Water and Land Use in Virginia State Government News Releases for Jan. 9—Jan. 14, 2015: Transportation Reform Legislative Proposals, Farmland Preservation Grants, State Parks Visitation, Summer Flounder Management

Following are titles and short excerpts from Virginia state government news releases for January 9 to January 14, 2015 (as of 11 a.m. on Jan. 15) 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 Transportation Reforms, 1/13/15.  Excerpt: “Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today legislation that would restore integrity to the state’s process to deliver projects under the Public Private Transportation Act (PPTA) and improve reliability for transportation funding distributions. … The bipartisan legislative package focuses on the following areas: Reforming the PPTA process, commonly referred to as the P3 program; Replacing the old transportation funding formula with a new system that will better meet transportation needs and improve reliability and transparency, and promote HB2 implementation; Focusing resources on fixing aging bridges and pavement; Improving oversight of project spending by creating a more independent Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) by establishing that the Governor can only terminate CTB members for cause; Providing stability in the funding stream for transit capital projects.”

Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $1.5 Million in Farmland Preservation Grants to Six Localities; Five Counties, One City Receive Funds to Place Working Farmlands under Permanent Conservation Easements, 1/12/15.  Excerpt: “Six localities have been awarded more than $1,581,000 from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Localities must use the grant monies to permanently preserve working farmland within their boundaries through local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs.  PDR programs compensate landowners who work with localities to permanently preserve their land by voluntarily placing a perpetual conservation easement on it.  VDACS allocated $286,983 each to the counties of Albemarle, Fauquier, James City and Stafford, as well as the City of Virginia Beach.  Clarke County will receive a $146,778 grant.  These allocations total more than $1,581,000, bringing the total allocation of state matching funds to $9.7 million since 2008, when PDR funds were first distributed.”

Governor McAuliffe Announces 46 New Jobs in City of Bristol; Nulife Glass to invest $5.9 million to establish first Virginia operation, 1/9/15. Excerpt: “Nulife collects and separates cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions and computer monitors into saleable lead and glass. The company opened its first North American facility in 2013 near Buffalo, New York, which can process more than 200 million pounds of CRT glass annually in furnaces that can melt the equivalent of 10 tons of TVs each day.”

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

Virginia State Parks visitation continues to reach record levels, 1/9/15. Excerpt: “For a table showing the attendance and economic impact of each state park, click here [opens a PDF]: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/documents/14parkattend.pdf. … Virginia State Parks continued a six-year trend by setting a new attendance record with 8,997,661 visitors in 2014, 1.4 percent higher than 2013’s record attendance of 8,871,822.”

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

Recreational Summer Flounder fishing management alternatives (public meeting 1/16/15), 1/9/15.  Excerpt: “Recreational Summer Flounder fishing management alternatives for 2015 will be discussed at a public hearing on January 14, 2015 at 6:00 PM at the VMRC Headquarters, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Va. 23607, 4th Floor Commission Hearing Room.  The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries is leading this hearing to discuss regional management options for 2015 and a coast-wide or conservation equivalency option (FMP status quo).  Coast-wide means uniform management across all 9 participating states, whereas conservation equivalency means that states could have the option to form voluntary regions or states could set state-specific regulations to constrain the state’s harvest to the state’s share of the Recreational Harvest Limit (RHL), which is based on the 1998 allocation.  This procedure was in place from 1999 through 2013. … Contact Sally.Roman@mrc.virginia.gov for additional information.  [Link to 2015 Summer Flounder Recreational Fishing Options; opens as PDF]

Department of Environmental Quality, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx

Department of Forestry, http://www.dof.virginia.gov/news/releases/index.htm

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/news/

Department of Health, http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/news/PressReleases/2014/index.htm

Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/Newsroom.shtml

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