Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for July 20-August 2, 2017

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

7/25/17, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

7/21/17, 3 p.m.: Outdoors Foundation Finance, Audit, and Compliance Committee.  At 39 Garrett Street in Warrenton.

7/26/17, 1 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  At the Hilton Alexandria Old Town, 1767 King Street in Alexandria.

7/27/17, 9:30 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.  The board’s Education and Training Committee meets at 9 a.m. that day at the same location.

7/29/17, 11 a.m.: Cave Board.  At the Staunton Public Library, 1 Churchville Avenue in Staunton.

7/31/17, 10 a.m.: Board for Waste Management Facility Operators. At the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond .

*          *          *

VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+oth+MTG.  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services are available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

8/2/17, 10 a.m.: Commission on Electric Utility Regulation.  Senate Room 3, Capitol Building, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  More information on the commission is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions/eur.htm.

*          *          *

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.

7/21/17, 9:30 a.m.: Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Chesapeake Bay Stakeholder Advisory Committee.  At the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 7870 Villa Park Drive #400 in Henrico.  According to the Virginia Commonwealth Calendar notice for this meeting, the “focus will be to examine to intensive work related to the 2017 midpoint assessment of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and solicit [committee] views on key issues that are currently under consideration by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership.  Those issues include the fate of loads from the Conowingo Dam, any accommodation for climate change in the Phase III Watershed Implementation plan and other issues that will influence the level of effort required by Virginia, the other states, and the District of Columbia.  [The meeting will also bring the committee] up to date of the revisions to the Chesapeake Bay model [and on] upcoming 2018-2019 milestones and seek [committee] input on strategies for ongoing stakeholder engagement in the WIP [Watershed Implementation Plan] development process.”  More information about the Chesapeake Bay Stakeholder Advisory Committee is available online at https://naturalresources.virginia.gov/chesapeake-bay-restoration/.

8/1/17, 2 p.m., on the development of a watershed plan for aquatic life (benthic) impairment in Cunningham Creek and its tributaries plus bacterial impairment in Middle Ford Cunningham Creek, all located in the James River basin in Fluvanna County.  At the Fluvanna County Public Library, 214 Commons Boulevard in Palmyra.  These waterways were the subject of a TMDL study that began in February 2016, but in May 2017 the TMDL study was suspended and a watershed plan will be developed instead.

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Energy – Fossil Fuels/Groundwater
7/21/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) listening session  on the Virginia Petroleum Storage Tank Fund (VPSTF) Reimbursement Guidance Manual and Usual and Customary Rate (UCR) Schedule.  At the DEQ Main Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the DEQ is updating the Reimbursement Guidance Manual and the Usual and Customary Rate schedule.   Some preliminary goals of the guidance manual update are to adjust individual time and material codes to better reflect the actual expenses incurred; apply appropriate cost adjustments to the UCR schedule; and add and remove time and material codes from the UCR schedule as needed.

Energy – Solar
7/20/17, 10 a.m: Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority.  At Main Street Center Meeting Room 1, 600 East Main Street in Richmond.  The 2015 General Assembly (SB 1099) created this Authority to facilitate, coordinate, and support the development of the solar energy industry and solar-powered electric energy facilities in the Commonwealth.  The 2017 General Assembly (SB 1258) changed its name to add “energy storage” and added to its purposes to position the Commonwealth as a leader in energy-storage technology.

Infrastructure Construction Funding
7/27/17, 9 a.m.: Virginia Department of Health (VDH) public comment session on Fiscal Year 2018 Intended Use Plan for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program.  At the VDH Office of Drinking Water, 109 Governor Street, 6th Floor, in Richmond.  The program provides assistance to public water systems for capital improvement projects to help meet public health protection objectives of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  According to the VDH’s Web site on the Intended Use Plan for 2018 (online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/office-of-drinking-water/financial-construction/drinking-water-state-revolving-fund-program/): “Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress authorizes capitalization grants to the states through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWSRF).  As part of the annual DWSRF grant application process Virginia seeks meaningful public involvement through input, review, and comments.  The VDH’s Office of Drinking Water (ODW) has prepared a draft Intended Use Plan (IUP) that explains the goals of the program, funding priorities, how VDH intends to use the grant funds, and other important information submitted from the funding requests and set-aside suggestions.”  More information about drinking water funding programs is available online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/financial-construction-assistance-programs/.

Land and Watershed Management
7/25/17, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on proposed runway extension and development project at Stafford Regional Airport.  At Stafford Regional Airport, 95 Aviation Way in Fredericksburg.  According to the DEQ’s notice for this public comment opportunity (online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewNotice.cfm?gnid=724), the “DEQ is reviewing an Environmental Assessment for a proposed runway extension and other improvements as a component of the airport’s License Modification Application.  The purpose of the Environmental Assessment is to determine if a runway extension and additional development at the Airport would significantly impact socioeconomic and environmental resources within the proposed project area.”  The public comment period on the proposal runs 6/16/17 through 8/4/17.

