Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Large Industrial Sludge Land-application Permit in Six Virginia Counties Approved by SWCB in December 2014

At its quarterly meeting on December 11, 2014, the Virginia State Water Control Board (SWCB) approved the permit application by Synagro, LLC (headquartered in Baltimore, Md.; online at http://www.synagro.com) to land-apply residual solid materials from industrial wastewater treatment to about 16,042 acres of farmland in Goochland, King & Queen, King William, New Kent, Prince George, and Surry counties.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s 12/11/14 article on the SWCB’s decision, the material is to come from the Tyson Foods poultry-processing plant in Hanover County, the RockTenn Company paper mill at West Point in King William County, and the Smithfield Foods hog-processing plant in Isle of Wight County.

The permit application was controversial in the affected counties and underwent an extended public-comment process, including three public-comment periods held by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) (Dec. 2013-Jan. 2014; Mar.-Apr. 2014; and Sep.-Nov. 2014) and three SWCB/DEQ public hearings (two in April 2014 and one in October 2014).

When available, minutes of the Dec. 11, 2014, SWCB meeting will be posted at the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for the meeting, online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=22074.

Sources:
State panel approves the spreading of industrial sludge, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/11/14.
Delegate addresses DEQ regarding sludge application, The Mechanicsville Local, 9/17/14.  [Letter from Del. Christopher K. Peace, R-97, to Robert Dunn, chairman, Virginia State Water Control Board, and David K. Paylor, director, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, requesting that no permit be issued until new state regulations were issued.]
Hanover Board of Supervisors sends letter opposing sludge, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/16/14.  [Letter asked for a delay in Synagro permit until DEQ issues regulations on industrial sludge.]
The Virginia DEQ failed to provide notification to local counties about industrial sludge, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/9/14.
Industrial sludge application pulled [in Hanover County; one of 7 counties originally involved], Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/27/14.
Sludge: Risk Or Resource?, Water Online, 8/27/14.
New Kent supervisors vote to send letter opposing DEQ permit for Synagro, New Kent-Charles City Chronicle, 8/12/14.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Dec. 19, 2014-Jan. 12, 2015

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

1/6/15, 11 a.m.: Land Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees.  At the West Reading Room of the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond.

1/9/15, 10 a.m.: Waste Management Board.  At the Department of Environmental Quality, 629 East Main Street 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?151+oth+MTG; use the drop-down menu on the left to pick the session of interest (current or past).  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

1/14/15, noon: Virginia General Assembly convenes. Scheduled adjournment of this year’s short session is February 28, with the reconvened (“veto”) session on April 15.  Live video streams of floor sessions are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the House, and http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the Senate.

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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.

1/8/14, 9 a.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in The Gulf, Barlow Creek, Jacobus Creek, Hungars Creek, and Mattawoman Creek, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Northampton County.  At the Board Room of the Northampton County Administration Building, 16404 Courthouse Road in Eastville.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Air-Water Connections
12/19/14, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a request for a permit amendment by Enviva Pellets Southampton LLC to modify its wood pellet fuel manufacturing facility to allow for up to ten percent softwood in the wood feedstock mixture used to manufacture the wood pellets.  At Paul D. Camp Community College, Room 129, 100 North College Drive in Franklin.  The permit addresses several air pollutants that can eventually affect water resources, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

1/12/15, 6:30 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a request by VEPCO to modify its permit for the Brunswick County Electric Power Plant. At the Meherrin Public Library/Brunswick Branch, 133 Hicks Street in Lawrenceville.  The requested modification would increase permitted emissions of carbon monoxide by 120 tons/year due to re-defining startup and shutdown parameters.  The public comment period runs 12/10/14 through 1/27/15.

Fisheries
12/19/14, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Committee meeting on amendment and reissuance of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit Regulation for Seafood Processing Facilities.  At the Department of Environmental Quality’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-115.  The notice of intended regulatory action (NOIRA) was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on July 14, 2014.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
1/8/15, 9:30 a.m.: Advisory Group on the Virginia Water Protection Permit (VWP) Regulation and associated VWP General Permit Regulations.  At the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Piedmont Regional Office Training Room, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen.  The advisory group 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.

