Water in Virginia State Government News Releases for September 19—October 14, 2014: State Energy Plan, Emergency Preparedness Grants, TMDL Implementation Grants, Fall Fire Season Oct. 15-Nov. 30, Earth Science Week Oct. 12-18, and More

Following are titles and short excerpts from water-related or land-use-related Virginia state government news releases between September 19 and October 14, 2014.  Also included are some releases on agricultural or other land activities that use, affect, or depend on water resources. 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/

Governor McAuliffe Formally Unveils 2014 Virginia Energy Plan, 10/14/14. Excerpt: “Key highlights of the Energy Plan include [the following]: Strategically grow the energy sector by promoting increased development of renewable generation and supporting innovation in nuclear technology.  Reduce energy consumption by aggressively pursuing energy efficiency measures in government, businesses and residences.  Invest in reliable and resilient energy infrastructure to strengthen Virginia’s already strong business climate.  Prepare Virginia’s workforce to drive the future energy economy.”  The full plan is available online at http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/2014_VirginiaEnergyPlan2.shtml.

Governor McAuliffe Announces Homeland Security Grant Awards; Dozens of projects across Virginia will receive federal funding, 10/10/14.  Excerpt: …[M]ore than $4.8 million in federal funds will be awarded to multiple local government agencies [for 79 projects] to enhance emergency preparedness throughout Virginia. The funds, administered by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, are from the fiscal year 2014 State Homeland Security Grant program.” Some of the projects address water infrastructure and hazardous materials response.

Governor McAuliffe Announces New Specialty Crop Grants for Virginia, 10/2/14. Excerpt: “Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced funding for sixteen agriculture-related projects aimed at promoting and enhancing the competitiveness of Virginia’s specialty crops and creating more economic opportunities. …Specialty crops including apples, wine grapes, sprouts, chestnuts, strawberries, Christmas trees, and more will benefit from the grants. Other grants focus on food safety, protecting honey bees, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) implementation on small farms, marketing and education programs, food safety education, cover crops, nutrient cycling, and more.  Grants range from $20,000 to $50,000 per applicant.”

Governor McAuliffe, First Lady Join Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to Announce Virginia Receives Nearly $1.2 Million in Funding to Strengthen Local Food Economies, 9/29/14.  Excerpt: “…[T]he Commonwealth was awarded nearly $1.2 million in [U.S. Department of Agriculture] funding to support local food economies. Authorized through the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), Virginia received funding from three participating programs aimed at strengthening organic local and regional food systems through projects that recruit and train farmers, expand economic opportunities, and increase access to healthy foods.”

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

Tour Crow’s Nest Nov. 8, 10/14/14.  Excerpt: A field day at Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford County will be held Nov. 8, starting at 9 a.m. [Space limited, registration required: phone 804-786-7951.] … The guided hikes offer views of the freshwater tidal marsh and open water surrounding the preserve….  Crow’s Nest is a peninsula between Accokeek and Potomac creeks.  The 2,872-acre preserve contains mature hardwood forest and some of the best examples of diverse, intact wetlands in the Potomac River drainage basin.”

DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY – http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx
$1.5 million available for water quality improvement projects for water bodies with implementation plans, 10/8/14.  Excerpt: “The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is making approximately $1.5 million in federal grant funding available to support Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation projects that will result in advancement of goals and milestones provided in eligible TMDL implementation plans.  Local governments (including counties, cities, and towns), county health departments, soil and water conservation districts, planning district commissions, regional commissions, Virginia institutes of higher education, and Virginia state agencies are eligible to apply.  Applications are due by November 17, 2014.”

DEPT. OF FORESTRY –
http://www.dof.virginia.gov/press/releases/index.htm

Fall Wildfire Season Begins Oct. 15 in Virginia, 10/1/14.  Excerpt: “’While Virginia’s most active wildfire season is typically in spring, fall can be just as busy,’ said John Miller, VDOF’s director of resource protection.  ‘We didn’t have a lot of rain this summer, and the dead leaves are starting to drop from the trees.  This leaf litter is an abundant source of fuel for wildfires, which can spread rapidly during dry and windy days.’ …Fall wildfire season runs from Oct. 15 through Nov. 30 each year.”

Sunday Hunting Not Permitted on State Forests, 9/30/14.  Excerpt: “Officials at the Virginia Department of Forestry remind all hunters that Sunday hunting on State Forests is prohibited. ‘While a new law allowing hunting in Virginia on Sundays went into effect July 1st, that law applies only to private lands,’ said Gary Heiser, manager of Virginia’s 24 State Forests.   ‘Hunting on Sunday is still prohibited on public lands, including the State Forests.’”

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

None related to water during this period.

DEPT. OF HEALTHhttp://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/PressReleases/2014/index.htm

Virginia Department of Health Rescinds Emergency Closing of James River to Shellfish Harvesting, 9/23/14.  Excerpt: “The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced today that the emergency condemnation of the James River adjacent to Newport News—initially closed on September 9—is reopened effective immediately.  This action returns all James River harvest areas to the harvest status in effect prior to the September 9 emergency closure.”

MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION – http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/whatsnew.shtm

Closure of the Directed Menhaden Pound Net Fishery (opens as PDF), 10/9/14.  Excerpt: “Effective 6:00 P.M., Eastern Daylight Savings Time, Friday, October 10, 2014, the commercial menhaden pound net fishery will close.”

Virginia Marine Resources Commission Acts on Fisheries Violations; Votes Unanimously to Revoke Licenses [of repeat offenders] (opens as PDF), 9/23/14.

DEPT. OF MINES, MINERALS AND ENERGY – http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/Newsroom.shtml

Governor Declares Earth Science Week (opens as PDF), 10/10/14.  The week is October 12—18, 2014.

DMME Reclamation Specialist Recieves National Award (opens as PDF), 10/2/14.  Excerpt: “The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s Reclamation Specialist and Field Supervisor, Ken Coomer, has been awarded the Dean Spindler Reclamationist of the Year Award for 2014 from the National Association of State Land Reclamationists.”

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