Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for May 25-June 7, 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

5/25/17, 9 a.m.:  Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  At the Patrick Henry Building, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond.

5/31/17, 9 a.m.: Department of Health’s Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeals Review Board.  At the Perimeter Center, Training Room 1A, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

6/1/17, 11 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.

5/25/17, 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).  This is meeting of the Residential Working Group for this TMDL and is a duplicate of the 5/23/17 meeting that was held in Big Stone Gap.

5/25/17, 1 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in Upper Goose Creek, Cromwells Run, and Little River Watersheds, located in the Potomac River basin in Fauquier County.  At Tri County Feeds, 7408 John Marshall Highway in Marshall.

6/5/17, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (dissolved oxygen) and bacterial impairments in the Rudee Inlet watershed (including Lake Rudee, Lake Wesley, and Owl Creek, located in the Atlantic Ocean basin in the City of Virginia Beach.  At W.T. Cooke Elementary, 1501 Mediterranean Avenue in Virginia Beach.

6/7/17, 1 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Accotink Creek and Long Branch, located in the Potomac River basin in Fairfax County.  At Richard Byrd Library, 7250 Commerce Street in Springfield.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Coastal Zone Management
5/31/17, 1 p.m.: Virginia Coastal Zone Management Policies Advisory Group.  At the College of William and Mary Law School, 613 South Henry Street in Williamsburg.  This group is advising the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality on the development by the Virginia Coastal Policy Center (located at the College of William and Mary; online at http://law.wm.edu/academics/programs/jd/electives/clinics/vacoastal/index.php) of documents for potential coastal zone management program change submissions.

Resource Management Mapping and Planning
5/25/17, 10 a.m.: Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) Advisory Board.  At the Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 East Main Street in Richmond.  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.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for May 18-May 31, 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

5/18/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro, Inc., 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

5/23/17, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

5/23/17, 9:30 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board.  At Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, Dominion Boulevard in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  Also on 5/23/17, 9 a.m., the Board’s District Audit Sub-committee meets at the same location.

5/23/17, 1 p.m.: Board of Game and Inland Fisheries/Finance, Audit, and Compliance Committee.  At the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries office, 7870 Villa Park Drive in Henrico.  On 5/24/17, 9 a.m., the full Board meets at the same location.

5/24/17, all day but start time not indicated: Board of Forestry.  At 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

5/24/17, 10:30 a.m.: Land Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees.  At Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rice Center, 3701 John Tyler Memorial Highway in Charles City (Charles City County).

5/25/17, 9 a.m.:  Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  At the Patrick Henry Building, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond.

5/31/17, 9 a.m.: Department of Health’s Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeals Review Board.  At the Perimeter Center, Training Room 1A, 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.

5/18/17, 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 the Daniel Boone Soil and Water Conservation District Office, 32637 Main Street in Jonesville (Lee County).  (This is the second of two duplicate meetings; the first was 5/16/17 in Appalachia in Wise County.)  On 5/22/17, 3 p.m., the Industrial Working Group for this TMDL meets at the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  The Residential Working Group for this TMDL will hold duplicate meetings on 5/23/17, 6 p.m., at the Town Hall Gymnasium, 505 East 5th Street South in Big Stone Gap, and on 5/25/17, 6 p.m., at Pennington Gap Community Center, 41670 West Morgan Avenue in Pennington Gap (Lee County).

5/18/17, 7 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for aquatic life (benthic) impairments in the Little Calfpasture River, located in the James River basin in Rockbridge County.  At Goshen Volunteer Fire Hall, 140 Main Street in Goshen.

5/25/17, 1 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in Upper Goose Creek, Cromwells Run, and Little River Watersheds, located in the Potomac River basin in Fauquier County.  At Tri County Feeds, 7408 John Marshall Highway in Marshall.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Ports
5/22/17, 1 p.m.: Virginia Port Authority Finance and Audit Committee.  5/22/17, 2 p.m.: Growth and Operations Committee.  5/22/17, 3:30 p.m.: Executive Committee.  5/23/17, 9 a.m.: Board of Commissioners.  All at 600 World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

Resource Management Mapping and Planning
5/25/17, 10 a.m.: Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) Advisory Board.  At the Department of Conservation and Recreation, 600 East Main Street in Richmond.  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.

