Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Feb. 27–Mar. 16, 2015

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

3/3/15, 11 a.m.: Aquaculture Advisory Board. At the Virginia Farm Bureau office in Goochland County’s West Creek Business Park, Conference Room 3F, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

3/3/15, 4:30 p.m.: Marine Products Board. At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Watermen’s Hall, 1208 Greate Road in Gloucester Point.

3/5/15, 9:30 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board. At 600 East Main Street, 24th Floor, in Richmond.

3/6/15, 10 a.m.: Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority Board. At Engineering Hall, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

3/10/15, 10 a.m.: Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists. At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

3/12/15, 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.

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions during General Assembly sessions (regular and special), see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+oth+MTG; use the drop-down menu on the left to pick the session of interest (current or past). Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

1/14/15 to 2/28/15 (scheduled adjournment date): Virginia General Assembly. The reconvened (“veto”) session is scheduled for April 15. Live video streams of floor sessions are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the House and http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the Senate.

Committees are key parts of the General Assembly process. Legislation about water or about activities that can affect water may be assigned to any of several standing committees, most of which meet weekly during the General Assembly session. Information about all standing committees—including membership, meeting times, and legislation being considered—is available online at http://lis.virginia.gov/151/com/COM.HTM.

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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.

3/3/15, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in South Fork Holston River, Bishop Branch, Grosses Creek, and Slemp Creek, all in the Holston River/Upper Tennessee River watershed in Smyth and Washington and Smyth counties. At Town Hall, 325 East Lee Highway in Chilhowie.

3/4/15, 2:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in the Mattaponi River and 13 tributaries, located in the York River watershed in the counties of Caroline, King and Queen, and Spotsylvania. At Bowling Green Town Hall, 117 Butler Street in Bowling Green.

3/5/15, 9 a.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Lodge Creek, Meadow Creek, Moores Creek, and Schenks Branch, all in the Rivanna River/James River watershed in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. At Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, 407 East Water Street in Charlottesville.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Climate Change
2/27/15, 10 a.m.: Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission/Public Education Work Group. At the Department of Environmental Quality Central Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond. On July 1, 2014, Virginia Gov. Terry McCauliffe signed Executive Order 19, which re-convened the Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission. The Commission is to review, update, and prioritize the recommendations of the 2008 Virginia Climate Change Action Plan (available online at http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/state/state-examples/action-plans.html#va).  The group is to issue a report by June 30, 2015. For more information, see Gov. McAuliffe’s 7/1/14 news release at https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=5342.

Fort Monroe
3/5/15, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees. At 490 Fenwick Road in Fort Monroe.  On 3/12/15, 9 a.m., the Board of Trustees’ Finance Committee meets at 151 Bernard Road in Fort Monroe.  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/.

Infrastructure Construction Funding
3/2/15, 12:30 p.m.: Virginia Resources Authority (VRA) Strategic Planning Committee.   3/2/15 at 1:30 p.m.: VRA Legislative Committee. 3/2/15, 2:30 p.m.: VRA Personnel Committee. 3/2/15, 3:30 p.m.: VRA Portfolio Risk Management Committee. 3/3/15, 8:30 a.m.: VRA Budget Committee. 3/3/15, 9:30 a.m., and 3/10/15, 9 a.m.: VRA Board of Directors.  All at the VRA Office, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1920, in Richmond.

Land and Watershed Management
3/3/15, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Department of Aviation public hearing on proposed runway extension at Richmond Executive-Chesterfield County Airport. At the Chesterfield County Public Meeting Room, 1001 Iron Bridge Road in Chesterfield. According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the airport has proposed an 800-foot runway extension and associated property interest acquisition, relocation of navigational aids and fueling facilities, and removal of tree obstructions. Prior to approving the airport’s License Modification Application, the Department of Aviation must consider the environmental review conducted by the DEQ, and the DEQ also coordinates the Commonwealth’s review of documents to ensure that federal activities that can affect Virginia’s coastal resources and uses are conducted in ways that are consistent with Virginia’s Coastal Zone Management Program. The public comment period on the proposal runs 2/15/15 through 3/17/15.

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
2/27/15, 9 a.m.: DMME Review and Reconsideration Hearing for Denial of Application 1003841 (Ison Rock Ridge) by A & G Coal Corporation for a permit under Virginia’s Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations. At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap. The proposed site is located 0.8 miles West of Andover (Wise County).

State Parks
3/12/15, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation public meeting on update of the Hungry Mother State Park Master Plan. At Hungry Mother State Park, Hemlock Haven Conference Center, 2854 Park Boulevard in Marion (Smyth County).

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Feb. 23–Mar. 9, 2015

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

2/21/15, 2 p.m.: Cave Board. At Luray Caverns, U.S. Rt. 211 in Luray.

