Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for March 30-April 12, 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

3/30/17, 10 a.m.: Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.  The Board’s Energy and Infrastructure Committee meets at 9 a.m. on the same day.  The Board’s Preservation Trust Fund Committee meets at 10:30 a.m. on the same day.

3/30/17, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  At House Room C of the General Assembly Building, 201 North Ninth Street in Richmond.

4/4/17, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects/Regulatory Review Committee.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

4/11/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Aquaculture Advisory Board.  At the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Auditorium, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

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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.

4/4/17, 10 a.m.: State Water Commission.  At House Room C of the General Assembly Building, 201 North Ninth Street in Richmond.  The tentative agenda (as of 3/29/17) is available online (as a PDF) at http://hodcap.state.va.us/publications/interimstudies/Water%20Commission%20Proposed%20Agenda%204_4_17.pdf.  The State Water Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1990.  Its purpose, according to Virginia Code section 30-187, is to “study all aspects of water supply and allocation problems in the Commonwealth, whether these problems are of a quantitative or qualitative nature; [and] coordinate the legislative recommendations of all other state entities having responsibilities with respect to water supply and allocation issues….”  More information about the Commission is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions/swc.htm.

4/4/17, 2 p.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science.  At House Room D in the General Assembly Building, 201 North Ninth Street in Richmond.

4/5/17, noon: Virginia General Assembly’s reconvened (“veto”) session.  At the State Capitol in Richmond.  The House of Delegates meeting schedule is available at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/schedule/meetingSchedule.php; live video streams of floor sessions from the House are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.  The Senate meeting schedule and the floor sessions’ live video stream are available at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.

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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.

4/11/17, 6 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for aquatic life and bacterial impairments in Butcher Fork, North Fork Powell River, South Fork Powell River, Powell River, and other Powell River tributaries, located in the Upper Tennessee River basin in Lee and Wise Counties.  At Pennington Gap Community Center, 41670 West Morgan Avenue in Pennington Gap (Lee County).

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Energy – All
4/6/17, 1 p.m.: Governor’s Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency.  At House Room 2 of the State Capitol, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  On May 11, 2015, Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the formation of a committee of public officials and private citizens to help establish strategies for Virginia to reduce retail electricity consumption by 10 percent by the year 2020.  The reduction-percentage goal was originally set for 2022 by the 2007 Virginia Energy Plan, but the 2014 update of that plan accelerated the timeline.  The 2014 Virginia Energy Plan is available online at http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/2014_VirginiaEnergyPlan2.shtml.  The energy-efficiency committee is chaired by the Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade and is staffed by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.  More information on the committee is available in a May 11, 2015, news release from the Governor’s Office, online at https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=8388.

Energy – Fossil Fuels
4/12/17, 6 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a draft amendment to a Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permit for Virginia Electric and Power Company (a Dominion Virginia Power subsidiary) at the Greensville County Power Station.  At the Greensville County Board Room, 1781 Greensville County Circle in Emporia.  The draft permit amendment considers emissions of acrolein, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, particulates, sulfuric acid, volatile organic compounds, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and nickel.  The public comment period on the draft permit runs 3/18/17 to 4/27/17.

Fort Monroe
3/30/17, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees’ Finance Committee.  At 20 Ingalls Road in Fort Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).  In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly (Senate Bill 1400) established the Fort Monroe Authority to manage the historic areas of Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort—at the confluence of Hampton Roads with the Chesapeake Bay—after the federal government closed its military facilities there.  Fort Monroe had been a U.S. military base since 1836.  In 2011, the area was designated as Fort Monroe National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/fomr/index.htm).  More information about Fort Monroe and the Authority is available online at http://www.fmauthority.com/.

Mining
CANCELED
3/30/17, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) Informal Hearing to review the issuance of Cessation Order for Failure to Abate #CEV0010288, issued to A & G Coal Corporation.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  The mine site is not indicated in the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice.

Wastewater Regulations
4/3/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on reissuance and possible amendments to the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for discharges from petroleum contaminated sites, groundwater remediation, and hydrostatic tests.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-120.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published May 30, 2016.  According to the NOIRA, the “general permit covers point source discharges of wastewaters from sites contaminated by petroleum products [or by] chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, and also the point source discharges of hydrostatic test wastewaters resulting from the testing of petroleum and natural gas storage tanks and pipelines.”  More information on the process of this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4548.\

4/5/17, 1 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on reissuance and possible amendments to the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for noncontact cooling water discharges of 50,000 gallons per day or less.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-196.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published May 30, 2016.  More information on the process of this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1899.

