Following are headlines and notes for a selection of news items from the period May 30—June 19, 2014, that relate to aquatic life, habitat, and water quality in waterways in Virginia and in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The headlines are grouped by topics and—within those groups—from newest to oldest. Explanatory notes have been added in brackets after the publication and date. Unless otherwise noted, all places mentioned are in Virginia. As of 6/20/14, all headlines listed below had working hyperlinks to take you to the full article, but those links may or may not be working at later dates.
Virginia ranks 5th worst for toxic chemicals released in waterways, Daily Press, 6/19/14 – A report released on June 19, 2014, by the non-profit organization Environment Virginia indicates that Virginia waterways received the fifth highest amount nationwide in 2012 of chemicals discharged and reported by industries, based on information in the federal Toxics Release Inventory. The report is available online at http://www.environmentvirginia.org/reports/vae/wasting-our-waterways-0.
Chesapeake Bay Council signs new agreement, Associated Press, as published by Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/16/14; and New Chesapeake Bay agreement sets 10 goals, deadlines, (Annapolis, Md.) Capital Gazette, 6/17/14 – On June 16, 2014, the governors of Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, the mayor of the District of Columbia, and the administrator of the U.S. EPA signed the latest version of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement, an interstate plan to restore water quality, habitat, and fisheries in the bay watershed. The original Bay Agreement was signed in 1983. The governors of New York and West Virginia also intend to sign the new agreement, which includes 10 broad goals and 29 measurable outcomes to help reach those goals. Other news accounts of the new agreement include the following: Expanded Executive Council signs new pact to restore Bay watershed, Bay Journal, 6/16/14; Bay watershed agreement: Bay states and D.C. sign onto new bay agreement, Daily Press, 6/16/14; Leaders of Chesapeake Bay states and the District sign new pact to improve bay’s health, The Washington Post, 6/16/14.
StreamWatch releases water quality findings, Charlottesville Tomorrow, 6/16/14 – In the Rivanna River watershed in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville, 31 out of 45 streams did not meet Virginia standards for aquatic life in the 2011-2013 assessment conducted by the non-profit organization StreamWatch.
Milestone Analysis: Pollution Reduced, Agriculture and Urban Runoff Reductions Falling Short, Chesapeake Bay Foundation news release, 6/11/14. The latest assessment by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Choose Clean Water Coalition of Bay watershed states’ progress in reaching two-year “milestones” under the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) pollution-prevention plan asserts that Virginia has made significant progress toward its goals in wastewater-treatment improvements but that the Commonwealth needs to increase its efforts in reducing pollutants from agriculture and from urban/suburban stormwater runoff. The organizations’ analysis for the entire watershed is available online at http://www.cbf.org/milestones; the report for Virginia is available online at http://www.cbf.org/news-media/cbf-reports/va-milestones-2012-2013-final/embedded-pdf. News accounts in Virginia following the report’s release included the following: Virginia needs to do more, faster to restore the bay, analysis shows, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/12/14; State receives mixed marks on Bay cleanup efforts, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 6/11/14; and Virginia meets overall pollution reduction goals for 2013, Daily Press, 6/11/14.
Conservation projects work to remove fecal bacteria from Upper Middle Fork Holston in Smyth County, swvatoday.com (Wytheville, Va.), 5/31/14 – The New River Highlands Resource Conservation and Development Council (RD&D) is coordinating several partners in a restoration project in the Middle Fork Holston River (a tributary of the Holston River, which in turn is in the Upper Tennessee River watershed), funded by a $337,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. EPA.