Scenic Rivers
5/18/17, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At City Hall in Richmond.

5/18/17, 4 p.m.: Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee.  At Lovettsville Library, 12 North Light Street in Lovettsville (Loudoun County).

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
5/22/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public meeting on proposed amendments to the Water Quality Management Planning Regulation for the Roanoke River Basin non-TMDL waste load allocation (WLA).  At the DEQ Blue Ridge Regional Office, 3019 Peters Creek Road in Roanoke.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “The specific effluent limits needed to meet…water quality goals [in the basin] are discretionary.  The proposed amendments are to [Virginia Administrative Code section] 9 VAC 25-720-80B and would modify the existing waste load allocation for the South Hill Wastewater Treatment Plan (VA0069337)….”

5/24/17, 10:30 a.m.: Department of Health’s Sewage Handling and Disposal Advisory Committee/Periodic Review Subcommittee.  At the James Madison Building, Room 535, 109 Governor Street in Richmond.  As part of a periodic review, the subcommittee will consider proposed amendments and revisions to the Alternative Onsite Sewage System Regulations, Section 12 VAC 5-613 in the Virginia Administrative Code.

Va. Governor Executive Directive on Reducing Carbon Emissions from Power Plants; Issued May 16, 2017

On May 16, 2017, Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed and announced Executive Directive 11, which instructs the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to begin a process of developing regulations to reduce carbon emissions from electric power plants.  The directive is available online (as a PDF) at http://governor.virginia.gov/media/9155/ed-11-reducing-carbon-dioxide-emissions-from-electric-power-facilities-and-growing-virginias-clean-energy-economy.pdf.

Following is an excerpt from the directive: “I hereby direct the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, in coordination with the Secretary of Natural Resources, to take the following actions…
1. Develop a proposed regulation for the State Air Pollution Control Board’s consideration to abate, control, or limit carbon dioxide emissions from electric power facilities that: a. Includes provisions to ensure that Virginia’s regulation is “trading-ready” to allow for the use of market-based mechanisms and the trading of carbon dioxide allowances through a multi-state trading program; and b. Establishes abatement mechanisms providing for a corresponding level of stringency to limits on carbon dioxide emissions imposed in other states with such limits.
2. By no later than December 31, 2017, present the proposed regulation to the State Air Pollution Control Board for consideration for approval for public comment….”

The new directive follows the report on May 12 of the Executive Order 57 Work Group, which the governor established in June 2016 to study and make recommendations about reducing carbon emissions from the Commonwealth’s power plants.  The group’s final report, along with more information about Executive Order 57, is available online at https://naturalresources.virginia.gov/initiatives/eo-57/.

Source: Governor McAuliffe Takes Executive Action to Reduce Carbon Emissions Across Virginia; “Clean Energy Virginia” initiative will cap greenhouse gases and grow Virginia’s clean energy economy, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 5/16/17.

Following are some news media accounts on Executive Directive 11, listed from newest to oldest.
Virginia Begins Development of Cap-and-Trade Program for Electric Power Sector, National Law Review, 5/19/17.
Wagner takes aim at McAuliffe carbon order; critics say he’s seeking attention, Daily Press, 5/19/17.
Amid longshot run for governor, Wagner says he’ll call emergency hearing to fight McAuliffe’s climate change plan, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/19/17.
Virginia Governor Orders Power Plant Carbon Regulations, POWER Magazine, 5/18/17.
Bucking D.C. and Republican legislature, Virginia governor moves to limit carbon emissions, ThinkProgress (Center for American Progress Action Fund), 5/17/17.
McAuliffe Moves to Cap Utility Carbon Emissions, Bacon’s Rebellion, 5/17/17.
McAuliffe moves to curb carbon emissions blamed for sea level rise, [Newport News] Daily Press, 5/16/17.
McAuliffe: Virginia will regulate carbon emissions; ‘the threat of climate change is real’, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/16/17.
McAuliffe proposes statewide carbon cap, Washington Post, 5/16/17.
Virginia AG: State board can regulate carbon pollution, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/12/17.
Will Virginia forge its own path on carbon regulation?, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/3/17.