Wells (Private)
3/30/17, 10 a.m.: Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Private Well Regulations Workgroup.  At the James Madison Building, 5th Floor Main Conference Room, 109 Governor Street in Richmond.  The workgroup is advising the VDH on possible revisions to the regulations, located in the Virginia Administrative Code at 12 VAC 5-630, available online at http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title12/agency5/chapter630/.

Trump Administration’s March 28, 2017, Executive Order on Climate/Energy Policies of the Obama Administration, Including Review of Clean Power Plan

On March 28, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an executive order affecting several energy and climate policies implemented by the Obama Administration, including most prominently the Clean Power Plan, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August 2015.  (For more on the Clean Power Plan regulation, please see the following News Grouper items: Final Version of “Clean Power Plan” Announced by President Obama and the U.S. EPA on August 3, 2015; and Clean Power Plan Lawsuit Against U.S. EPA Overview and Information Sources; or the U.S. EPA Web site, https://www.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan).

The order, “Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” is available online at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/28/presidential-executive-order-promoting-energy-independence-and-economi-1.

The order’s actions include the following:
reviewing the Clean Power Plan regulation;
rescinding an August 2016 guidance on climate change issued by the Council on Environmental Quality;
starting a 170-day process for each executive agency and department to identify regulations or policies that inhibit domestic energy production;
stopping the use of estimates made during the Obama Administration of the social cost of greenhouse gases;
rescinding a moratorium on coal leases on federal lands;
ordering a review of regulations issued in November 2016 on methane releases from oil and gas production facilities; and
rewriting a regulation issued in 2015 on hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands.

Sources:
Trump signs executive order to review Clean Power Plan, Utility Dive, 3/28/17.

Trump moves decisively to wipe out Obama’s climate-change record
, Washington Post, 3/28/17.

Background Briefing on the President’s Energy Independence Executive Order
, White House Press Secretary, 3/27/17.

Additional sources and news accounts related to the March 28 executive order:

“Clean Power Plan Hub,” E&E News, online at http://www.eenews.net/interactive/clean_power_plan (subscription required; trial subscriptions available).

The big announcement is over. What happens now?, E&E News/Climate Wire, 3/29/17 (subscription required; trial subscriptions available).

States vow to defend rule
, E&E News, 3/28/17 (subscription required; trial subscriptions available).

Trump signs executive order rolling back Obama-era energy regs, Fox News, 3/28/17.

Trump launches aggressive campaign to dismantle Obama climate agenda; Barrasso: Trump climate rollback helps U.S. as an energy superpower [with U.S. Sen. John Barasso, R-Wyo.]; and “Difficult slog” ahead to undo Obama climate legacy, says former EPA chief [with former U.S. EPA Director Gina McCarthy] – all on PBS NewsHour, 3/28/17.

Trump signs order dismantling Obama-era climate policies
, Reuters, 3/28/17.

What to Know About Trump’s Order to Dismantle the Clean Power Plan
, New York Times, 3/27/17.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for March 23-April 5, 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

3/23/17, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects/Land Surveyors Section.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

3/23/17, 10 a.m.: Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority Board.  At the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) East Engineering Hall, Room E3218, 401 West Main Street in Richmond.

3/27/17, 8:30 a.m.: Virginia Agricultural Council.  At Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center, 24 South Market Street in Staunton.

3/27/17, 6 p.m.: Marine Resources Commission’s Fishery Management Advisory Committee.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

3/28/17, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

3/30/17, 10 a.m.: Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.  The Board’s Energy and Infrastructure Committee meets at 9 a.m. on the same day.  The Board’s Preservation Trust Fund Committee meets at 10:30 a.m. on the same day.

3/30/17, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  At House Room C of the General Assembly Building, 201 North Ninth Street in Richmond.

4/4/17, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects/Regulatory Review Committee.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

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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.

None during this period.

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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.

3/29/17, 1:30 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for aquatic life (benthic) impairments in the Little Calfpasture River, located in the James River basin in Augusta and Rockbridge counties.  At Goshen Scout Camp’s Grays Lodge, 340 Millard Burke Memorial Highway in Goshen (Rockbridge County).

