Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for July 19-August 1, 2016

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

7/19/16, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board.  At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

7/20/16, 2 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  At Meadow Event Park, 13048 Dawn Boulevard in Doswell (Hanover County).

7/21/16, 10 a.m.: Virginia Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro, 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

7/22/16, 10 a.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation.  At The Heritage Center, Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield (Chesterfield County).

7/26/16, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

7/28/16, 9 a.m.: Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists’ Wetland Delineator Exam Committee.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

7/28/16, 9 a.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

7/28/16, 9:30 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  At the General Assembly Building, House Room C, 201 North Street in Richmond.

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+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.

7/28/16, 9 a.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Accotink Creek and Long Branch, located in the Potomac River watershed in Fairfax County.  At Richard Byrd Library Meeting Room, 7250 Commerce Street in Springfield.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Infrastructure Construction Funding—Water Supply
7/21/16, 9 a.m.: Virginia Department of Health (VDH) public comment session on Fiscal Year 2017 Intended Use Plan for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program.  At the Department of Environmental Equality Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  According to the VDH’s Web site on the Intended Use Plan for 2017 (online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/office-of-drinking-water/financial-construction/drinking-water-state-revolving-fund-program/): “Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress authorizes capitalization grants to the states through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWSRF).  As part of the annual DWSRF grant application process Virginia seeks meaningful public involvement through input, review, and comments.  The VDH’s Office of Drinking Water (ODW) has prepared a draft Intended Use Plan (IUP) that explains the goals of the program, funding priorities, how VDH intends to use the grant funds and other important information submitted from the funding requests and set-aside suggestions.”

State Parks
7/28/16, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation update on the Fairy Stone State Park Master Plan.  At Fayerdale Hall Conference Center, 1003 Fairystone Lake Drive in Stuart (Patrick County).

Wastewater Regulation
7/22/16, 10 a.m.; and 7/29/16, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on reissuance and possible amendments to the general Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit for Vehicle Wash Facilities and Laundry Facilities.  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 25-194.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published January 25, 2016.  More information on the process of this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1897.

7/27/16, 6 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public meeting on applications for No Discharge Zone Designations for Sarah Creek and the Perrin River in Gloucester County.  At Abingdon Elementary School, 7087 Powhatan Drive in Hayes.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “the Virginia DEQ is announcing its intent to apply to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for two federal No Discharge Zones (NDZs) and is seeking public comment on the draft application. …The code of Virginia (Section 62.1-44.33) resolves that all tidal creeks in Virginia be designated federal No Discharge Zones premised on the improvement of impaired tidal creeks and directs the VDEQ to pursue this designation.  It is currently illegal to discharge raw sewage in U.S. territorial waters.  In a NDZ, this ban is expanded to include sewage treated by on-board marine sanitation devices.  A NDZ is determined by EPA upon application from the state, and is contingent on the state demonstrating: 1) the need for enhanced protection of water quality, 2) the availability of sufficient local alternatives to overboard discharge (i.e. pump-outs), and 3) local stakeholder support.  DEQ is seeking this designation as one component of a ‘pollution diet’ [Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL] for small tidal Chesapeake Bay tributaries, which are frequently impaired for shellfish harvest due to elevated levels of fecal bacteria.  The Go Green Committee of Gloucester County has partnered with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to conduct an analysis of boat usage and pump-out availability for Sarah Creek and Perrin River in Gloucester County, and DEQ has concluded that existing pump-out facilities are adequate to service estimated peak-demand.”  A draft application to EPA for NDZ designation has been prepared; the day after the public meeting, this document will be available for public review and comment on the DEQ “No Discharge Zone” Web site, at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/NoDischargeZoneDesignations.aspx.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
7/20/16, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Panel on the triennial review of water-quality standards (9 VAC 25-260 in the Virginia Administrative Code.)  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  According to DEQ information online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityStandards/LawsMandates.aspx, Virginia Code section 62.1-44.15 (3a), part of Virginia’s State Water Control Law, requires the State Water Control Board to review and update the Commonwealth’s water-quality standards at least every three years.  The Board conducted a triennial review in 2015, but the Board deferred to a separate rulemaking updates to freshwater aquatic life criteria for ammonia, amendments to the 94 human health criteria, and new EPA recommendations for recreation waters criteria (bacteria) and aquatic life (potentially for cadmium and selenium) (Board action taken at January 14, 2016, meeting).  The Regulatory Advisory Panel has been reconvened to help consider those updates.  More information on the triennial review is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4017.

