Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Aug. 18–Sep. 7, 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.

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

8/18/15, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board. At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

8/18/15, 11 a.m.: Aquaculture Advisory Board. At the Virginia Farm Bureau office in Goochland County’s West Creek Business Park, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

8/18/15, 4:30 p.m.: Marine Products Board. At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Watermen’s Hall, 1208 Greate Road in Gloucester Point (Gloucester County).

8/20/15, 9 a.m.: Board of Game and Inland Fisheries. At 7870 Villa Park Drive in Henrico.

8/20/15, 10 a.m.: Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority. At Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Engineering East Hall, Room E3218, 401 W Main Street in Richmond.

8/25/15, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission. At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

9/1/15, 11 a.m.: Cave Board. At the Department of Conservation and Recreation main office, 600 East Main Street in Richmond

9/2/15, 10 a.m.: Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists. At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Board Room 4, 9960 Mayland Drive 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.

8/19/15, 1 p.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science. At House Room D in the General Assembly Building, 9th & Broad Streets in Richmond.

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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.

8/27/15, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in the South Fork Holston River and tributaries Bishop Branch, Grosses Creek, and Slemp Creek, all in the Holston River/Upper Tennessee River basin in Smyth and Washington counties. At Chilhowie Town Hall, 325 East Lee Highway in Chilhowie (Smyth County).

9/2/15, 3 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in the Hardware River and North Fork Hardware River, located in the James River watershed in Albemarle and Fluvanna Counties. At the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District office, 706 Forest Street in Charlottesville.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Agriculture/Forestry
8/27/15, 9 a.m.: Virginia Agricultural Council.   At the Skelton Conference Center, 901 Prices Fork Road in Blacksburg. The Virginia Agricultural Council was established by the General Assembly in 1966 to assist in financing agricultural research, education, and services. More information about the Council is available online at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/about/boards.shtml.

Biosolids (Treated Wastewater Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
8/19/15, 7 p.m.: On the permit application by Nutri-Blend, Inc., of Richmond, and Synagro Central LLC of Champlain, Va., to land-apply biosolids in Goochland County. At the Goochland Branch Library, 3075 River Road West in Goochland.

Climate Change
8/31/15, 1 p.m.: Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission. In the West Reading Room, Patrick Henry Building, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond. On July 1, 2014, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe 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 https://naturalresources.virginia.gov/media/3930/ccc_final_report-final_12152008.pdf). For more information, see Gov. McAuliffe’s 7/1/14 news release at https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=5342, or the governor’s executive order reconvening the Commission, online at https://governor.virginia.gov/media/3348/eo-19-convening-the-governors-climate-change-and-resiliency-update-commission.pdf.

Energy – Fossil Fuels/Groundwater
9/3/15, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Leaking Heating Oil Tanks Cleanup Program Stakeholder Group. At the DEQ central office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond. According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, Item 363 of the state budget passed by the 2015 Virginia General Assembly required the DEQ to “form a stakeholder working group to advise DEQ [on a review of] current guidance and policy governing the cleanup of petroleum releases. The review is expected to consider [the following]: a) if DEQ’s present guidance is being applied uniformly across regional offices; b) the adequacy of DEQ’s guidance with respect to groundwater protection regulations and DEQ’s technical regulations regarding petroleum spill remediation; and c) the appropriate deductibles for homeowners.” The DEQ is to submit a report by November 30, 2015, to the House Appropriations and Senate Finance committees. For more information about this review, contact Melissa Porterfield, (804) 698-4238 or e-mail: melissa.porterfield@deq.virginia.gov.