Ports
7/24/17 and 7/25/17 – Virginia Port Authority meetings: 7/24/17, 1:30 p.m., Nominating Committee7/24/17, 2 p.m., Growth and Operations Committee, 7/24/17, 3:35 p.m., Finance and Audit Committee; 7/24/17, 5 p.m., Executive Committee; 7/25/17, 9 a.m., Board of Commissioners and annual meeting.  All at 600 World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

Scenic Rivers
7/20/17, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At City Hall in Richmond.

7/20/17, 4 p.m.: Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee.  At Lovettsville Library, 12 North Light Street in Lovettsville (Loudoun County).

Waste Management – Solid Waste
7/27/17, 7 p.m.: Waste Management Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a draft permit modification for Old Dominion Sanitary Landfill in Henrico County, regarding increasing the landfill’s capacity.  At Dorey Park Recreation Center, 2999 Darbytown Road in Henrico.  The public comment period runs 6/22/17 to 8/11/17.

Virginia Chesapeake Bay Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting on July 21, 2017

The Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources’ Chesapeake Bay Stakeholder Advisory Committee meets July 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m., at the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 7870 Villa Park Drive #400 in Henrico.

According to the Virginia Commonwealth Calendar notice for this meeting, the “focus [of the July 21 meeting] will be to examine to intensive work related to the 2017 midpoint assessment of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and solicit [committee] views on key issues that are currently under consideration by the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership.  Those issues include the fate of loads from the Conowingo Dam, any accommodation for climate change in the Phase III Watershed Implementation plan and other issues that will influence the level of effort required by Virginia, the other states, and the District of Columbia.  [The meeting will also bring the committee] up to date of the revisions to the Chesapeake Bay model [and on] upcoming 2018-2019 milestones and seek [committee] input on strategies for ongoing stakeholder engagement in the WIP [Watershed Implementation Plan] development process.”

Previous meetings were held March 20, 2015; September 3, 2015; May 3, 2016; and December 8, 2016.

More information about the Chesapeake Bay Stakeholder Advisory Committee is available online at https://naturalresources.virginia.gov/chesapeake-bay-restoration/.

Drinking Water Funding in Va. – July 27, 2017, Public Comment Session on FY 2018 Intended Use Program

On July 27, 2017, 9 a.m., the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will hold a public-comment session on the Fiscal Year 2018 Intended Use Plan for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program.  The meeting will be at the VDH Office of Drinking Water, 109 Governor Street, 6th Floor, in Richmond.  Click this link for more information about the meeting.

The program provides assistance to public water systems for capital improvement projects to help meet public health protection objectives of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

According to the VDH’s Web site on the Intended Use Plan for 2017, online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/office-of-drinking-water/financial-construction/drinking-water-state-revolving-fund-program/: “Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress authorizes capitalization grants to the states through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWSRF).  As part of the annual DWSRF grant application process Virginia seeks meaningful public involvement through input, review, and comments.  The VDH’s Office of Drinking Water (ODW) has prepared a draft Intended Use Plan (IUP) that explains the goals of the program, funding priorities, how VDH intends to use the grant funds, and other important information submitted from the funding requests and set-aside suggestions.”

More information about drinking water funding programs is available online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/financial-construction-assistance-programs/.

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending July 18, 2017, Plus a Mid-Month Drought Assessment and Overview of Flooding Nationwide

Below are several items summarizing recent precipitation and stream flow:

  1. Images showing precipitation in Virginia and other areas of the United States, and stream flow in Virginia, over the seven-day period ending July 18, 2017 (information available as of July 19).
  2. An excerpt from the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force’s latest statewide assessment (July 17), and a map showing the status of several drought indicators in different Virginia regions, as of June 27.
  3. Flooding overview maps for Virginia and nationwide, as of July 19.

The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images. For the current month’s other weekly reports on stream flow and precipitation, please see the News Grouper posts available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Virginia+Precipitation.

For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the posts available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Monthly+Water+Status.

For more information on current and historical surface-water and groundwater conditions in Virginia, please see the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Virginia Science Center’s Web site, http://va.water.usgs.gov/.

GAGE Big Otter River near Ervington Rt 682 Campbell County Jun15 2017

July 2017 Gaging Station of the Month:  Big Otter River near Evington in Campbell County, Va., June 15, 2017.  U.S. Geological Survey information from this gage is online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/inventory/?site_no=02061500.

