments is October 16, 2014).   The EPA intends to publish a final version, with responses to the public comments it receives, by June 2015.

According to the proposal, the regulation aims by 2030 to cut annual carbon emissions from the power sector by 26 to 30 percent nationwide below 2005 levels; EPA also predicts that it would result in a “co-benefit” of a 25-percent or more cut in emissions of particles, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide, substances that have impacts on human health (such as asthma) and on water resources when they are deposited into water bodies.  The EPA’s news release on the proposal states that the regulation would be implemented “through a state-federal partnership under which states identify a path forward using either current or new electricity production and pollution control policies to meet the goals of the proposed program.”  Under the proposed rule, states would have individual emission-reduction levels (the approximately 30-percent level is for the nation as a whole; the individual state goals are given in Section VII of the proposed rule, starting on page 332.)  States would have until 2016 (with possible 1-2 year extensions) to submit to EPA their plans for implementing the regulation.  States would be allowed to “choose a mix of generation using diverse fuels, energy efficiency, and demand-side management to meet the goals and their own needs.”  States would be allowed to develop individual plans or to combine their plans with other states.

An interactive map of power-generating plants in the mid-Atlantic region (including Virginia)—allowing users to click on a location to see emissions of carbon dioxide and gases—is available from the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/globclimate/r3pplants.html.

A July 2014 report assessing what large electric-utility companies are already doing in the areas of energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources (two of the four main ways the EPA proposes that state reduce carbon emissions) is available online at http://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/benchmarking-utility-clean-energy-deployment-2014.

The proposed regulation on existing power plants follows EPA’s release in September 2013 (January 2014 publication in the Federal Register) of a proposed rule on carbon emissions from new power-generating sources; the public-comment period for that proposal ended May 9, 2014 (extended from the original deadline of January 8, 2014).  The September proposal replaced a March 27, 2012, proposal that received some 2.5 million comments from the public.  The regulatory actions on new and existing plants both come under Section 111 of the federal Clean Air Act.  Information from the EPA on the agency’s overall program on carbon emissions is available online at http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/what-epa-doing#overview.  The EPA actions are part of the federal government’s response to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, announced on June 25, 2013.  White House information on that plan is available online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/climate-action-plan.

Sources: U.S. EPA, “Clean Power Proposed Rule,” online at http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule, accessed 6/3/14; and EPA Proposes First Guidelines to Cut Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants, U.S. EPA News Release, 6/2/14.

Here are some news accounts on the proposal and its possible economic, environmental, health, and political impacts:
New EPA rule seeks to cut carbon emissions 30% by 2030, Los Angeles Times, 6/1/14.
Obama Orders Pollution Cuts—But Timing Uncertain, Associated Press, as published by ABC News, 6/2/14.
EPA proposes cutting carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants 30% by 2030, Washington Post, 6/2/14.
Everything you need to know about the EPA’s proposed rule on coal plants, Washington Post, 6/2/14.
Taking Page from Health Care Act, Obama Climate Plan Relies on States, New York Times, 6/2/14.
Dominion analyzes Obama power plant rules, Kingsport [Tenn.] Times News, 6/2/14.
[West Va. Gov.] Tomblin: ‘Our worst fears’; power companies studying it, Charleston Gazette, 6/2/14.
Latest EPA rules signal a bleaker future for coal, Arizona Republic [Phoenix], 6/2/14.
Carbon-cutting plan seen as historic, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/3/14.
Regulations’ impact on electric rates is unclear, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/3/14.
Obama climate rule promises early health benefits, Chicago Tribune, 6/3/14.