7/27/16, 12 noon: Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Nutrient Credit Work Group.  At the Capitol Building, House Room 3, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  The Capitol Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Executive Order 52 (January 28, 2016) called for creation of a work group comprising of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Manufacturers Association, the Virginia Association of Municipal Wastewater Agencies, the Virginia Nutrient Credit Exchange Association, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the James River Association and other interested stakeholders “to study and recommend methods to facilitate the acquisition of nutrient allocations and/or credits through the Virginia Nutrient Credit Exchange Program to offset discharges of nutrients by point-source dischargers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed on a long-term (20+ year) basis.”  The text of Executive Order 52 is available online (as PDF) at https://governor.virginia.gov/media/5278/eo-52-development-of-long-term-offsetting-methods-within-the-virginia-nutrient-credit-exchange-program.pdf.  More information about Virginia’s nutrient credit trading program is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/PermittingCompliance/PollutionDischargeElimination/NutrientTrading.aspx.

No Discharge Zone Applications for Two Gloucester County, Va., Waterways Announced in July 2016; Public Meeting July 27, 2016

In July 2016, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced its intent to apply to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for two federal No Discharge Zones (NDZs), for the Perrin River and Sarah Creek in Gloucester County, Va.  A public meeting on the draft application will be held July 27, 2016, 6 p.m., at Abingdon Elementary School, 7087 Powhatan Drive in Hayes.  Details on that meeting are available from the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall, online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=24626.

According to the online information for that meeting,  the Virginia Code (Section 62.1-44.33) “resolves that all tidal creeks in Virginia be designated federal No Discharge Zones premised on the improvement of impaired tidal creeks and directs the VDEQ to pursue this designation.  It is currently illegal to discharge raw sewage in U.S. territorial waters.  In a NDZ, this ban is expanded to include sewage treated by on-board marine sanitation devices.  A NDZ is determined by EPA upon application from the state, and is contingent on the state demonstrating: 1) the need for enhanced protection of water quality, 2) the availability of sufficient local alternatives to overboard discharge (i.e. pump-outs), and 3) local stakeholder support.  DEQ is seeking this designation as one component of a ‘pollution diet’ [total maximum daily load, or TMDL] for small tidal Chesapeake Bay tributaries, which are frequently impaired for shellfish harvest due to elevated levels of fecal bacteria.  The Go Green Committee of Gloucester County has partnered with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to conduct an analysis of boat usage and pump-out availability for Sarah Creek and Perrin River in Gloucester County, and DEQ has concluded that existing pump-out facilities are adequate to service estimated peak-demand.”

A draft application to EPA for NDZ designation has been prepared; the day after the public meeting, this document will be available for public review and comment on the DEQ “No Discharge Zone” Web site, at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/NoDischargeZoneDesignations.aspx.

 

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for July 12-25, 2016

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

7/12/16, 10 a.m.: Board for Waste Management Facility Operators.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

7/19/16, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board.  At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

7/20/16, 2 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  At Meadow Event Park, 13048 Dawn Boulevard in Doswell (Hanover County).

7/21/16, 10 a.m.: Virginia Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

7/22/16, 10 a.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation.  At The Heritage Center, Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield (Chesterfield County).

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+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.

*          *          *

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.

7/14/16, 6 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments the North and South Fork Roanoke River and tributaries Bradshaw Creek, Goose Creek, and Wilson Creek, in the Roanoke River/Albemarle Sound, N.C., watershed in the counties of Floyd, Montgomery, and Roanoke.  At Meadowbrook Community Room, 267 Alleghany Spring Road in Shawsville (Montgomery County).

7/14/16, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in the McClure River and tributaries Big Spraddle Branch, Buffalo Creek, and Roaring Fork, all in the Pound River/Russell Fork/Big Sandy River watershed in Dickenson County.  At the McClure Kiwanis Building, at the intersection of State Route 63 (Dante Mountain Road) and State Route 773 (Herndon Road) in Dickenson County.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Infrastructure Construction Funding—Water Supply
7/20/16, 9 a.m.: Virginia Department of Health (VDH) public comment session on Fiscal Year 2017 Intended Use Plan for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program.  At the Department of Environmental Equality Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  According to the VDH’s Web site on the Intended Use Plan for 2017 (online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/office-of-drinking-water/financial-construction/drinking-water-state-revolving-fund-program/): “Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress authorizes capitalization grants to the states through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWSRF).  As part of the annual DWSRF grant application process Virginia seeks meaningful public involvement through input, review, and comments.  The VDH’s Office of Drinking Water (ODW) has prepared a draft Intended Use Plan (IUP) that explains the goals of the program, funding priorities, how VDH intends to use the grant funds and other important information submitted from the funding requests and set-aside suggestions.”

Energy – All
7/14/16: Virginia Energy Council.  At the Patrick Henry Building, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond.  The Virginia Energy Council was formed in June 2014 by executive order of Gov. Terry McAuliffe to help develop and implement a comprehensive energy strategy for Virginia and deliver recommendations for the 2014 Virginia Energy Plan (which updated the 2010 version of the plan).  For more information on the Virginia Energy Council, see the following link to the 6/4/14 news release from the Virginia governor’s office: Governor McAuliffe Signs Executive Order to Establish the Virginia Energy Council.  The 2014 state energy plan is available online at https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/2014_VirginiaEnergyPlan2.shtmlThe 2010 plan is available online at http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/VEP_TitlePage.html.

Resource Management Mapping and Planning
7/12/16, 10 a.m.: Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) Advisory Board.  At 11751 Meadowville Lane in Chester (Chesterfield County).  VGIN was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1997 to help support the creation, development, and use of geographic information and related technology for state and local government agencies, colleges and universities, and other Commonwealth users of maps and geographic information.  It’s coordinated by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA).  More information is available online at http://www.vita.virginia.gov/isp/default.aspx?id=8482.

State Parks
7/13/16, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation public meeting on update of the Grayson Highlands State Park Master Plan.  At the Grayson Highlands State Park Visitor Center, 829 Grayson Highland Lane in Mouth of Wilson (Grayson County).

Wastewater Regulation
7/15/16, 10 a.m.; and 7/22/16, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on reissuance and possible amendments to the general Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit for Vehicle Wash Facilities and Laundry Facilities.  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 25-194.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published January 25, 2016.  More information on the process of this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1897.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
7/20/16, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Panel on the triennial review of water-quality standards (9 VAC 25-260 in the Virginia Administrative Code.)  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  According to DEQ information online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityStandards/LawsMandates.aspx, Virginia Code section 62.1-44.15 (3a), part of Virginia’s State Water Control Law, requires the State Water Control Board to review and update the Commonwealth’s water-quality standards at least every three years.  The Board conducted a triennial review in 2015, but the Board deferred to a separate rulemaking updates to freshwater aquatic life criteria for ammonia, amendments to the 94 human health criteria, and new EPA recommendations for recreation waters criteria (bacteria) and aquatic life (potentially for cadmium and selenium) (Board action taken at January 14, 2016, meeting).  The Regulatory Advisory Panel has been reconvened to help consider those updates.  More information on the triennial review is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4017.

Va. Governor’s June 28, 2016, Executive Order on Reducing Carbon Emissions from Power Plants; Workgroup to Provide Recommendations by April 30, 2017

On June 28, 2016, Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order creating a workgroup to recommend actions available under existing state authority to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.  The working group will be under Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward, and the group is to provide recommendations by April 30, 2017.

In 2015, the U.S. EPA released the Clean Power Plan regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants, but on February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed EPA implementation of the regulation, pending the outcome of litigation that had been filed by several states and other parties.  The 2016 Virginia General Assembly passed language in the state budget forbidding the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality from spending money on implementation of the Clean Power Plan until that federal court stay is lifted.

The full text of Gov. McAuliffe’s order, Executive Order 57, is available in the following source: Governor McAuliffe Signs Executive Order to Reduce Carbon Emissions in Virginia; Order creates workgroup to recommend executive actions to reduce carbon emissions from the electric sector, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 6/28/16.

Following are some news accounts on the executive order:
Virginia Gov. McAuliffe issues executive order to cut GHG emissions, UtilityDive, 6/30/16.
McAuliffe promises action on carbon, climate change, sets task force in motion, Daily Press, 6/28/16.
McAuliffe plans to sidestep legislature on climate change, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/28/16 [full text of executive order also available in this article].
McAuliffe pushes for action on decreasing carbon emissions, Virginian-Pilot, 6/28/16.

For more information on the Clean Power Plan, please see this Virginia Water Central News Grouper link.  For information on the litigation against the plan, please see this News Grouper link.

On Virginia Water Radio for 6-27-16: Sounds for a Century of Work by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of June 27, 2016, is “Fish, Wildlife, Habitats, and Human Interactions on the Agenda Since 1916 for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.”  The 3 min./47 sec. episode, available online http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2016/06/episode-322-6-27-16-fish-wildlife.html, introduces this Virginia state natural resources agency for the agency’s 100th anniversary (on June 17, 2016).

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

Operation Dry Water Aims to Reduce Boating Under Influence of Alcohol (BUI); Weekend of June 24-26, 2016, Will Bring Increased Patrolling for BUI

Operation Dry Water, coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, is a national effort by law enforcement to reduce Boating Under the Influence (BUI), that is, boaters operating their vessels while under the influence of alcohol or other substances that can impair safe operation.  According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics for recreational boating in 2014, alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, contributing to about 21 percent of fatalities nationwide in 2014 in cases where the cause of the accident was known.  In Virginia (as in other states), it’s illegal to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more.

Each summer on the weekend before July 4th, law-enforcement agencies participating in Operation Dry Water put special focus on BUI.  In 2016, on June 24-26, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) conservation police offices, boating law enforcement officials in several Virginia localities, and Coast Guard officials at Virginia stations will join officials in other states in having increased patrolling for BUI. (Participating agencies are listed by state and territory at this link: http://www.operationdrywater.org/agencies.)

According a June 20, 2016, statement by the VDGIF (available in the department’s Outdoor Report, online at this link), “environmental ‘stressors’ associated with boating, such as the rocking of the boat, sun, wind, and noise, all intensify the effect of alcohol on a person while boating.  Because of this, a boater is likely to become impaired more quickly on a boat than on land.  Both operators and passengers increase their chances of slips, falls overboard or becoming involved in a serious boating accident by consuming alcohol while boating.  In Virginia, boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeds the state limit of [.08] can be arrested for BUI and face serious penalties upon conviction including a fine of up to $2,500 and incarceration for a period up to 12 months.  Additionally, the operator may lose his privilege to operate a boat for one year on a first offense and up to three years for any subsequent offense. DGIF supports the Operation Dry Water message which encourages boaters to never boat under the influence and enjoy their time on the water responsibly.”

More information on the Operation Dry Water is available from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, online at http://operationdrywater.org/.  More information on boating and boating law in Virginia is available from the VDGIF, online at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/boating/, or phone the central office in Richmond at (804) 367-1000; local VDGIF offices are also usually listed in the government pages of local phone directories.

For an audio take on Operation Dry Water, have a listen to Virginia Water Radio Episode 270, 6-15-15 (4 min./20); additional information and sources are given in the episode’s online show notes.

Operation Dry Water Poster NO DATE

Promotional poster provided in 2015 by Operation Dry Water.

Water in the 2016 Virginia General Assembly: Final Inventory of Water-related Legislation

The Virginia Water Resources Research Center annually compiles an inventory of water-related legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.   We update the inventory during the session, then publish a final version after the end of the regular session and reconvened “veto” session.  The final inventory for 2016 is now available at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/virginia-water-legislation/.  At that page you can also find inventories from previous General Assembly sessions (back to 1998), information on how to follow legislation and how to contact your local General Assembly members, and links to other natural-resource legislation-tracking services.

For a list of some 2016 Virginia General Assembly measures that were reported in news media, please see the Water Central News Grouper post, Water in the 2016 Virginia General Assembly – A Sampler of Notable Bills, as of the End of the Regular Session.