Precipitation

The following two color-coded maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation compared to normal for this period of the year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending July 18, 2017.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).  The maps were accessed 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.
precip Jul18Precip perc Jul18

Another source of precipitation data is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, online at http://water.weather.gov/precip/.  The site provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years.  The site also has the capability to show county boundaries, and other map layers available include river flood forecasts and current flood/severe weather warnings.  Shown below is the continental U.S. 7-day precipitation map as of 8 a.m. EDT on 7/18/17.  Please note that UTC, the time shown on the maps at the site, is four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time and five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Precipitation US Jul18

Stream Flow

Seven-day-average Virginia stream flows at gaging stations as of July 18, 2017 are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) WaterWatch for Virginia, accessed online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=map.  The map’s color-coded dots compare the previous week’s average stream flows to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS are as shown in the chart following the map.  Note: Additional gaging stations (such as for reservoirs or for inactive sites) are shown on maps available at the USGS’ National Water Information System Mapper, online at https://maps.waterdata.usgs.gov/mapper/index.html.

streams Jul18

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Mid-month Drought Status Update

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its latest Virginia drought-status report on July 17, 2017.  The report is available at the DMTF Web site, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.  The Task Force was scheduled to meet again on August 10, 2017.

Following is an excerpt from the July 17 report: “Above normal temperatures prevailed across much of Virginia during the first half of July, but precipitation varied considerably across the Commonwealth.  July rainfall has been well below normal in southwestern and central Virginia.  Stream flow gaging stations across the Commonwealth are reporting widely varying flows, with the lowest occurring in the James River basin.  Most of the wells in the Virginia Climate Response network of groundwater level observation wells are reporting normal to above-normal levels, except for the wells in central Virginia, which continue to report below-normal levels.  The DMTF agreed to recommend continuing the existing Drought Watch in the Northern Piedmont region, based upon the continued low groundwater levels and consequent low base flows between storm events.”

The Task Force also produces a map rating drought-status indicators.  Shown below is the map for June 27, 2017, the map available on July 19, 2017.  The status-indicator abbreviations on that map are as follows: GW = groundwater levels, Prcp = precipitation deficits, Res = reservoir storage, and Flow = stream flow conditions.  For each region of Virginia, the indicators are color coded for “normal,” “watch,” “warning,” or “emergency conditions.”  Any given day’s current map and more information on drought status in Virginia are available the Task Force Web site, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.
drought VA Jun27

Flooding Overview

As of about 9 a.m. EDT on July 19, 2017, four stream-gaging stations in or near Virginia were near flood stage, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s (AHPS) map of river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) for Virginia and nearby areas.  The AHPS map for Virginia is shown below, along with the nationwide map as of the same time.  The maps are available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.
Flooding VA Jul19Flooding US Jul19

National Hurricane Center’s Graphical Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook for 2 Days and 5 Days, as of July 17, 2017

Here’s a look at the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) Atlantic tropical weather outlook for the next few days.  The Virginia Water Central News Grouper posts these outlooks approximately weekly (depending on the level of weather activity) during the Atlantic tropical storm season (June 1-November 30).

As of July 17, 2017,  at 2 p.m EDT, a pre-tropical disturbance east of South America and the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles chain was being given by the NHC a 50-percent chance of tropical cyclone formation within 48 hours. At the same time, a second disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean about mid-way between Africa and South America was being given a 20-percent chance of tropical cyclone formation within 48 hours.

Shown below are the NHC’s two-day and five-day graphical tropical weather outlooks as of 2 p.m. EDT on July 17, accessed at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

tropical storm outlook 2 day

tropical storm outlook 5 day

VIMS Approved for $835,000 Coastal Resilience Grant from NOAA in July 2017

On July 14, 2017, Va. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) will receive an $834,991 Coastal Resilience Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  According to the governor’s office news release on the award, the funded project aims “to reduce the impacts of storm flooding through natural and nature-based infrastructure in the Commonwealth. …The VIMS project will address flooding issues across coastal Virginia by developing informative tools that allow local planners in 37 coastal counties to determine suitable areas to implement natural infrastructure solutions.  These funds will help support a $1.2 million project to improve flooding conditions in the region.”

The VIMS project was one of 19 proposals selected nationwide and the only one in the Middle Atlantic region.  Collaborators on the project will be the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at the College of William and Mary Law School; the non-profit organization Wetlands Watch, headquartered in Norfolk; the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, hosted by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality; and several state agencies.

Source: Virginia to Receive $834,991 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to Reduce Impacts of Storm Flooding, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 7/14/17.

On Virginia Water Radio for 7-17-17: A Clouds Call-out

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of July 17, 2017, is “Voices of the Clouds”  The 3 min./56 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2017/07/episode-377-7-17-17-voices-of-clouds.html, features 10 basic cloud types, 10 guest voices, a little bit of Latin, one thunder clap, and some appropriate music from “Storm” by Torrin Hallett.

Sunrise Blacksburg Jan10 2017 726 am

Colorful clouds over Blacksburg, Va., January 10, 2017.
Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!