New River PCBs are Subject of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Study in 2016-17; Draft TMDL Ready for Public Comment in May 2017; Final Public Meeting on TMDL Study Held May 10, 2017

This post updates previous posts from April 2016 and April 2017.

PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in the New River in southwestern Virginia are the subject of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process that began in early April 2016.

The draft TMDL study for New River PCBs became available in May 2017; a link to the report is available at this DEQ Web site: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/PCBTMDLs/NewRiverTMDLPCB.aspxPublic comment on the draft will be accepted through June 9, 2017.

On May 10, 2017, the draft TMDL study was presented in a public meeting in Radford.  Information on the May 10 meeting is available at this Virginia Regulatory Town Hall link (link last checked May 11, 2017).  A Virginia Water Resources Research Center recording from the May 10 meeting is available at this link.  The recording (47 min./37 sec.) was intended to capture only the prepared remarks by Mark Richards, the DEQ staff person presenting the draft TMDL report at that meeting.  The posted audio deletes audience voices asking questions during the presentation and, for the most part, Mr. Richards’ responses to those questions.  Some of all of the visuals that were discussed during the May 10 presentation are available in the draft TMDL study (link noted above).

About 145 miles of the New, from Interstate 77 to the West Virginia line (along with several tributaries), have been under a Virginia Department of Health (VDH) fish-consumption advisory since 2004 (since 2001 for about 75 miles), when PCBs were found in fish-tissue samples.  An April 5, 2016, public meeting was held in Radford by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) to describe the known history of PCB contamination in the river and the TMDL study that aims to identify the current sources and loads of PCBs in the New.  Following a public comment period through May 3, 2016, the BSE Department and a DEQ technical advisory committee developed the New River PCB study that was released in draft form in May 2017.

The federal Clean Water Act requires that a TMDL study be done whenever the level of a pollutant in a water body regularly exceeds a state water-quality standard and, consequently, the water body is identified as “impaired.”  A TMDL study identifies sources of an impairment, allocates the contribution of each source to the overall impairment, and identifies reductions needed for the water body to fall within water-quality standards for the particular contaminant.  In Virginia, state law also requires development of TMDL implementation plan following the TMDL study.

According to the DEQ (“New River Watershed Study,” April 2016, available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/TMDL/PCB/NRPCBfactsheet.pdf), PCBs “are chemicals that were used in electrical transformers and other equipment until the late 1970s and can remain in the environment for decades. … Sources of PCBs include, but are not limited to, point-source dischargers including municipal stormwater discharges, stormwater runoff from areas of known contamination, atmospheric deposition, and existing contamination in river sediments.”

DEQ information about the New River PCB TMDL is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/PCBTMDLs/NewRiverTMDLPCB.aspx.

Other Sources:
Research could aid fight against PCBs in New River, Roanoke Times, 4/5/16.

Long hunt for source of PCBs in New River is to end this year
, Roanoke Times, 3/27/16.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Resources for PCB TMDLs,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/PCBTMDLs.aspx.

Virginia Department of Health, “Fish Consumption Advisories/New River Basin,” online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/public-health-toxicology/fish-consumption-advisories/; and “Frequently Asked Questions about Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs),” online (as PDF) at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/fact-sheets-for-public-health/frequently-asked-questions-about-polychlorinated-biphenyls-pcbs/.