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Fort Monroe
3/30/17, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees’ Finance Committee.  At 20 Ingalls Road in Fort Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).  In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly (Senate Bill 1400) established the Fort Monroe Authority to manage the historic areas of Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort—at the confluence of Hampton Roads with the Chesapeake Bay—after the federal government closed its military facilities there.  Fort Monroe had been a U.S. military base since 1836.  In 2011, the area was designated as Fort Monroe National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/fomr/index.htm).  More information about Fort Monroe and the Authority is available online at http://www.fmauthority.com/.

Land and Watershed Management
3/24/17, 10 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Conservation Planning Stakeholder Advisory Group.  At the Albemarle County Offices, 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “[o]n December 7, 2016, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board authorized the Department [of Conservation and Recreation] to establish a stakeholder advisory group (SAG) for the Conservation Plan Program.  The SAG will provide guidance and offer recommendations into the resources to be considered, components of a plan, training and certification requirements, and other policy and Program considerations.”

Mining
3/30/17, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) Informal Hearing to review the issuance of Cessation Order for Failure to Abate #CEV0010288, issued to A & G Coal Corporation.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  The mine site is not indicated in the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice.

Ports
3/27/17, 2 p.m.: Virginia Port Authority Growth and Operations Committee.  At 3:45 p.m. on the same day: Finance and Audit Committee.  At 5 p.m. the same day: Executive Committee.  On 3/28/17, 9 a.m.: Board of Commissioners.  All at 600 World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

Stormwater
3/29/17, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on the general permit for stormwater discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  This technical advisory committee was established to assist in the development of amendments and the reissuance of the General Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (VPDES) Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.  The pertinent part of the Virginia Administrative Code is Section 9 VAC 25-890 (formerly Part XV, Sect. 4 VAC 50-60).  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on July 11, 2016.  More information about this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2870.  The DEQ’s Web site for the Virginia Stormwater Management Program is http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

Wastewater Regulations
3/24/17, 10 a.m., and 4/3/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on reissuance and possible amendments to the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for discharges from petroleum contaminated sites, groundwater remediation, and hydrostatic tests.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-120.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published May 30, 2016.  According to the NOIRA, the “general permit covers point source discharges of wastewaters from sites contaminated by petroleum products [or by] chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, and also the point source discharges of hydrostatic test wastewaters resulting from the testing of petroleum and natural gas storage tanks and pipelines.”  More information on the process of this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4548.\

4/5/17, 1 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on reissuance and possible amendments to the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for noncontact cooling water discharges of 50,000 gallons per day or less.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-196.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published May 30, 2016.  More information on the process of this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1899.

Virginia General Permit for Discharges from Petroleum Contaminated Sites Under Review in 2017

The Virginia State Water Control Board and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are considering reissuance and possible amendments to the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for discharges from petroleum contaminated sites, groundwater remediation, and hydrostatic tests.  As of March 2017, meetings were being held by the DEQ’s technical advisory committee formed for this regulatory review (for example, see the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall entry for the March 24, 2017, meeting).  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-120.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published May 30, 2016.  According to the NOIRA, the “general permit covers point source discharges of wastewaters from sites contaminated by petroleum products [or by] chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, and also the point source discharges of hydrostatic test wastewaters resulting from the testing of petroleum and natural gas storage tanks and pipelines.”

More information on the process of this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4548.

Ground Water Rule, Published by EPA in 2006, is Focus of Webinar on 3/28/17 by the National Rural Water Association

On March 28, 2017, 3 p.m-4 p.m. EDT, the National Rural Water Association will hold a Webinar on the Ground Water Rule.  For more information on the Webinar or to register, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1350996706353374977.

The Ground Water Rule was published by the U.S. EPA in November 2006 and took effect in December 2009.  The EPA’s Web site on the rule is https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/ground-water-rule.  According to that site (at “Compliance”), the rule “establishes a risk-based approach to target ground water systems vulnerable to fecal contamination.  Ground water systems that are at risk of fecal contamination must take corrective action.  Corrective action reduces potential illness from exposure to microbial pathogens.  The rule applies to public water systems that use ground water as a source of drinking water.”  The EPA’s “Quick Reference Guide” to the rule is available online at https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P100156H.txt.

Water in the Trump Administration – Collection of News Items Starting September 23, 2016; Latest Item: March 28, 2017, Executive Order on Climate/Energy Policies

March 28, 2017 – This is the latest update of news media items or news releases identifying or discussing water-related policies or actions under the Donald Trump administration.  Collection of these items began in November 2016 (with one mid-September 2016 item added after the collection began); items are listed from oldest to newest.  Items are added to this post as they are discovered.  All title hyperlinks were functional at the time of posting, but there’s no guarantee that they will remain so permanently.