Va. Marine Resources Commission News Items on Interstate Striped Bass Management Plan Compliance in Virginia (December 2014) and Atlantic Sharks Fishery Closure (November 2014 )

Following are two coastal fisheries-related news items from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC).  The items were accessed 12/12/14 from the VMRC’s Web page for news, http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/whatsnew.shtm.

Virginia compliance with Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s amended Interstate Striped Bass Management Plan

Excerpt from 12/9/14 VMRC news item:  “The Virginia Marine Resources Commission took a number of steps today in order to comply with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s amended Interstate Striped Bass Management Plan: lowered the creel limit from two to one stripers per person per day in the recreational coastal fishery as of Jan. 1, 2105; instituted a new, no-cost recreational permit and mandatory reporting requirements for those recreational anglers who fish for trophy-sized stripers from May 1 through June 15; reduced the annual commercial striped bass coastal quota by 25 percent; and enacted a 20.5-percent reduction in the commercial harvest quota for stripers in the Bay, both measures for the 2015 season.”  Click here to access the full summary of the 12/9/14 VMRC meeting.


Federal closure of commercial fishery for Atlantic sharks

Excerpt from 11/26/14 VMRC news item: “The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will close the commercial fishery for Atlantic aggregated large coastal sharks and hammerhead sharks at 11:30 p.m. local time on November 30, 2014.  Therefore, in accordance with Section 4.3.4, Quota Specification, of the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Atlantic Coastal Sharks (FMP), effective 11:30 p.m. local time November 30, 2014, states are required to prohibit the commercial landing, harvest, and possession of these shark species.  State water commercial fisheries for these shark species will reopen when the NMFS [National Marine Fisheries Service] reopens federal waters for commercial fishing.  ASMFC [Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission] will issue notice of the opening dates once they become available in the 2014 shark quotas and seasons final rule.” Click here to access the closure notice from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).]

 

 

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Dec. 15-Dec. 29, 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

12/16/14, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board.  At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

12/16/14, 10 a.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation.  At Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland.

12/16/14, 4:30 p.m.: Marine Products Board.  At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Watermen’s Hall, 1375 Greate Road in Gloucester Point.

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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).  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

12/17/14, 2 p.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science’s Higher Education Equipment Advisory Committee.  At the 3rd Floor East Conference Room of 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.

None during this period.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Air-Water Connections
12/19/14, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a request for a permit amendment by Enviva Pellets Southampton LLC to modify its wood pellet fuel manufacturing facility to allow for up to ten percent softwood in the wood feedstock mixture used to manufacture the wood pellets.  At Paul D. Camp Community College, Room 129, 100 North College Drive in Franklin.  The permit addresses several air pollutants that can eventually affect water resources, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Fisheries
12/19/14, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Committee meeting on amendment and reissuance of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit Regulation for Seafood Processing Facilities.  At the Department of Environmental Quality’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-115.  The notice of intended regulatory action (NOIRA) was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on July 14, 2014.

Fort Monroe
12/18/14, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority’s Board of Trustees. At the 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/.

River Basin Advisory Committees and Commissions
12/18/14, 1 p.m.: Roanoke River Bi-state Advisory Committee [includes representatives from Virginia and North Carolina].  At the H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library, Farm Bureau Room, 205 Breckenridge Street in Henderson, N.C.  At 10:30 a.m. on that day, the Virginia delegation meets at the same location.

Water in Virginia State Government News Releases for November 8–November 14, 2014: Va. Comments on EPA Clean Power Plan (carbon emissions regulation for existing power plants); Amtrak to Roanoke; Breaks Interstate Park Master Plan; and Virginia Wildlife eStore Grants

Following are titles and short excerpts from water-related or land-use-related Virginia state government news releases between November 8 and November 14, 2014 (as of 4 p.m. on Nov. 14).  To access the full text of any release, click on the release title or (if that link doesn’t work) click on the Web address beside each agency name to go to that agency’s archive of releases.