2/24/15, 9 a.m.: Board of Forestry. At 15189 Airfield Road in Wakefield.

2/24/15, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission. At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

2/26/15, 10 a.m.: Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees. At 2 Courthouse Square in Warrenton.

3/3/15, 11 a.m.: Aquaculture Advisory Board. At the Virginia Farm Bureau office in Goochland County’s West Creek Business Park, Conference Room 3F, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

3/3/15, 4:30 p.m.: Marine Products Board. At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Watermen’s Hall, 1208 Greate Road in Gloucester Point.

3/5/15, 9:30 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board. At 600 East Main Street, 24th Floor, in Richmond.

3/6/15, 10 a.m.: Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority Board. At Engineering
Hall, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions during General Assembly sessions (regular and special), see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?151+oth+MTG; use the drop-down menu on the left to pick the session of interest (current or past). Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

1/14/15 to 2/28/15 (scheduled adjournment date): Virginia General Assembly. The reconvened (“veto”) session is scheduled for April 15. Live video streams of floor sessions are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the House and http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the Senate.

Committees are key parts of the General Assembly process. Legislation about water or about activities that can affect water may be assigned to any of several standing committees, most of which meet weekly during the General Assembly session. Information about all standing committees—including membership, meeting times, and legislation being considered—is available online at http://lis.virginia.gov/151/com/COM.HTM.

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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.

3/3/15, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in South Fork Holston River, Bishop Branch, Grosses Creek, and Slemp Creek, all in the Holston River/Upper Tennessee River watershed in Smyth and Washington and Smyth counties. At Town Hall, 325 East Lee Highway in Chilhowie.

3/4/15, 2:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in the Mattaponi River and 13 tributaries, located in the York River watershed in the counties of Caroline, King and Queen, and Spotsylvania. At Bowling Green Town Hall, 117 Butler Street in Bowling Green.

3/5/15, 9 a.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Lodge Creek, Meadow Creek, Moores Creek, and Schenks Branch, all in the Rivanna River/James River watershed in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. At Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, 407 East Water Street in Charlottesville.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Air-Water Connections
2/26/15, 11 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on proposed amendments to the regulations for the control and abatement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions, and their ability to generate ground-level ozone, from operations for printing, miscellaneous solvents and adhesives, and miscellaneous metal and plastic parts (revisions C09, D09, and E09, respectively, to section 9 VAC 5-40 of the Virginia Administrative Code). At the DEQ’s Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge. The regulations concern emission of ozone. The proposed amendments appear in the Virginia Register of Regulations on January 12, 2015. The public comment period runs until 3/13/15. More information on the proposed regulations is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=3132&display=stages (printing), http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=3130&display=stages (miscellaneous solvents and adhesives, and http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=3131&display=stages (miscellaneous metal and plastic parts).

Fort Monroe
3/5/15, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees. At 490 Fenwick Road in Fort Monroe. 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/.

Infrastructure Construction Funding
2/25/15, 12 p.m., and 3/2/15, 12:30 p.m.: Virginia Resources Authority (VRA) Strategic Planning Committee.   3/2/15 at 1:30 p.m.: VRA Legislative Committee3/2/15, 2:30 p.m.: VRA Personnel Committee. 3/2/15, 3:30 p.m.: VRA Portfolio Risk Management Committee3/3/15, 8:30 a.m.: VRA Budget Committee3/3/15, 9:30 a.m.: VRA Board of Directors.  All at the VRA Office, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1920, in Richmond.

Land and Watershed Management
3/3/15, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Department of Aviation public hearing on proposed runway extension at Richmond Executive-Chesterfield County Airport. At the Chesterfield County Public Meeting Room, 1001 Iron Bridge Road in Chesterfield. According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the airport has proposed an 800-foot runway extension and associated property interest acquisition, relocation of navigational aids and fueling facilities, and removal of tree obstructions. Prior to approving the airport’s License Modification Application, the Department of Aviation must consider the environmental review conducted by the DEQ, and the DEQ also coordinates the Commonwealth’s review of documents to ensure that federal activities that can affect Virginia’s coastal resources and uses are conducted in ways that are consistent with Virginia’s Coastal Zone Management Program. The public comment period on the proposal runs 2/15/15 through 3/17/15.

Mining and Mined Land Reclamation
2/27/15, 9 a.m.: DMME Review and Reconsideration Hearing for Denial of Application 1003841 (Ison Rock Ridge) by A & G Coal Corporation for a permit under Virginia’s Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations. At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap. The proposed site is located 0.8 miles West of Andover (Wise County).

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
CANCELED
2/25/15, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit for Domestic Sewage Discharges Less Than or Equal to 1,000 Gallons Per Day.

Virginia Proposed Nonpoint Source Nutrient Credit Trading Certification Regulations Under Review in 2015; Public Hearings on 2/11/15 in Glen Allen and 2/12/15 in Roanoke

On February 11 and February 12, 2015, the Virginia State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold public hearings on proposed Nonpoint Source Nutrient Credits Regulations.  The hearing of February 11 will be t the DEQ PRO Training Room, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen; the February 12 public hearing will be held at the DEQ Blue Ridge Regional Office, 3019 Peters Creek Road in Roanoke.

According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice about the Feb. 11 meeting, the proposed regulations would establish new Nutrient Trading Certification Regulations (4 VAC 50-80-10 et seq. in the Virginia Administrative Code) to govern the certification of certain nutrient credits.  The action may also require revisions to the Stormwater Management regulations (4 VAC 50-60) related to nutrient credit use and additional off-site options for construction activities.  The public comment period runs until 3/16/15. More information on the current proposal is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=3760&display=stages.

Additional background: The 2012 Virginia General Assembly passed the Nutrient Trading Act (HB 176 and SB 77), which required the Soil and Water Conservation Board to adopt regulations related to certification of nutrient credits from non-point sources, including credits generated from agricultural and urban stormwater best management practices, incineration or management of manures, land use conversion, stream or wetlands restoration, shellfish aquaculture, algal harvesting, and other methods of nutrient control or removal. Since then, the program has been transferred to the State Water Control Board and the DEQ. More information about Virginia’s nutrient credit trading program is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/PermittingCompliance/PollutionDischargeElimination/NutrientTrading.aspx.

Draft Strategy for Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Leasing Announced by U.S. Dept. of Interior on Jan. 27, 2015; Lease Off Virginia’s Coast is Possible

On January 27, 2015, the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the draft of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022.  Release of the draft is one of the early steps in the process—repeated every five years—to set a program of leases for oil and gas exploration and development off the U.S. Atlantic, Gulf, and Alaskan coasts.

According to the Interior Department’s news release on the draft proposal, the “…proposal invites public comment on one potential lease sale late in the program for a portion of the Mid- and South Atlantic OCS, which includes areas offshore Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia [emphasis added].  … The potential lease sale would require a 50-mile coastal buffer to minimize multiple use conflicts, such as those from Department of Defense and NASA activities, renewable energy activities, commercial and recreational fishing, critical habitat needs for wildlife and other environmental concerns.”  The Atlantic OCS region includes Lease Sale 220, a 2.9-million acre off the coast of Virginia.

The Draft Proposed Program and a “Notice of Intent to Develop a Draft Environmental Impact Statement” will be available for public comment for 60 days following the publication of the documents in the Federal Register.  More information, including maps, is available online at http://www.boem.gov/Five-Year-Program/.

Source: Interior Department Announces Draft Strategy for Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing, U.S. Department of Interior News Release, 1/27/15.

Following are hyperlinked headlines to some news items that followed the January 27 announcement.
Offshore-drilling debate pits economy vs. environment, Virginian-Pilot, 2/12/15 [regarding participants in Norfolk for the Feb. 11, 2015, “open house” on offshore energy by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.]

Offshore drilling possible for Virginia?, Daily Press, 1/27/15.

Obama’s oil drilling proposal draws fire from environmentalists, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/27/15.

Ocean drilling plan excites local officials, upsets critics, Virginian-Pilot, 1/27/15.

Governor McAuliffe Statement on Interior Department’s Mid-Atlantic Offshore Plan, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 1/27/15.

Obama administration proposes offshore Atlantic drilling, Baltimore Sun, 1/27/15.

Offshore drilling proposal pleases neither side of debate, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/28/15.

Following are some other recent news items related to offshore oil and gas exploration or development:
Oceana report: Offshore wind would reap twice the energy, jobs as offshore drilling, Daily Press, 1/14/15.  The January 2015 Oceana report, “Offshore Energy by the Numbers,” is available online at http://oceana.org/publications/reports/offshore-energy-numbers.

Study: Offshore oil, gas could yield 32,000 jobs, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/17/14. The September 2014 University of Wyoming study, “Economic and Environmental Impacts of Oil and Gas Development Offshore the Delmarva, Carolinas, and Georgia,” is available here: http://www.thomasjeffersoninst.org/files/3/East%20Coast%20Energy%20Study.pdf.

Previous News Grouper items, including several on the current five-year program (2012-2017), which does not allow any activity in Lease Sale 220 off Virginia’s coastline, are available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=offshore+oil+and+gas.

Finally, two articles in 2006 in Virginia Water Central, the newsletter of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, provide historical information on the issue of offshore oil and gas in Virginia, going back at least to the 1970s:
“Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration Report,” February 2006, pp. 14-17, online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49344 (includes excerpts from Virginia’s 2006 “Study of the Possibility of Exploring for Natural Gas in the Coastal Areas of the Commonwealth”); and
“Eyes and Ayes on Off-shore Energy Exploration,” September 2006, pp. 1-4, online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49346.

Cartoon offshore energy

Cartoon by George Wills of Blacksburg, Va. (http://www.etsy.com/people/BlacksburgArt), published originally in “Offshore Gas and Oil Exploration Report,” Virginia Water Central, Feb. 2006, pp. 14-17, available online at https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/49344.

 

Expanded Climate-change Assessment in Federal Agency Environmental Reviews is Part of Proposed Guidance Issued by Council on Environmental Quality on Dec. 18, 2014; Public Comment through February 23, 2015

On December 18, 2014, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (COE) issued its “Revised Draft Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change Impacts.”

The proposal, published in the Federal Register on December 24, 2014, and open for public comment through February 23, 2015, would broaden the recommended approach for assessing potential climate-change impacts when federal agencies conduct or review Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) or Environmental Assessments (EA) under the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The 2015 proposal also would apply the NEPA climate-change assessment to all proposed federal agency actions, including land use and management actions; this would expand the applicability of a 2010 guidance that the new proposal would replace.

One example of the proposed guidance’s potential broader agency applicability is that it could require a more comprehensive climate-impact analysis of projects considered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, such as natural-gas pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping terminals.

The draft guidance document and more information are available online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/nepa/ghg-guidance, as of 1/28/15.

Additional source: White House NEPA guidance could trigger change at FERC, Greenwire, 12/19/14.

Virginia Stream Bed Ownership and Access Bills in the 2015 General Assembly

Sen. Creigh Deeds of Hot Springs (Bath County) introduced two bills into the 2015 Virginia General Assembly—SB 1266 and SB 1271—that relate to legal questions and conflicts over ownership of, and recreational access to, the beds of inland streams in Virginia, also referred to as “subaqueous lands.”  Sen. Deeds later withdrew the bills because of opposition encountered from various sides of the issue, according to Sen. Deeds General Assembly newsletter of February 6, 2015.  (Sen. Deeds’ 2015 General Assembly newsletters are available online at http://senatordeeds.com/category/virginia-general-assembly-2015.)

Following is Sen. Deeds’ explanation of the background of the bills and their basic provisions, according to his 1/23/15 General Assembly newsletter.  Sen. Deeds’ comments give a good introduction to, as he puts it, “an area of ongoing controversy” in Virginia water resources.

“An area of ongoing controversy is subaqueous lands, or river bottoms.  Under Virginia law, [in] land west of the fall line of the James River, river bottoms that were granted out by the crown prior to 1802 are the private property of the landowner.  If they were not granted out, those lands are the property of the Commonwealth.  This is an issue that has caused mountains of litigation and controversy over the years and resulted in the introduction of any number of bills that ultimately would have taken people’s property away from them.  In 2013, I asked the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to convene a work group to examine the issue and develop some alternative means of dispute resolution that protects private property rights but also encourage landowners to open up these bottomlands to canoeists and fisherman.  Those discussions generated two ideas that I brought forward via legislation this year.  The first bill, SB 1271, sets up a means for people to determine—short of going to court—and ultimately to arbitrate whether a crown grant exists. … The second bill [SB 1266] would set up a process whereby a landowner could grant an easement across subaqueous land to the benefit of the Commonwealth, and incur a tax benefit if the public is granted use. … Both bills seek to provide additional tools to those involved in this contentious issue.”

For more background on the issues of stream bed ownership and access in Virginia, please the following Virginia Water Central News Grouper post: November 2012 Update on Court Case over Stream Ownership and Access Rights on Jackson River in Alleghany County, Va.

And for a 2 min./23 sec. audio introduction to the topic, have a listen to Virginia Water Radio Episode 76 (8/22/11), “Jackson River Stream Rights Case,” online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2011/08/episode-76-august-22-2011-jackson-river.html.

Guide to Virginia Turtles, Trout Stream Restorations, Preventing Hypothermia, 2015 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide, and More Available in January 14, 2015, Outdoor Report from Va. Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries

The January 14, 2015, “Outdoor Report” from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) in now available at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/outdoor-report/2015/01/14/.

Each edition of the Outdoor Report is full of information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching, boating, and other outdoor activities.  The sections of the 1/14/15 report are listed below, with hyperlinks to go to the individual items.  (Please note: see the “Wildlife Conservation Projects Update” link for information on the Virginia turtles guide mentioned in the title of this post.)