For most items, a brief summary of the item or other explanatory information is provided in brackets [ ].  Quotation marks indicate an excerpt from the original article.

The Virginia Water Resources Research Center and its Water Central News Grouper are dedicated to providing Virginia citizens with non-partisan information, and we will make every effort to do that in this ongoing blog post.  We recognize, though, that some items to which this post may contain information or statements that are non-balanced or partisan; in those cases, we either failed to recognize the non-partisan information, or we decided the item was sufficiently informative overall.

If this blog page proves valuable to readers, we hope to continue it indefinitely, including for future administrations.

ITEMS LIST BEGINS BELOW

What Do the Presidential Candidates Know about Science?  Clinton, Trump, [Johnson], and Stein answer 20 top questions about science, engineering, technology, health and environmental issues, Scientific American, 9/23/16.  [Excerpt: “The candidates of the two major parties—Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump—provided answers to 20 questions about the most important science-based issues the U.S. faces in coming years.  Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson answered the questions as well.  The questions were developed and refined by dozens of scientific organizations representing more than 10 million scientists and engineers after a crowd-sourcing effort led and coordinated by ScienceDebate.org.”  The 20 questions address the following 20 general topics (bolding added in this post to topics mostly directly relating to water): 1. innovation; 2. research; 3. climate change; 4. biodiversity; 5. the Internet; 6. mental health; 7. energy; 8. education; 9. public health; 10. water; 11. nuclear power; 12. food; 13. global challenges; 14. regulations; 15. vaccination; 16. space; 17. opioids; 18. ocean health; 19. immigration; 20. scientific integrity.]

Here Is What Donald Trump Wants To Do In His First 100 Days, NPR (National Public Radio), 11/9/16.  [From the article, following are four water-related items (or items affecting energy, which in turn affect water) that Mr. Trump pledged, in an October 2016 speech in Gettysburg, Penn., to begin taking on his first day in office: “FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.  SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward.  SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure. …I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:..American Energy & Infrastructure Act.  Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years….”]

S&T [Science and Technology] Policy and R&D [Research and Development] Funding: A Post-Election Analysis, American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 11/14/16.  [Excerpt: “After the Election: What Now for Science Funding and Policy?” was a one-hour Webinar held on November 14, 2016, with panelists Celeste Rohlfing of the AAAS; Bart Gordon, a former chair of House of Representatives’ Science and Technology Committee; and David Goldston, director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council.  Viewing the Webinar requires registration at http://view6.workcast.net/register?pak=2704109997656236 (same link at the headline above).]

How Trump could dismantle current environmental policy, PBS NewsHour, 11/17/16.  [Excerpt: “Donald Trump made it clear during his campaign that as president he would make substantial changes in climate policy.  …William Brangham speaks with David Roberts of Vox about possible changes to energy policy under a Trump administration.”]

What A Trump Presidency Means For Water Management, Infrastructure, Water Online, 11/18/16.

Water Industry Eyes Infrastructure Investments In Trump Administration, Inside EPA, 11/18/16 (subscription required for access; trial subscription available).  [Excerpt: “Water industry groups are reaching out to President-elect Donald Trump to urge his administration to support robust federal funding for water infrastructure investments and to explain their sector’s top water policy priorities, including preserving tax-exempt municipal bonds, ensuring water systems are resilient to extreme events and addressing lead pipes.”]

Trump promised California farmers more water. Can he deliver?, Sacramento Bee, 11/19/16.  [Excerpt: “Two years after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill designed to limit groundwater pumping, new wells are going in faster and deeper than ever in the San Joaquin Valley farm belt.  Farmers say they have no choice given cuts in surface water deliveries.  But the drilling has exacted a substantial human cost in some of California’s poorest rural communities.”]

Water Rule Rewrite by Trump Would Moot Lawsuits: Attorneys, Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs, 11/29/16.  [Excerpt: “Legal challenges to a major Clean Water Act rule [Clean Water Rule (RIN:2040-AF30), also known as the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule] could be rendered moot if the incoming Trump administration persuades the courts to send the regulation back for a rewrite, several water attorneys told Bloomberg BNA. …The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reviewing the rule, which it stayed last October.  …During the past several days, environmental attorneys have discussed with Bloomberg BNA what options are available to the Trump administration if it decides not to defend the rule in the nearly a dozen lawsuits filed in federal appeals and district courts.”]

