Water and Land Use in Virginia State Government News Releases for Dec. 12—Dec. 18, 2014: Meat-processing in Lynchburg, Distillery in Williamsburg, Ag/Forestry Grants, Apples to India, New Year’s Day in State Parks, Ag. Management Plan Grants, Water Quality Report, and Shellfish Grounds Leasing

Following are titles and short excerpts from Virginia state government news releases for December 12—December 18, 2014, that relate to water resources or to other natural resource uses that may affect water.  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 Announces New Jobs, Meat Processing Facility for Lynchburg, 12/18/14.  Excerpt: “…Seven Hills Food, LLC will revitalize and open a meat-processing facility in the City of Lynchburg. The company, a locally-sourced meat processing operation, will invest $3 million and create 43 new jobs in Lynchburg, while committing to purchase 100 percent Virginia-grown beef and pork.  The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with the City of Lynchburg and Seven Hills Food on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund.” 

Governor McAuliffe Announces New Production Facility, Jobs for Virginia’s Growing Craft Beverage Industry, 12/17/14.  Excerpt: “Copper Fox Distillery…will open its second malting, production, aging, and tasting facility in the City of Williamsburg.  The company, the first distillery in the world to use apple- and cherry-wood smoke to flavor their malt, will invest over $2 million and create 28 new jobs in Williamsburg, while sourcing 100 percent of its grain from Virginia agricultural producers.  The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with the City of Williamsburg and Copper Fox Distillery on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).”

Governor McAuliffe Announces Third Round of Agriculture, Forestry Planning Grants, 12/16/14.  Excerpt: “Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today the award of four planning grants from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).  Three local projects in Fauquier, Buckingham, and Charles City counties and one regional partnership consisting of the Commonwealth Regional Council, and Appomattox, Buckingham, and Cumberland counties, have been awarded more than $61,000 to support the growth of agricultural and forestry projects in the Commonwealth.  The AFID planning grant program encourages local governments to promote agriculture and forestry and incorporate the needs of these important industries into their long-term strategic economic development planning efforts.”

Governor McAuliffe Announces Opening of Indian Market for Virginia Apple Exports, 12/12/14.  Excerpt: “Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced new export sales of Virginia apples to India….  Specifically, this year Virginia has exported just over $1.6 million in apples to India as of September, up from zero in late 2011 when Virginia opened its representative trade office in India. … Agricultural and forestry exports from Virginia reached a record high of $2.85 billion in 2013.   The Indian market is a relatively small, but potentially significant, emerging market for Virginia’s agricultural and forestry industries.   For example, exports to India were just over $5 million in 2013 and, as of September of this year, that figure has grown by 50 percent to just under $8 million.   Apple exports from Virginia to India in 2013 represented over one third of the state’s total apple exports worldwide while the year-to-date sales as of September to India account for more than 60 percent of total apple exports.”

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

Virginia State Parks to celebrate New Year with First Day Hikes, contests and more, 12/17/14.  Excerpt: On Jan. 1, all 36 parks will offer hiking opportunities, contests, and special events.  This is the fourth year Virginia State Parks [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/index.shtml] has participated in this America’s State Parks initiative to get people outdoors and into parks. … For all contest details, visit http://bit.ly/2015hikes.  A complete list of First Day Hike offerings is available at http://bit.ly/VSP1stday.”

Grants awarded for agricultural resource management plans, 12/12/14. Excerpt: “Five grants will be awarded to develop resource management plans for more than 47,000 acres of Virginia farmland in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Resource management plans are integral to Virginia’s strategy to clean up rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to expanding farmers’ use of conservation practices, the program will provide better data and tracking capability for the practices in place. Funding for the contracts has been allocated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program. The grant recipients responded to a Sept. 1 request for proposals from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.”

DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY – http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx

Virginia issues 2014 report on water quality, 12/17/14.  Excerpt: “Virginia’s 2014 water quality report provides detailed information on more than 1,200 watersheds in the Commonwealth…. This draft report contains an assessment of the latest water quality conditions using data collected from January 2007 to December 2012, as well as the statewide list of impaired waters. … Similar to the last report in 2012, DEQ will add about 830 miles of streams and rivers, 360 acres of lakes, and 4 square miles of estuaries to the impaired waters list because of further monitoring. This would bring the total number of cleanup plans DEQ must develop to 1,830. The most common impairment in rivers and streams is from bacteria pollution, followed by reduced levels of oxygen in certain waters. … Waters also are being removed from the list. For example, a delisting may be appropriate if new data indicate that a water quality standard is being attained. This can be a result of successful pollution control efforts, or it may occur independently of formal cleanup plans. For the 2014 assessment, DEQ has proposed removing 335 waters from the list; the most common delisted impairment is bacteria.”

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

Shellfish grounds lease application information online, 12/12/14:  Excerpt: “The Commission has added a new Web site feature that displays notices and associated location maps for pending applications for proposed shellfish leases. Shellfish grounds leasing requests have greatly increased over the last three years and, in addition to providing for the already required Code of Virginia notice requirements, this new feature will provide the public with another easy way to access pending lease application information and locations.” The Pending Oyster Lease Applications Web site is http://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/oystergrounds/search_applications.php.

No releases during this period:

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

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

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

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

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