GOVERNOR’S OFFICE – https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/news-releases/

Virginia Submits Comments on EPA’s Clean Power Plan, 11/14/14. Full news release: “Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today following the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s submission of comments in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan: ‘I agree with the Clean Power Plan’s goal of reducing carbon emissions in order to combat the threat of global warming, and I intend to continue Virginia’s position as a leader on this important issue. There is no question that our Commonwealth can play a leading role in energy conservation and efficiency and expand renewable generation so that we can cut carbon and create jobs along the way. As with any regulatory process of this scope and complexity, Virginia has submitted comments to the EPA with the intent of improving the Clean Power Plan by making it more equitable and better recognizing the progress that states like ours have already made in reducing carbon.  I look forward to working with Virginia’s business community, our environmental partners and the EPA to reduce carbon emissions, fight global warming and open a new chapter of economic growth for our Commonwealth.’” The Commonwealth’s comments on the Clean Power Plan are available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Air/Planning/vacommentstoepa.pdf (dated 11/14/14; 16 pages).

Construction Begins for Amtrak Service to Roanoke; Northeast Regional service expanding in Virginia, 11/12/14.  Excerpt: “…Amtrak, Norfolk Southern and the City of Roanoke are beginning the first phase of construction for the platform that will serve intercity passenger rail service to the Star City. Amtrak service to the city will be an extension of the successful Northeast Regional train from Lynchburg and is anticipated to start in 2017.  The service will provide a same-seat trip from Roanoke to Lynchburg, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and cities as far north as Boston. … It has been 34 years since intercity passenger rail service has served Roanoke.”

DEPT. OF CONSERVATION AND RECREATION – http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/pr_relz.shtml#prarch

Breaks Interstate Park master plan to be discussed Dec. 8, 11/13/14.  Excerpt: “A public meeting to discuss the long-range plan for Breaks Interstate Park along the Virginia-Kentucky border will be Dec. 8, 2014, at 6 p.m., in the Breaks Conference Center, 627 Commission Circle, Breaks, Virginia.  Staff with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will provide an overview of proposed updates to the park’s master plan. … The 4,800-acre park is off State Route 80 on the Virginia-Kentucky line.  The park is jointly supported by Virginia’s DCR and the Kentucky Tourism, Parks and Heritage Cabinet. … For more information about master plans, visit http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/recreational_planning/masterplans.shtml.

DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY – http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx
None during this period.

DEPT. OF FORESTRY – http://www.dof.virginia.gov/news/releases/index.htm
None during this period.

DEPT. OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES – http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/news/

Virginia Wildlife eStore Grants Awarded, 11/13/14. Excerpt: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia (WFV) have announced awards in the Virginia Wildlife eStore Grant Program. The grants will directly fund youth outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and educational events designed to promote recruitment and retention of youth hunters, anglers, and to foster wildlife and outdoor-related activities. … Grants ranging from $500 to $3,400 have been awarded to a dozen entities, ranging from schools to community organizations. The total funding for all the grants combined is $20,000. The funding will provide everything from life jackets and fishing rods, to hunting, shooting, and other outdoor educational opportunities.”

DEPT. OF HEALTHhttp://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/PressReleases/2014/index.htm
None during this period.

MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION – http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/whatsnew.shtm
None during this period.

DEPT. OF MINES, MINERALS AND ENERGY – http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/Newsroom.shtml
None during this period.

River Basin Coordination Case Studies Examined in September 2014 Issue of Water Resources Impact, from the American Water Resources Association

The September 2014 issue of Water Resources Impact, published by the American Water Resources Association (AWRA, headquartered in Middleburg, Va.), presents case studies of regional coordination and management of water supply, water quality, flood management, watershed management, and other issues in six major river basins: the Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, Colorado, and Columbia.  (Virginia in part of the basins of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers.)  The publication is available online at http://www.awra.org/impact/; or contact AWRA at P.O. Box 1626, Middleburg, VA 20118-8390; (540) 687-8390; info@awra.org.

River basin coordination cover

Cover of the September 2014 issue of Water Resources Impact, American Water Resources Association; accessed online at http://www.awra.org/impact/, 10/24/14.

Water in Virginia State Government News Releases for Sep. 4-Sep. 12, 2014: State Parks Funding, Hurricane Preparedness, Bear Creek State Park, Agroforestry, Tree Seedling Sales, James River Shellfishing Closure, Summer Flounder, Shellfishing Training

Following are titles and short excerpts from water-related Virginia state government news releases between September 4 and September 12, 2014.  To access the full text of any release, click on the respective agency name to go to that agency’s archive of releases.

GOVERNOR’S OFFICE
Governor McAuliffe Celebrates New Initiative to Support State Parks,” 9/9/14.  Excerpt: “Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe hosted a strategic planning session today in Richmond for the Partnership for Parks campaign founded by the Virginia Association for Parks and the Garden Club of Virginia.  The Partnership for Parks was formed to raise private funding to design, build, and install new interpretive exhibits in more than a dozen state park visitor centers.  The partners recognize that the goal of exhibits is to educate, entertain and inspire park visitors. More than 30 people from across the Commonwealth came to Richmond to chart a strategic plan for completing this effort by the year 2020.  More than $5 million will be needed for the campaign.”

Governor McAuliffe Announces Improvements to Commonwealth Hurricane Preparedness; Hurricane evacuation timeline adjusted to allow officials more time to make decisions and carry out emergency plans,” 9/4/14.  Excerpt: “Governor Terry McAuliffe released a report today outlining improvements to Virginia’s hurricane preparedness plan, including an adjustment to the evacuation decision-making timeline. The hurricane in-season review, led by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Virginia Department of Transportation, focused on five critical areas: coordination and information-sharing between state and local emergency officials, evacuation of impacted areas, sheltering evacuees, assistance to those with access and functional needs or without transportation, and communicating with the public.”

DEPT. OF CONSERVATION AND RECREATION
Bear Creek Lake State Park master plan to be discussed Sept. 24,” Excerpt: Public meeting 9/24/14, 6 p.m., at the park, 22 Bear Creek Lake Road in Cumberland.

DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
None this week.

DEPT. OF FORESTRY
Fields, pastures, creek sides…. AND TREES,” 9/10/14.  Excerpt: “Come find out about agroforestry in a day-long workshop focused on two particular practices, riparian buffers and silvopastures. …This workshop will be held on November 8th from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm at Lord Fairfax Community College’s Fauquier Campus.”

Tree Seedling Sales for the 2014-15 Season,” 9/11/14.  Excerpt: “Officials with the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) announced that demand for its loblolly pine seedlings is very high this season and the agency anticipates that some or all families will sell out early. Customers interested in VDOF’s specialty seedlings are advised to setup an account and plan to purchase when the online store opens October 13 at 10:00 a.m.”

DEPT. OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES
None this week.

DEPT. OF HEALTH
Virginia Department of Health Closes a Portion of the James River to Shellfish Harvesting,” 9/9/14.  Excerpt: “The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced [on September 9, 2014] a portion of the James River will be closed to shellfish harvesting due to flooding and contamination from sewage spills. The emergency closure is effective September 9 – 30, 2014, and is scheduled to reopen effective October 1, 2014. The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will monitor the shellfish during this period to determine if the area can be reopened sooner.”

DEPT. OF MINES, MINERALS AND ENERGY
None this week.

MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION
Summer Flounder Amendment Scoping Hearings,” 9/5/14.  Excerpt: “The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have scheduled a series of scoping hearings to gather public input on the range of issues and information to be considered in the Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment.” The Virginia hearing will be held on Tuesday, 10/14/14, 6 p.m., at the VMRC main office, 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

New Shellfish training dates announced,” 9/4/14.  Excerpt: “The National Shellfish Sanitation Program guidelines now require training and education programs for all shellfish harvesters and certified dealers. Completion of the training is a pre-requisite for licensing.”