Rhetoric aside, removing climate science from NASA not likely, E&E News Climate Wire, 12/1/16 (subscription required for full article; trial subscriptions available).  [This item is regarding comments by former U.S. Rep. Robert Walker of Pennsylvania, an adviser to the president-elect transition team, about moving climate research funding from the NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).]

Dec. 7-8, 2016, items on nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to head the EPA, has sued the EPA, USA Today, 12/7/16. [“Donald Trump tapped Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, as environmental groups and Democratic lawmakers denounced the selection of a state official who has sued the agency he is now slated to lead.”]
Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Climate Change Denialist, to Lead E.P.A., New York Times, 12/7/16.  [“Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign.”]
Donald Trump Taps Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to Lead EPA, Wall Street Journal, 12/7/16.  [“President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday chose Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a transition official, turning to a climate-change skeptic and sharp critic of the agency to take its helm.  As the chief legal officer of a major oil and natural-gas producing state, Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has led legal fights against some of President Barack Obama’s most significant environmental rules, and one of his major roles as EPA administrator would likely be to try to roll back those regulations.”]
Trump picks Oklahoma AG Pruitt to head EPA, The [Oklahoma City] Oklahoman, 12/7/16.  [“President-elect Donald J. Trump tapped Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Wednesday to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a strong signal that the next administration will break from eight years of making new regulations on air and water pollution.”]
How far will Scott Pruitt take EPA regulatory reform?, PBS NewsHour, 12/8/16 (10 min./4 sec. video with transcript).  [“President-elect Donald Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general and a critic of climate-change regulations, to head the EPA. Judy Woodruff sits down with Scott Segal of Bracewell and Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, to discuss whether Pruitt’s background suggests “radicalism” and the incoming administration’s promise of regulatory reform.”]

Dec. 13-14, 2016, items on nomination of U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Montana at large) to be secretary of the Department of the Interior:
Trump taps Montana congressman Ryan Zinke as interior secretary, Washington Post, 12/13/16.
Everything You Need to Know About Donald Trump’s Interior Secretary Pick, Ryan Zinke, ABC News, 12/14/16.
Donald Trump Picks Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary, Wall Street Journal, 12/14/16.

Dec. 13-14, 2016, items on nomination of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be secretary of the Department of Energy:
Rick Perry, Ex-Governor of Texas, Is Trump’s Pick as Energy Secretary, New York Times, 12/13/16.
Trump taps former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head Energy Department he once vowed to abolish, Washington Post, 12/14/16.

Supreme Court to hear case concerning Obama water rule, The Hill, 1/13/17.  [“The Supreme Court agreed Friday [1/13/17] to hear a case over a specific issue arising from President Obama’s Clean Water Rule — the fight over the proper federal court venue for challenging the rule.  The case, National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, does not concern the merits of the 2015 regulation, under which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers asserted jurisdiction over small waterways like ponds and streams. It is also known as the Waters of the United States rule.  The dispute may soon become moot, since President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office in a week, has pledged to repeal the regulation at issue.”]

Jan. 18, 2017, items on testimony by Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:
Trump’s EPA nominee [Scott Pruitt] faces climate, environment questions at Senate hearing, CBS NEWS, 1/18/17.
Trump EPA nominee Scott Pruitt says climate change is no hoax, Associated Press, as published by Denver Post, 1/18/17.
EPA nominee Pruitt contradicts Trump claim that climate change is a hoax, USA Today, 1/18/17.

Jan. 19, 2017, items on testimony by Rick Perry, President Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Energy, before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee:
Trump’s Energy Secretary nominee Rick Perry says he regrets call to eliminate agency, Chicago Tribune, 1/19/17.
Trump’s Energy Secretary Nominee “Regrets” Proposing Closure of Agency, VOA [Voice of America] News, 1/19/17.