New River Rt 611 Wilderness Road Pulaski County Jun30 2013 USED Grouper 4-12-16

Virginia Resource Management Planning is Focus of Stakeholder Advisory Group Convening May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017, is the date of the first meeting of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Resource Management Plan Implementation Stakeholder Advisory Group.  The meeting will start at 1:30 p.m., at the State Capitol, Senate Room 3, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting is online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=25976.  According to that notice, “Item 364 Q of the [Virginia General Assembly’s] 2017 Appropriations Act requires the Department of Conservation and Recreation [DCR] to establish a stakeholder group to examine the funding, training, and resource needs, as well as explore new incentives, for additional implementation of Resource Management Plans.”

DCR information on resource management planning is available online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/rmp.

For more information about the advisory group, contact Christine Watlington, DCR Senior Policy and Planning Analyst, 600 East Main Street, 24th Floor, Richmond, 23219; phone (804)786-3319; e-mail: christine.watlington@dcr.virginia.gov.

Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund Stabilization is Focus of Stakeholder Advisory Group Convening May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017, is the date of the first meeting of the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Water Quality Improvement Fund Stabilization Stakeholder Advisory Group.  The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m., at the State Capitol, Senate Room 3, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

The Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting is online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=25973.  According to that notice, “Item 364 of the [Virginia General Assembly’s] 2017 Appropriations Act requires the Department of Conservation and Recreation [DCR] to establish a stakeholder group to make recommendations on [the following]: (i) increasing the portion of any deposit to the WQIF reserve; (ii) limiting the portion of WQIF reserve that may be utilized; (iii) evaluating combined revenues available from the WQIF and the Natural Resources Commitment Fund in a given fiscal year; (iv) distributing funds to be deposited across a biennial period; and (v) considering the impacts on the staffing and technical assistance needs of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts.”

Virginia Code information on the Water Quality Improvement Act (which created the WQIF) is available online at http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title10.1/chapter21.1/, and information on the Natural Resources Commitment Fund is online at http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title10.1/chapter21.1/section10.1-2128.1/.

For more information about the advisory group, contact Christine Watlington, DCR Senior Policy and Planning Analyst, 600 East Main Street, 24th Floor, Richmond, 23219; phone (804)786-3319; e-mail: christine.watlington@dcr.virginia.gov.

 

Spring 2017 RFP for Stream and Wetland Mitigation Projects for 16 Sites under the Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund Program; Proposals Due to Nature Conservancy by May 19, 2017

On April 24, 2017, the Nature Conservancy announced a request for proposals (RFP) for vegetation management services at 16 Virginia sites under the Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund mitigation program.  Proposals are due by May 19, 2017.  The RFP is available online at https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/vartf-vegetation-management-rfp.xml.

According to the RFP Web site, “[t]he purpose of these projects is to provide stream and wetland mitigation to offset unavoidable impacts for which the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (VARTF) was utilized as the compensatory mitigation.  The primary objective of this RFP is to enhance and restore riparian buffer and wetland areas on VARTF project sites.  The scope of work requires the Contractor to conduct site management activities that control invasive species and encourage native vegetative cover on the subject properties per the specifications herein that will meet or exceed the standards for compensatory mitigation in Virginia.”

Under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and under Virginia’s Water Protection Permit Program, which implements parts of Sections 401 and 404 of the CWA, a permit is required for disturbances (clearing, filling, excavating, draining, or ditching) to wetlands or streams covered by the CWA, and such disturbances are to be mitigated be avoidance, minimization, or compensation; or more information on mitigation, see the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), “Mitigation,” online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WetlandsStreams/Mitigation.aspx.  The Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund is a mitigation program for impacts to streams and wetlands permitted by state and federal regulatory agencies; it’s administered by the Nature Conservancy, the Virginia DEQ, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the federal agency with primary responsibility for enforcing CWA Section 404).  More information about the Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund is available online from the Nature Conservancy at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/the-virginia-aquatic-resources-trust-fund-home.xml; and from the Virginia DEQ online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WetlandsStreams/Mitigation.aspx.

Some of the information for this post was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  More information about the VWMC is available online at http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.