Groundwater
8/18/15, 1 p.m.: Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Advisory Committee. At the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen. The 2015 Virginia General Assembly passed HB 1924 and SB 1341, companion bills that established this Advisory Committee to assist the State Water Commission and the DEQ in developing, revising, and implementing a management strategy for groundwater in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area. The bills state that the Advisory Committee is to examine the following:
(i) options for developing long-term alternative water sources, including water reclamation and reuse, ground water recharge, desalination, and surface water options, including creation of storage reservoirs;
(ii) the interaction between the Department of Environmental Quality’s ground water management programs and local and regional water supply plans within the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area for purposes of determining water demand and possible solutions for meeting that demand;
(iii) potential funding options both for study and for implementation of management options;
(iv) alternative management structures, such as a water resource trading program, formation of a long-term ground water management committee, and formation of a commission;
(v) additional data needed to more fully assess aquifer health and sustainable ground water management strategies;
(vi) potential future ground water permitting criteria; and
(vii) other policies and procedures that the director of the [DEQ] determines may enhance the effectiveness of ground water management in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area.” The Committee is to provide its report by August 2017. More information about the Advisory Committee is available online at http://deq.state.va.us/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity.aspx; more information about groundwater management areas in Virginia is available online at http://www.deq.state.va.us/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/GroundwaterPermitting.aspx.

Fort Monroe
8/20/15, 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/.

State Parks
8/24/15, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation public meeting on the Claytor Lake State Park Master Plan.  At Water’s Edge Meeting Facility, 6620 Ben H. Bolen Drive in Dublin (Pulaski County).

Stormwater
8/24/15, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Stormwater Stakeholder Advisory Group. At the DEQ DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen. According to the Regulatory Town Hall notices about these meetings, the Advisory Group was “formed by the Department of Environmental Quality, at the request of the chairs of the Senate and House natural resources committees, to consider ways to streamline and clarify the Stormwater Management Act, Erosion and Sediment Control Law, and Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, while continuing to ensure the protection of the Commonwealth’s water quality. The Group [includes] representatives of local government, agriculture, the development and engineering communities, environmental organizations, and other necessary participants.”   The DEQ’s Web page for the Virginia Stormwater Management Program is http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

Waste Management – Solid Waste
8/20/15, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a draft permit modification for the Region 2000 Regional Landfill in Campbell County, regarding a new disposal area, a new liner design, and a new cap design. At Yellow Branch Elementary School, 377 Dennis Riddle Drive in Rustburg. The public comment period runs 7/19/15 to 9/4/15.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
8/25/15, 3 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit for Domestic Sewage Discharges Less Than or Equal to 1,000 Gallons per Day. At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen. The DEQ and State Water Control Board are reviewing the regulations for reissuance and possible amendment. The pertinent section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-110. The notice of intended regulatory action (NOIRA) was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on October 20, 2014, and the proposed changes appeared on July 27, 2015. The public comment period runs 7/27/15 to 9/25/15. Information about the regulation is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2092.

Informal Comment Period on Clean Power Plan Held by Va. DEQ August 13–October 13, 2015

On August 13, 2015, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced an informal comment period on how the Commonwealth should respond to the final version of the Clean Power Plan, announced by the U.S. EPA on August 3, 2015.  The comment period runs from August 13 through October 13, 2015.  Comments may be emailed to ghg@deq.virginia.gov, faxed to (804) 698-4510, or mailed DEQ Air Division, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA  23218.  DEQ notes that because there is no formal DEQ proposal available for comment at this time, and the agency will not provide a response to comments.

According to the DEQ’s 8/13/15 news release on the comment period (available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx),  the “new EPA rules may have a significant impact on the Commonwealth.  Therefore, prior to taking any formal action, DEQ is gathering general input from the public to help inform the Commonwealth’s review and implementation of EPA’s final rules for existing power plants…. In addition to receiving general input from the public, the Commonwealth is also interested in identifying and collecting input from vulnerable and overburdened communities. These communities include low-income communities, communities of color, areas where people are most vulnerable to climate change, and communities where economies may be affected by changes in the utility power and related sectors.”

For more on the Clean Power Plan, please see the August 3, 2015, News Grouper post.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Aug. 12–Aug. 31, 2105

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.

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

8/12/15, 9 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board. At the Perimeter Center, Training Rooms 1A, 1B, & 1C, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

8/12/15, 9:30 a.m.: Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Section of the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects. At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

8/18/15, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board. At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

8/18/15, 11 a.m.: Aquaculture Advisory Board. At the Virginia Farm Bureau office in Goochland County’s West Creek Business Park, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

8/18/15, 4:30 p.m.: Marine Products Board. At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Watermen’s Hall, 1208 Greate Road in Gloucester Point (Gloucester County).