Jan. 24, 2017, items on President Trump’s executive orders on January 24 regarding the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines:
Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 1/24/17.
Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 1/24/17.
Seeing impediments to jobs, Trump prioritizes pipelines over environmental protections, PBS NewsHour, 1/24/17.  [“The Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline were put on hold during the Obama administration. But new executive orders by President Trump begin putting them back on track, as part of efforts to undo former President Obama’s legacy. How do these moves fit into the broader Trump agenda for energy and the environment? William Brangham talks with Valerie Volcovici of Reuters.”]
Trump Revives Keystone Pipeline Rejected by Obama, New York Times, 1/24/17.  [“President Trump sharply changed the federal government’s approach to the environment on Tuesday as he cleared the way for two major oil pipelines that had been blocked, and set in motion a plan to curb regulations that slow other building projects.  In his latest moves to dismantle the legacy of his predecessor, Mr. Trump resurrected the Keystone XL pipeline that had stirred years of debate, and expedited another pipeline in the Dakotas that had become a major flash point for Native Americans.  He also signed a directive ordering an end to protracted environmental reviews.”]
Trump backs Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, BBC News, 1/24/17.

EPA: No ‘freeze’ on Flint funding under Trump, Detroit News, 1/26/17.  [“President Donald Trump’s administration conducted a brief review of Environmental Protection Agency grants but never ordered a ‘freeze’ on new awards, a spokesman said Thursday (January 26), downplaying fears that pledged federal aid for the Flint water crisis could be jeopardized.  New grant awards ‘were never stopped, actually,’ said Doug Ericksen of the EPA transition team. ‘Nothing was canceled, nothing was delayed.’  See also Trump administration tells EPA to freeze all grants, contracts, Washington Post, 1/23/17.

Trump Signs Executive Order to Curtail Regulations, NBC News, 1/30/17.  [Excerpt: “President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday (1/30/17) aimed at slashing federal regulations to help businesses, the latest in a string of presidential directives he has unveiled in his first 10 days in office.  The ‘one in, two out’ plan requires federal agencies requesting new regulations to cut two existing regulations.  Trump said the order will reduce regulatory burdens on the private sector, particularly small businesses.”]

Utilities: TVA president on the future of coal, nuclear and carbon policy under the Trump administration, E&E News “OnPoint,” 2/1/17, 6 min./52 sec. video (subscription required; trial subscriptions available).  [Excerpt: “During today’s OnPoint, William Johnson, president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), explains how coal could play a larger role in TVA’s future generation mix. He also talks about the three open positions on TVA’s board that are set to be filled by Trump nominees.”]

On eve of confirmation vote, judge orders EPA nominee to release thousands of emails, Washington Post, 2/16/17 [regarding an Oklahoma court ruling requiring Scott Pruitt to release e-mail communications between the Oklahoma attorney general and oil/gas companies].

Senate Confirms Scott Pruitt as E.P.A. Head, New York Times, 2/17/17.

Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action, Washington Post, 2/20/17 [regarding expected action on the 2015 Clean Power Plan regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants, and the 2015 Waters of the United States regulation on the jurisdiction of the federal Clean Water Act].

Feb. 21-22, 2017, articles on U.S. EPA Director Scott Pruitt’s first speech to EPA employees on February 21:
“We don’t have to choose” between jobs and the environment, Washington Post, 2/21/17.
EPA’s Pruitt urges officials to avoid regulatory “abuses” in first speech to staff, Fox News, 2/21/17.
Scott Pruitt makes first speech as EPA director, PBS NewsHour, 2/21/17.

Auto Makers Ask EPA’s Pruitt to Reverse Fuel-Economy, Emissions Decision, Wall Street Journal, 2/22/17.  [This regards February 21, 2017, letters to U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt requesting that the agency rescind a January 13, 2017, determination by the Obama administration keeping in place until 2025 mileage and carbon-emission standards for cars and light trucks.  For more on the January 2017 EPA determination, see Carbon Pollution Standards for Cars and Light Trucks to Remain Unchanged Through 2025, U.S. EPA News Release, 1/13/17.]

Trump administration freezes Obama rule on water protection, PBS NewsHour, 2/28/17; Trump Signs Executive Order to Begin Water Rule Rollback, NBC News, 3/1/17.  [These articles report on an executive order by President Trump for the U.S. Attorney General to ask the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to hold in abeyance the Waters of the United States regulation, known as the “Clean Water Rule,” and for the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw and reconsider the rule.  The executive order is available online at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/02/28/presidential-executive-order-restoring-rule-law-federalism-and-economic.  On February 28, the EPA issued a Notice of Intention to Review and Rescind or Revise the Clean Water Rule (available online at https://www.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule/notice-intention-review-and-rescind-or-revise-clean-water-rule).  The rule, regarding what waters fall under the jurisdiction of the federal Clean Water Act, was issued by the Obama administration in May 2015, but in October 2015 the Appeals Court issued a stay on implementation of the rule, pending the outcome of several federal lawsuits challenging the U.S. EPA over the rule.  For more on the latest developments on this rule, see the U.S. EPA Web site, “Clean Water Rule,” online at https://www.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule.]

Senate confirms Ryan Zinke as interior secretary, Washington Post, 3/1/17.  [Excerpt: “The Senate on Wednesday [March 1, 2017] confirmed [U.S. Representative from Montana] Ryan Zinke’s nomination to lead the Interior Department by a 68 to 31 vote.  Zinke will head a department that manages a fifth of the land in the United States, about 500 million surface acres, a total that doesn’t include millions more acres and natural resources underground.”]

Trump would cut Chesapeake Bay cleanup from $73M a year to $5M, [Newport News] Daily Press, 3/2/17.  [This regards the Trump Administration’s budget proposal to reduce funding for the U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program.]

EPA Withdraws Information Request for the Oil and Gas Industry, U.S. EPA News Release, 3/2/17.  [Excerpt: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is withdrawing its request that owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions [particularly of methane] at existing oil and gas operations. The withdrawal is effective immediately, meaning owners and operators – including those who have received an extension to their due dates for providing the information – are no longer required to respond.”  According to EPA Withdraws Methane Disclosure Rule For Oil and Gas Drillers, Triple Pundit, 3/3/17: “The EPA established these standards last year as part of the Barack Obama administration’s goal to reduce methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.”]

White House proposes steep budget cut to leading climate science agency [NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], Washington Post, 3/3/17.  [This regards a memo from the Office of Management and Budget obtained by the newspaper on reducing the budget of NOAA by 17 percent overall, with a possible 26-percent reduction to NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, 22 percent reduction to the agency’s satellite division, and elimination of the Sea Grant program.]

To fund border wall, Trump administration weighs cuts to Coast Guard, airport security, Washington Post, 3/7/17.  [Regarding potential budget cuts to U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Security Agency (TSA), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund a wall at the border with Mexico.  According to a draft Office of Management and Budget proposal obtained by The Washington Post, the Coast Guard’s 2017 budget would be cut from $9.1 billion to $7.8 billion (14 percent), and the TSA and FEMA budgets would be reduced about 11 percent each.]

Chief Environmental Justice Official at EPA Resigns, With Plea to Pruitt to Protect Vulnerable Communities, Inside Climate News, 3/9/17.  [Mustafa Ali, the head of the environmental justice program at the U.S. EPA, resigned on March 8, 2017, with a letter to Director Scott Pruitt, urging the new agency head not to implement proposed budget cuts.  The letter is available online at https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3514958-Final-Resignation-Letter-for-Administrator.html.]

EPA chief Scott Pruitt says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming, CNBC, 3/9/17.  EPA chief: Carbon dioxide not “primary contributor” to climate change, CNN, 3/10/17; EPA Head Scott Pruitt Doubts Basic Consensus On Climate Change, NPR, 3/9/17; Trump EPA chief Pruitt rejects link between carbon dioxide and climate change, Wall Street Journal, 3/10/17; EPA Chief Questions Agency’s Right to Regulate Carbon Emissions, Wall Street Journal, 3/9/17 [all regarding comments by U.S. EPA Director Scott Pruitt].

Pruitt: Congress should decide if agency can regulate CO2, E&E News Climate Wire, 3/13/17 (subscription required for full article; trial subscriptions available).  [This regards comments by U.S. EPA director Scott Pruitt in an interview with CNBC on March 9, 2017, asserting that Congress should take up the question of whether the EPA has authority under the existing Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide.  The CNBC report is available at http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/09/epa-chief-scott-pruitt.html.