8/20/15, 9 a.m.: Board of Game and Inland Fisheries. At 7870 Villa Park Drive in Henrico.

8/20/15, 10 a.m.: Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority. At Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Engineering East Hall, Room E3218, 401 W Main Street in Richmond.

8/25/15, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission. At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

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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.

8/19/15, 1 p.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science. At House Room D in the General Assembly Building, 9th & Broad Streets in Richmond.

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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.

8/13/15, 6 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in the Rapidan River and several tributaries (Beautiful Run, Blue Run, Garth Run, Marsh Run, Poplar Run, Rippin Run, and unnamed tributaries), in the Rappahannock River watershed in Albemarle, Greene, Madison, and Orange counties. At James Madison’s Montpelier, 13384 Laundry Road in Montpelier Station (Orange County).

8/27/15, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in the South Fork Holston River and tributaries Bishop Branch, Grosses Creek, and Slemp Creek, all in the Holston River/Upper Tennessee River basin in Smyth and Washington counties. At Chilhowie Town Hall, 325 East Lee Highway in Chilhowie (Smyth County).

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Agriculture/Forestry
8/27/15, 9 a.m.: Virginia Agricultural Council.   At the Skelton Conference Center, 901 Prices Fork Road in Blacksburg. The Virginia Agricultural Council was established by the General Assembly in 1966 to assist in financing agricultural research, education, and services. More information about the Council is available online at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/about/boards.shtml.

Biosolids (Treated Wastewater Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
8/19/15, 7 p.m.: On the permit application by Nutri-Blend, Inc., of Richmond, and Synagro Central LLC of Champlain, Va., to land-apply biosolids in Goochland County. At the Goochland Branch Library, 3075 River Road West in Goochland.

Climate Change
8/31/15, 1 p.m.: Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission. In the West Reading Room, Patrick Henry Building, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond. On July 1, 2014, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe 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 https://naturalresources.virginia.gov/media/3930/ccc_final_report-final_12152008.pdf). For more information, see Gov. McAuliffe’s 7/1/14 news release at https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=5342, or the governor’s executive order reconvening the Commission, online at https://governor.virginia.gov/media/3348/eo-19-convening-the-governors-climate-change-and-resiliency-update-commission.pdf.

Fort Monroe
8/20/15, 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/.

Land and Watershed Management (including Highways and Other Transportation)
8/17/15, 2 p.m.: Transportation Public-Private Partnership (P3) Advisory Committee. At the Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Central Office, 1221 East Broad Street in Richmond. According to the Virginia Legislative Information Service, the 2015 Virginia General Assembly, in House Bill 1886, established “the requirements for a finding of public interest and requires such a finding prior to an initiation of procurement [and established] the Transportation Public-Private Partnership Advisory Committee to determine by a majority vote whether a VDOT or Department of Rail and Public Transportation project meets the finding of public interest and to report such determination to the General Assembly.”

State Parks
8/24/15, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation public meeting on the Claytor Lake State Park Master Plan. At Water’s Edge Meeting Facility, 6620 Ben H. Bolen Drive in Dublin (Pulaski County).

Stormwater
8/14/15, 1:30 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Stormwater Stakeholder Advisory Group/Wordsmithing Work Group. At the DEQ Central Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond. On 8/24/15, 10 a.m., the full Advisory Group meets at the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen. According to the Regulatory Town Hall notices about these meetings, the Advisory Group was “formed by the Department of Environmental Quality, at the request of the chairs of the Senate and House natural resources committees, to consider ways to streamline and clarify the Stormwater Management Act, Erosion and Sediment Control Law, and Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, while continuing to ensure the protection of the Commonwealth’s water quality. The Group [includes] representatives of local government, agriculture, the development and engineering communities, environmental organizations, and other necessary participants.”   The DEQ’s Web page for the Virginia Stormwater Management Program is http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

Waste Management – Solid Waste
8/20/15, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a draft permit modification for the Region 2000 Regional Landfill in Campbell County, regarding a new disposal area, a new liner design, and a new cap design. At Yellow Branch Elementary School, 377 Dennis Riddle Drive in Rustburg. The public comment period runs 7/19/15 to 9/4/15.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Aug. 5–Aug. 24, 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.

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

8/7/15, 9 a.m.: Wetland Delineator Exam Committee of the Board for Professional Soil Scientists and Wetland Professionals. At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

8/10/15, 1 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board’s State Advisory Board on Air Pollution. At the Department of Environmental Quality’s Central Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond. More information on this advisory board is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/StateAdvisoryBoardonAirPollution.aspx.

8/11/15, 10 a.m.: Board of Game and Inland Fisheries’ Wildlife, Boat, and Law Enforcement Committee. At 7870 Villa Park Drive in Henrico. The full Board meets 8/20/15, 9 a.m., at the same location.

8/12/15, 9 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board. At the Perimeter Center, Training Rooms 1A, 1B, & 1C, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

8/12/15, 9:30 a.m.: Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Section of the Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects. At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

8/18/15, 11 a.m.: Aquaculture Advisory Board. At the Virginia Farm Bureau office in Goochland County’s West Creek Business Park, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

8/18/15, 4:30 p.m.: Marine Products Board. At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Watermen’s Hall, 1208 Greate Road in Gloucester Point (Gloucester County).

8/20/15, 10 a.m.: Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority. At Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Engineering East Hall, Room E3218, 401 W Main 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.

8/19/15, 1 p.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science. At House Room D in the General Assembly Building, 9th & Broad Streets in Richmond.

*          *          *

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.

8/11/15, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life impairments in Bull Creek and its tributaries Belcher Branch, Convict Hollow, Cove Hollow, and Deel Fork, all in the Levisa Fork/Big Sandy river watershed in Buchanan County. At Riverview Elementary/Middle School, 27382 Riverside Drive in Grundy.

8/13/15, 6 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in the Rapidan River and several tributaries (Beautiful Run, Blue Run, Marsh Run, Poplar Run, Rippin Run, and unnamed tributaries), in the Rappahannock River watershed in Albemarle, Greene, Madison, and Orange counties. At James Madison’s Montpelier, 13384 Laundry Road in Montpelier Station (Orange County).

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Fort Monroe
8/13/15, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees Finance Committee. At Building 83, 20 Ingalls 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/.

Land and Watershed Management (including Highways and Other Transportation)
8/11/15, 11 a.m.: Department of Taxation’s Land Evaluation Advisory Council. At the Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources in Charlottesville. According to the Virginia Code, Sec. 58.1-3829, the “Advisory Council shall determine and publish a range of suggested values for each of the several soil conservation service land capability classifications for agricultural, horticultural, forest and open space uses in the various areas of the Commonwealth….” Those values are used in assessing properties that qualify for use-value taxation in those land classifications.

8/17/15, 2 p.m.: Transportation Public-Private Partnership (P3) Advisory Committee. At the Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Central Office, 1221 East Broad Street in Richmond. According to the Virginia Legislative Information Service, the 2015 Virginia General Assembly, in House Bill 1886, established “the requirements for a finding of public interest and requires such a finding prior to an initiation of procurement [and established] the Transportation Public-Private Partnership Advisory Committee to determine by a majority vote whether a VDOT or Department of Rail and Public Transportation project meets the finding of public interest and to report such determination to the General Assembly.”

Mining/Mined Land Reclamation
8/5/15, 10 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) informal conference to receive comments regarding the wastewater-discharge (NPDES, or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems) permit-renewal application by Paramount Coal Company Virginia LLC (application 1009492). At Haysi Town Hall, 332 Main Street in Haysi (Dickenson County). The proposed permit area is located 1.8 miles northeast of Haysi on Route 608 in Dickenson County, in the Russell Fork/Big Sandy River watershed.

State Parks
8/24/15, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation public meeting on the Claytor Lake State Park Master Plan. At Water’s Edge Meeting Facility, 6620 Ben H. Bolen Drive in Dublin (Pulaski County).

Stormwater
8/7/15, 8:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Stormwater Stakeholder Advisory Group/Enforcement Work Group. At the DEQ’s Central Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond. The full Advisory Group meets 8/24/15, 10 a.m., at the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen. According to the Regulatory Town Hall notices about these meetings, the Advisory Committee was “formed by the Department of Environmental Quality, at the request of the chairs of the Senate and House natural resources committees, to consider ways to streamline and clarify the Stormwater Management Act, Erosion and Sediment Control Law, and Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, while continuing to ensure the protection of the Commonwealth’s water quality. The Group [includes] representatives of local government, agriculture, the development and engineering communities, environmental organizations, and other necessary participants.”   The DEQ’s Web page for the Virginia Stormwater Management Program is http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

Waste Management – Solid Waste
8/20/15, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a draft permit modification for the Region 2000 Regional Landfill in Campbell County, regarding a new disposal area, a new liner design, and a new cap design. At Yellow Branch Elementary School, 377 Dennis Riddle Drive in Rustburg. The public comment period runs 7/19/15 to 9/4/15.

Final Version of “Clean Power Plan” Announced by President Obama and the U.S. EPA on August 3, 2015; Carbon Emissions from Existing Power Plants to be Reduced by 32% Nationwide; States Have Individually Set Reduction Targets

On August 3, 2015, President Obama announced the final version of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power plan, the agency’s regulation to require existing power plants to reduce their emission of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds (often referred to as “greenhouse gases”) that contribute to global warming and climate change.

The regulation was first announced by the EPA on June 2, 2014, and was published in the June 18, 2014, Federal Register, starting  on page 34829; the Web site for searching the Federal Register is https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/search.  From that publication date, the proposed regulation had an initial 120-day public-comment period, until October 16, 2014, but the agency extended the public-comment deadline until December 1, 2014.

The final version differs from the proposed rule in several ways, including setting an overall nationwide carbon-emissions reduction target (compared to 2005 levels) of 32 percent by 2030, compared to the proposed rule’s 30 percent; changing some individual state emissions-reduction percentages that were in the 2014 proposal (Virginia’s reduction target was lower in the final version than it had been in the proposed version); allowing two additional years for states to submit implementation plans (2018 instead of 2016) and for the compliance period to start (2022 instead of 2020); increasing the 2030 target for electricity generated nationwide by renewable sources from 22 percent to 28 percent; and offering incentives to states that achieve accomplish renewable-energy or low-income energy-efficiency actions before the deadline.  States will be allowed to choose from a mix of emissions-reductions options, including using different fuels, energy efficiency, reducing demand, and trading carbon-reduction credits with other states.  EPA asserts that practices to reduce carbon emissions will have “co-benefit” of reducing missions of particles, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide, substances that have impacts on human health (such as asthma) and on water resources when they are deposited into water bodies.

The regulation on existing power plants follows EPA’s release in September 2013 (January 2014 publication in the Federal Register) of a proposed rule on carbon emissions from new power-generating sources; the public-comment period for that proposal ended May 9, 2014 (extended from the original deadline of January 8, 2014).  According to the EPA’s Web site, “2013 Proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants” (online at http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan/2013-proposed-carbon-pollution-standard-new-power-plants), the agency also expects to issue the final version of the new-source rule in summer 2015.

The regulatory actions on new and existing plants both come under Section 111 of the federal Clean Air Act.  Information from the EPA on the agency’s overall program on carbon emissions is available online at http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/what-epa-doing#overview.  The EPA actions are part of the federal government’s response to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, announced on June 25, 2013.  White House information on that plan is available online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/climate-action-plan.

On August 13, 2015, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced an informal comment period on how the Commonwealth should respond to the Clean Power Plan, to run from August 13 through October 13, 2015.   According to the DEQ’s 8/13/15 news release on the comment period (available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx), the “new EPA rules may have a significant impact on the Commonwealth.  Therefore, prior to taking any formal action, DEQ is gathering general input from the public to help inform the Commonwealth’s review and implementation of EPA’s final rules for existing power plants…. In addition to receiving general input from the public, the Commonwealth is also interested in identifying and collecting input from vulnerable and overburdened communities. These communities include low-income communities, communities of color, areas where people are most vulnerable to climate change, and communities where economies may be affected by changes in the utility power and related sectors.”  Comments may be emailed to ghg@deq.virginia.gov, faxed to (804) 698-4510, or mailed DEQ Air Division, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA  23218.  DEQ notes that because there is no formal DEQ proposal available for comment at this time, and the agency will not provide a response to comments.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION 

A 37-minute video of the 8/3/15 announcement is available online at https://youtu.be/RQ6N8zN3RCA; skip to about 3 min/42 seconds to see EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy; the president’s remarks start at about 7 min/45 seconds.

U.S. EPA’s 8/3/15 news release on the final rule: Fact Sheet: President Obama to Announce Historic Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants.

U.S. EPA’s 6/2/14 news release on proposed  Clean Power Plan rule: EPA Proposes First Guidelines to Cut Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants.

U.S. EPA’s Web site on the Clean Power  Plan: http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplan.

U.S. EPA state-by-state information for the final version, as of 8/3/15: http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplantoolbox/clean-power-plan-state-specific-fact-sheets.

E&E Publishing’s “Clean Power Plan Hub,” available online at http://www.eenews.net/interactive/clean_power_plan.  At that site, users can click on any U.S. state to access information about that state’s requirements.

An interactive map of power-generating plants in the mid-Atlantic region (including Virginia)—allowing users to click on a location to see emissions of carbon dioxide and gases—available from the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/globclimate/r3pplants.html.

A July 2014 report assessing what large electric-utility companies were already doing (at that time) in the areas of energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources is available online at http://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/benchmarking-utility-clean-energy-deployment-2014.

Commonwealth of Virginia comments submitted 11/14/14 to EPA on the draft regulation: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Air/Planning/vacommentstoepa.pdf (16 pages).

RELATED MEDIA ARTICLES
(Items are listed from most recent to oldest; hyperlinks were functional when they were added to this post, but they may not necessarily always be.)

Prior to 8/3/15 final rule:

Energy rules have Virginia weighing new nuclear reactor at North Anna, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/5/15.

Virginia, Coal Country for Centuries, Now Embraces Carbon Regulations, Inside Climate News, 6/16/15.

Virginia weighs joining [regional] carbon market under EPA rules, Washington Examiner, 5/12/15.

Since 8/3/15 final rule:

Climate change: Obama unveils Clean Power Plan, BBC News, 8/3/15.

U.S. Unveils Strengthened Clean Power Plan to Combat Climate Change, Climate Wire, as published by Scientific American, 8/3/15.

Obama unveils major climate change proposal, CNN, 8/3/15.

Virginia reacts to EPA’s Clean Power Plan, [Newport News] Daily Press, 8/3/15.

U.S. plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions eases the requirement for Virginia, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8/3/15.

Obama Announces Rule to Cut Carbon Emissions From Power Plants; Final regulation calls for 32% cut in emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels, Wall Street Journal, 8/3/15.

Will new clean power regulations stand up to challenges?, (15 min./44 sec. video, with online transcript), PBS NewsHour, 8/3/15.

Proposed Rule on Stream Impacts from Coal Mining Announced by U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on July 16, 2015; Public Comment Period Ends September 25, 2015.

On July 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) announced the “Stream Protection Rule,” a proposed regulation governing what coal-mining operations must do to reduce impacts on streams from surface mining and from underground mining that has surface impacts.  OSMRE’s Web site on the proposed rule is at http://www.osmre.gov/programs/rcm/streamprotectionrule.shtm; a link to the text of the proposed rule is available there.

The proposed rule, along with OSMRE’s draft environmental impact statement and draft regulatory impact analysis, was published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2015, pages 44436 through 44698; the section is available online (as a PDF) at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-27/pdf/2015-17308.pdfFederal Register publication started a 60-day public comment period, ending September 25, 2015.   Starting in September 2015, OSMRE will hold public hearings on the proposed rule in Charleston, W. Va.; Denver; Lexington, Ky.; Pittsburgh; and St. Louis.

The proposed rule is the latest in a series of regulatory and litigation developments since the 1977 passage of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.  Some of those developments that led to the current proposal were the following:
*1983 OSMRE rule requiring a 100-foot buffer zone along streams;
*2008 OSMRE Stream Buffer Zone Rule allowing deposition of mining materials within the 100-foot zone, with certain requirements for reducing impacts;
*2009 Memorandum of Understanding among the Interior Department, U.S. EPA, and Army Corps of Engineers on reducing stream impacts of coal mining, simultaneously starting OSMRE’s process to develop the current proposed regulation; and
*February 2014 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacating OSMRE’s 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule and reinstating the 1983 buffer zone.

According to the OSMRE Web site (as of 7/21/15), the newly proposed rule, running to 1238 pages in its pre-publication form, is intended to do the following:
*“Define ‘material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area,’ and require that each permit specify the point at which adverse mining-related impacts on groundwater and surface water would reach that level of damage.” *“Require mine operators to collect adequate pre-mining data about the site of the proposed mining operation and adjacent areas to establish an adequate baseline for evaluation of the impacts of mining and the effectiveness of reclamation.”
*“Adjust monitoring requirements to enable timely detection and correction of any adverse trends in the quality or quantity of surface water and groundwater or the biological condition of streams.”
*“Ensure protection or restoration of perennial and intermittent streams and related resources, ensure that mine operators and regulatory authorities make use of the most current science and technology, and ensure that land disturbed by mining operations is restored to a condition capable of supporting the uses that it was capable of supporting prior to mining.”

The proposal also addresses bonding on mining companies to set aside money for required restoration activities.  According to the draft rule (p. 446), the proposal would “[add] provisions for the use of financial assurances to guarantee treatment of long-term discharges, [modify] the provisions governing alternative bonding systems, and [add] more specific criteria and procedures to the provisions governing bond release.”

The proposed rule’s announcement raised immediate objections from the National Mining Association, some elected officials from mining states like West Virginia, and others about its potential economic impacts.  On the other hand, some environmental organizations criticized the proposal for allowing some variance, under certain conditions, from the 100-foot buffer requirement established in 1983; those conditions are described in the proposed rule on p.364 (part of the section entitled, “What additional requirements apply to proposed activities in, through, or adjacent to streams?”).

Additional sources for this post and for more information:
Interior Department Unveils Proposed Stream Protection Rule to Safeguard Communities from Coal Mining Operations, U.S. Department of Interior News Release, 7/16/15.

National Mining Association Calls on Congress to Block OSM’s Costly, Unnecessary Stream Rule
, National Mining Association News Release, 7/16/15.

Interior unveils rule aimed at protecting streams from mining
, and Industry vows to fight ‘needless and conflicting’ stream rule, both from Greenwire, E&E Publishing, 7/16/15 (subscription required for access).

Triennial Review of Virginia’s Water-quality Standards in Public Comment Period June 29–August 28, 2015; Public Meeting on July 29

From June 29–August 28, 2015, Virginia is accepting public comments on proposed changes to the Commonwealth’s water-quality standards, as part of the triennial review of those standards (9 VAC 25-260 in the Virginia Administrative Code).  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. On July 29, 2015, 2 p.m., at the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen, the State Water Control Board and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public meeting on proposed changes from the current review, which were published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on June 29, 2015.

More information on the proposed changes resulting from this review is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewStage.cfm?stageid=6925.  Following is the DEQ’s brief summary of the proposed changes, from the Agency Background Document (or Agency Statement) available at that Web site:
“Among the most notable changes to the water quality standards are amendments to modify the ammonia criteria for the protection of freshwater aquatic life. There are also amendments modifying aquatic life criteria for 3 toxic parameters, addition of aquatic life criteria for 2 new parameters, modification of human health criteria for 8 parameters, and deletion of a public water supply parameter for taste and odor (manganese). There are changes in many other sections of the regulation during this review that include updates to the reservoir nutrient criteria section, addition of 2 site specific temperature criteria, updates to stream classifications in the river basin section tables, deletions of language that is no longer needed, and miscellaneous updates and clarifications.”

More information from the DEQ on the Commonwealth’s water-quality standards is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityStandards.aspx.