Water, climate, and energy items in President Trump’s proposed budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2018, sent to Congress on March 16, 2017; the document is available line (as PDF) at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf.  One budget provision generating much news in the Virginia region was the proposed budget’s elimination of the U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program (annual budget of $73 million).
Big winners and big losers in Trump’s budget, Greenwire, 3/16/17 (subscription required for full article; trial subscriptions available).
Trump budget guts climate change programs, Greenwire, 3/16/17 (subscription required for full article; trial subscriptions available).
Trump proposes slashing DOE clean energy research, Greenwire, 3/16/17 (subscription required for full article; trial subscriptions available).
Trump Unveils ‘Hard Power’ Budget That Boosts Military Spending, National Public Radio (NPR), 3/16/17.
Trump budget cuts funding for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay program, Associated Press, as published by Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 3/16/17.
Trump budget would slash funds for Chesapeake Bay cleanup from $73M a year to $0, Virginian-Pilot, 3/16/17.
Trump bid to axe Bay restoration funding draws fire; Budget outline would eliminate EPA Bay Program funding, slash other agencies that have contributed, Bay Journal, 3/17/17.
Trump budget axes funding for Chesapeake Bay cleanup, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/16/17.
Virginia Politics – Trump wants to end funding of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. Here’s who’s fighting back, Washington Post, 3/18/17.
Chesapeake Bay funding, on Trump’s chopping block, pays for projects large and small, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/26/17.
Fate Of Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Unclear Under Trump, WBUR Boston, 3/28/17 (5 min./33 sec. audio segment).

March 28, 2017, executive order on climate/energy policies of the Obama Administration:  On March 28, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an executive order affecting several energy and climate policies implemented by the Obama Administration, including most prominently the Clean Power Plan, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August 2015.  The order, “Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” is available online at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/28/presidential-executive-order-promoting-energy-independence-and-economi-1.  The order’s actions include the following: reviewing the Clean Power Plan regulation; rescinding an August 2016 guidance on climate change issued by the Council on Environmental Quality; starting a 170-day process for each executive agency and department to identify regulations or policies that inhibit domestic energy production; stopping the use of estimates made during the Obama Administration of the social cost of greenhouse gases; rescinding a moratorium on coal leases on federal lands; ordering a review of regulations issued in November 2016 on methane releases from oil and gas production facilities; and rewriting a regulation issued in 2015 on hydraulic fracturing on federal and tribal lands.
Sources and additional news items related to this order:
“Clean Power Plan Hub,” E&E News, online at http://www.eenews.net/interactive/clean_power_plan (subscription required; trial subscriptions available).

Background Briefing on the President’s Energy Independence Executive Order, White House Press Secretary, 3/27/17.
What to Know About Trump’s Order to Dismantle the Clean Power Plan, New York Times, 3/27/17.
States vow to defend rule, E&E News, 3/28/17 (subscription required; trial subscriptions available).
Trump signs executive order rolling back Obama-era energy regs, Fox News, 3/28/17.
Trump launches aggressive campaign to dismantle Obama climate agenda; Barrasso: Trump climate rollback helps U.S. as an energy superpower [with U.S. Sen. John Barasso, R-Wyo.]; and “Difficult slog” ahead to undo Obama climate legacy, says former EPA chief [with former U.S. EPA Director Gina McCarthy] – all on PBS NewsHour, 3/28/17.
Trump signs order dismantling Obama-era climate policies, Reuters, 3/28/17.
Trump signs executive order to review Clean Power Plan, Utility Dive, 3/28/17.
Trump moves decisively to wipe out Obama’s climate-change record, Washington Post, 3/28/17.
The big announcement is over. What happens now?, E&E News/Climate Wire, 3/29/17 (subscription required; trial subscriptions available).

Va. DEQ Outreach Meeting on Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan on March 6, 2017

From January to March 2017, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) scheduled public outreach meetings on Phase III of the Commonwealth’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) pollution-prevention plan, which was published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December 2010.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall, the meetings provide information on the status of on-going efforts to clean up the Bay, improvements in Bay water quality, expectations and roles for the Phase III WIP, and timelines.

As of March 1, 2017, the only scheduled March meeting is the following (date is linked to Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice):

3/6/17, 1 p.m., at the DEQ’s Valley Regional Office, 4411 Early Road in Harrisonburg, specifically for elected officials.

This is the most recent of a series of such meetings.  Previous meetings were the following:
1/30/17, 10 a.m., at the DEQ Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge, specifically for localities that administer municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s).
1/30/17, 1 p.m., 10 a.m., at the DEQ Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge, specifically for localities that do not administer MS4s.
2/16/17, 10 a.m., at the DEQ Valley Regional Office, 4411 Early Road in Harrisonburg, specifically for staff of local governments and of soil and water conservation districts.
2/21/17, 1 p.m., at the DEQ Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge, specifically for elected officials.

More information from the DEQ on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/ChesapeakeBay/ChesapeakeBayTMDL.aspx.

More information from the EPA on the Bay TMDL is available online at https://www.epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl.