Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Jan. 18-Feb. 1, 2017; Including 2017 Virginia General Assembly Information

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

1/18/17, 3 p.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals/Education and Training Committee.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  The full board meets 1/19/17, 9 a.m., at the same location.

1/24/17, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

1/26/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro, 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

1/27/17, 10 a.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation.  At 600 East Main Street in Richmond.

1/30/17, 11 a.m.: 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.

*          *          *

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.

1/11/17—2/25/17, Richmond: Virginia General Assembly.  The 2017 General Assembly convenes on January 11 and is scheduled for 46 days; this is a so-called “short session,” which is held in all odd-numbered years.  (Sixty-day “long sessions” are scheduled for each even-numbered year.)  The reconvened (“veto”) session is scheduled for April 5.  During long sessions, the Commonwealth’s budget for the upcoming two years is set; amendments to the current biennial budget may be considered both in long and short sessions.  In some years, sessions are extended beyond the scheduled length, particularly for budget discussions (any session may be extended for up to 30 days).  The General Assembly’s main Web page is http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php; at that site, click on the “Members and Sessions” for session calendars.  The House of Delegates meeting schedule is available at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/schedule/meetingSchedule.php; live video streams of floor sessions from the House are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.  The Senate meeting schedule and the floor sessions’ live video stream are available at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.

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.  Two committees that receive many water-related bills are the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m., in House Room C of the General Assembly Building; and the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Thursdays, one-half hour after adjournment of the day’s floor session, in Senate Room B of the General Assembly Building.  The General Assembly Building is located at 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

The main committees involved in the budget process are the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.  The House Appropriations Committee meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1/2 hour after adjournment, in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room of the General Assembly Building.  The Senate Finance Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., in Senate Room B of the General Assembly Building.

Other relevant committee meetings for this period:

1/23/17, 10 a.m.: House Science and Technology Committee.  House Room C, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

Relevant subcommittee meetings for this period:

1/18/17, immediately after adjournment of House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee (ACNR), which meets this week at 9 a.m.: ACNR’s Chesapeake Subcommittee.  House Room C, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/18/17, 3 p.m.: House Appropriations Committee/Agriculture, Commerce, Technology and Natural Resources Subcommittee.  9th Floor Appropriations Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/18/17, 4 p.m.: House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources/Natural Resources Subcommittee.  8th Floor West Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/19/17, 4 p.m.: House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources/Chesapeake Subcommittee.  5th Floor East Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/25/17, 3 p.m.: House Appropriations Committee/Agriculture, Commerce, Technology and Natural Resources Subcommittee.  9th Floor Appropriations Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/25/17, 4 p.m.: House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources/Natural Resources Subcommittee.  8th Floor West Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/26/17, 4 p.m.: House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources/Chesapeake Subcommittee.  5th Floor East Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/31/17, 7:30 a.m.: Senate Finance Committee/Economic Development and Natural Resources Subcommittee.  10th Floor Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

Natural resource-related caucus meetings for this period:

1/19/17, 7 a.m.: Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.  6th Floor Speaker’s Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/23/17, 4:30 p.m.: Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus.  4th Floor West Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/23/17, 8 a.m.: Bio Science Caucus.  4th Floor West Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/26/17, 7 a.m.: Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.  6th Floor Speaker’s Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street 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.

1/19/17, 1:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) impairment in the New River (including parts of Claytor Lake) and tributaries Reed Creek, Stony Creek and Walker Creek, located in the Ohio River basin in Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Wythe counties and the City of Radford.  At the Radford Public Library, 30 West Main Street in Radford.

1/19/17, 6:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in several tributaries to the Kerr Reservoir (Allen Creek, unnamed tributary to Allen Creek, Bluestone Creek, Little Bluestone Creek, Cotton Creek, Kettles Creek, Layton Creek, Lizard Creek, Smith Creek), located in the Roanoke (Staunton) River watershed in Brunswick, Charlotte, and Mecklenburg counties.  At Council Chambers, 461 Madison Street in Boydton (Mecklenburg County).

1/30/17, 10 a.m., and 1/30/17, 1 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) outreach meetings on Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, published in December 2010.  At the DEQ Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge (Prince William County).  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for these meetings, “the DEQ will be conducting outreach sessions regarding the next phase of Virginia’s efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.  At [these] sessions, information will be provided on the status of on-going efforts to clean up the Bay, improvements in Bay water quality, expectations and roles for the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan, and timelines.” The 10 a.m. meeting will have information for localities that administer municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) and the 1 p.m. meeting will have information for localities that do not administer MS4s.

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Biosolids (Treated Sewage Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
1/26/17, 6 p.m.: On the permit-modification application by Recyc Systems, Inc., of Remington, Va., to land-apply biosolids to 2455 acres in Fauquier County.  At the John Barton Payne Community Room, 2 Courthouse Square in Warrenton.

Energy – Coal Ash Management
1/25/17, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) informational meeting concerning the solid-waste permitting processes associated with the closure of the AEP/Appalachian Power Company—Clinch River Power Station coal ash ponds.  At the Russell County Conference Center, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “an Information Session will be held to discuss the solid waste permitting process associated with the closure of the Appalachian Power Company coal combustion residuals (CCR) surface impoundment at the Clinch River Power Station in Carbo, Virginia, pursuant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final rule that regulates the disposal of CCR.  DEQ staff will be available to answer questions during the information session associated with the closure of a surface impoundment, Ash Pond 1, at the Clinch River Power Station pursuant to a U.S. EPA final rule that regulates the disposal of CCR.  This meeting is not part of the required public participation process for the solid waste permitting actions associated with the closure.  This meeting is intended to supplement those processes and allow the public an opportunity to ask DEQ questions. Questions and comments made during this information session will not be part of the official public comment record.”

1/26/17, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) informational meeting concerning the solid-waste permitting processes associated with the closure of the Dominion Virginia Power—Possum Point Power Station coal ash ponds in Prince William County.  At Potomac Senior High School, 3401 Panther Pride Drive in Dumfries.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “DEQ staff will be available to answer questions during an information session concerning the solid waste permitting process associated with the closure of the CCR [coal-combustion residuals] surface impoundments at Dominion Virginia Power–Possum Point Power Station pursuant to a U.S. EPA final rule that regulates the disposal of CCR and the Virginia Solid Waste Management Regulations.  This meeting is not part of the required public participation process for the solid waste permitting action.  This meeting is intended to supplement that process and allow the public an opportunity to ask DEQ questions.  Questions and comments made during this information session will not be part of the official public comment record.”

Ports
1/23/17, 2 p.m.: Virginia Port Authority Growth and Operations Committee.  At 3:45 p.m. on the same day: Finance and Audit Committee.  At 5 p.m. the same day: Executive Committee.  On 1/24/17, 9 a.m.: Board of Commissioners.  All at 600 World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

Scenic Rivers
1/19/17, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At City Hall in Richmond.

Stormwater
1/20/17, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on the general permit for stormwater discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  This technical advisory committee was established to assist in the development of amendments and the reissuance of the General Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (VPDES) Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.  The pertinent part of the Virginia Administrative Code is Section 9 VAC 25-890 (formerly Part XV, Sect. 4 VAC 50-60).  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on July 11, 2016.  More information about this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2870.  The DEQ’s Web site for the Virginia Stormwater Management Program is http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Jan. 12-25, 2017, Including 2017 Virginia General Assembly Information

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

1/12/17, 1 p.m.: Board of Forestry.  At 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.

1/17/17, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board.  At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

1/18/17, 3 p.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals/Education and Training Committee.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  The full board meets 1/19/17, 9 a.m., at the same location.

1/19/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro
2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

1/24/17, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

*          *          *

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.

1/11/17—2/25/17, Richmond: Virginia General Assembly.  The 2017 General Assembly convenes on January 11 and is scheduled for 46 days; this is a so-called “short session,” which is held in all odd-numbered years.  (Sixty-day “long sessions” are scheduled for each even-numbered year.)  The reconvened (“veto”) session is scheduled for April 5.  During long sessions, the Commonwealth’s budget for the upcoming two years is set; amendments to the current biennial budget may be considered both in long and short sessions.  In some years, sessions are extended beyond the scheduled length, particularly for budget discussions (any session may be extended for up to 30 days).  The General Assembly’s main Web page is http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php; at that site, click on the “Members and Sessions” for session calendars.  The House of Delegates meeting schedule is available at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/schedule/meetingSchedule.php; live video streams of floor sessions from the House are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.  The Senate meeting schedule and the floor sessions’ live video stream are available at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.

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.  Two committees that receive many water-related bills are the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m., in House Room C of the General Assembly Building; and the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Thursdays, one-half hour after adjournment of the day’s floor session, in Senate Room B of the General Assembly Building.  The General Assembly Building is located at 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

The main committees involved in the budget process are the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.  The House Appropriations Committee meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1/2 hour after adjournment, in the 9th Floor Appropriations Room of the General Assembly Building.  The Senate Finance Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., in Senate Room B of the General Assembly Building.

Other relevant committee meetings for this period:

1/16/17, 10 a.m.: House Science and Technology Committee.  House Room C, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

Relevant subcommittee meetings for this period:

1/16/17, 4:30 p.m.; 1/18/17, 4 p.m.: House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources/Natural Resources Subcommittee.  87h Floor West Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/18/17, 3 p.m.: House Appropriations Committee/Agriculture, Commerce, Technology and Natural Resources Subcommittee.  9th Floor Appropriations Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/19/17, 4 p.m.: House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources/Chesapeake Subcommittee.  5th Floor East Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

Natural resource-related caucus meetings for this period:

1/12/17, 7 a.m.; 1/19/17, 7 a.m.: Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.  6th Floor Speaker’s Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

1/16/17, 4:30 p.m.: Virginia Environment and Renewable Energy Caucus.  4th Floor West Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street 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.

1/12/17, 3 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial and aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Woods Creek, located in the Maury River/James River basin in Rockbridge County and the City of Lexington.  At Washington and Lee University’s Meeting Room (the old Lexington courthouse), 2 South Main Street in Lexington.

1/19/17, 1:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) impairment in the New River (including parts of Claytor Lake) and tributaries Reed Creek, Stony Creek and Walker Creek, located in the Ohio River basin in Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski, and Wythe counties and the City of Radford.  At the Radford Public Library, 30 West Main Street in Radford.

1/19/17, 6:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of bacterial impairments in several tributaries to the Kerr Reservoir (Allen Creek, unnamed tributary to Allen Creek, Bluestone Creek, Little Bluestone Creek, Cotton Creek, Kettles Creek, Layton Creek, Lizard Creek, Smith Creek), located in the Roanoke (Staunton) River watershed in Brunswick, Charlotte, and Mecklenburg counties.  At Council Chambers, 461 Madison Street in Boydton (Mecklenburg County).

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Agriculture/Forestry
1/12/17, 10 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) Engineering Workgroup.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.

1/17/17, 9:30 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) Cost-share Program Technical Advisory Committee.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.

Energy – Coal Ash Management
1/25/17, 7 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) informational meeting concerning the solid-waste permitting processes associated with the closure of the AEP/Appalachian Power Company—Clinch River Power Station coal ash ponds.  At the Russell County Conference Center, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “an Information Session will be held to discuss the solid waste permitting process associated with the closure of the Appalachian Power Company coal combustion residuals (CCR) surface impoundment at the Clinch River Power Station in Carbo, Virginia, pursuant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final rule that regulates the disposal of CCR.  DEQ staff will be available to answer questions during the information session associated with the closure of a surface impoundment, Ash Pond 1, at the Clinch River Power Station pursuant to a U.S. EPA final rule that regulates the disposal of CCR.  This meeting is not part of the required public participation process for the solid waste permitting actions associated with the closure.  This meeting is intended to supplement those processes and allow the public an opportunity to ask DEQ questions. Questions and comments made during this information session will not be part of the official public comment record.”

Ports
1/23/17, 2 p.m.: Virginia Port Authority Growth and Operations Committee.  At 3:45 p.m. on the same day: Finance and Audit Committee.  At 5 p.m. the same day: Executive Committee.  On 1/24/17, 9 a.m.: Board of Commissioners.  All at 600 World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

Stormwater
1/20/17, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on the general permit for stormwater discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  This technical advisory committee was established to assist in the development of amendments and the reissuance of the General Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (VPDES) Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.  The pertinent part of the Virginia Administrative Code is Section 9 VAC 25-890 (formerly Part XV, Sect. 4 VAC 50-60).  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on July 11, 2016.  More information about this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2870.  The DEQ’s Web site for the Virginia Stormwater Management Program is http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

Chesapeake Bay Commission to Meet January 5-6, 2017, in Annapolis, Md.

The Chesapeake Bay Commission will meet January 5-6, 2017, at Loews Annapolis Hotel, 126 West Street in Annapolis, Md.  The agenda is available online (as a PDF) http://lis.virginia.gov/171/oth/Agenda.CBC.0105-0617.pdf.

According to the “Mission” link at Commission’s Web site, http://www.chesbay.us/index.htm, the Commission “is a tri-state legislative commission created in 1980 to advise the members of the General Assemblies of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania on matters of Bay-wide concern.  The commission serves as the legislative arm of the multi-jurisdictional Chesapeake Bay Program (http://www.chesapeakebay.net/), and acts in an advisory capacity to [the states’] General Assemblies.”  The commission has 21 members, including 15 from the legislatures of the three states, the three state natural-resource cabinet secretaries, and three citizen representatives.

530-pm-sunset-light-one-used-grouper-12-21-16

Ship on Chesapeake Bay, viewed from Kent Island, Md., looking toward Annapolis, February 25, 2011.

 

Virginia State Water Commission Meeting on November 30, 2016, in Richmond; Focus on JLARC’s October 2016 Report, “Effectiveness of Virginia’s Water Resource Planning and Management”; Virginia Water Radio Episode and Full-meeting Audio Available

The Virginia State Water Commission met November 30, 2016, at 10 a.m., in House Room C of the General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.  More information on the meeting is available online at http://studies.virginiageneralassembly.gov/meetings/409, or from the Virginia House of Delegates’ Clerk’s Office/Committee Operations, phone (804) 698-1540.

A Virginia Water Radio episode about the State Water Commission based on audio from the Nov. 30 meeting is available at this link (4 min./34 sec.).  An audio recording of the full Nov. 30 Commission meeting is available at this link (1 hr./47 min./15 sec.).

The focus of the Nov. 30 meeting was a discussion of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission’s (JLARC) October 2016 report, “Effectiveness of Virginia’s Water Resource Planning and Management,” October 2016 (114 pages), available online at http://jlarc.virginia.gov/landing-water.asp.  Slides from the presentation given at the Nov. 30 meeting by Jamie Bitz, chief legislative analyst at JLARC, are available at this PDF link.

According to the Division of Legislative Service’s Web page on the Commission, at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions/swc.htm, the Virginia General Assembly created the Commission to “study all aspects of water supply and allocation problems in the Commonwealth, whether these problems are of a quantitative or qualitative nature; and coordinate the legislative recommendations of all other state entities having responsibilities with respect to water supply and allocation issues.”  The Commission includes mostly members of the General Assembly plus two citizens.

The current members of the Commission are as follows:
Del. Thomas C. Wright, Jr., Chair
Del. David L. Bulova
Del. T. Scott Garrett
Del. Barry D. Knight
Del. Daniel W. Marshall, III
Del. John M. O’Bannon, III
Del. Luke E. Torian
Del. R. Lee Ware, Jr.
Sen. Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr.
Sen. Frank M. Ruff, Jr.
Sen. William M. Stanley, Jr.
Sen. Richard H. Stuart
Sen. Frank W. Wagner
Mr. Lamont W. Curtis
Mr. Richard A. Street

$50-million Proposed Settlement Announced Dec. 15, 2016, for Decades-old Mercury Contamination of South River from DuPont Facility in Waynesboro

On December 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Commonwealth of Virginia jointly announced a $50-million proposed consent decree, or settlement, with DuPont over the company’s release of mercury into the South River in the 1930s and 1940s from a chemical factory in Waynesboro.  The amount of the proposed settlement is the largest ever in Virginia for natural resources impacts.  The South River is a tributary of the South Fork Shenandoah River, in the Shenandoah/Potomac/Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The proposed settlement was submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, will undergo a 45-day public comment period following notification in the Federal Register, and is subject to final approval by the court.  The settlement is available online at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decree/us-et-al-v-ei-du-pont-de-nemours-and-company.

south-river-foreground-joining-north-river-at-port-republic-dec16-09-2-used-grouper-12-16-16

South River (foreground) confluence with North River at Port Republic, Va. (Rockingham County), to form the South Fork Shenandoah River, Dec. 16, 2009.  This confluence is about 25 river miles downstream (north) of Waynesboro.

Following is an excerpt from the news release of the settlement,  Public and Environment to Benefit from $50 Million Proposed Settlement for Natural Resources Harmed by Virginia Dupont Facility; Officials Announce Largest Natural Resource Damage Settlement in Virginia’s History, U.S. Department of Justice, 12/15/16:

“The Departments of Justice and the Interior joined with the Commonwealth of Virginia today to announce a proposed settlement with DuPont valued at approximately $50 million to resolve claims stemming from the release of mercury from the former E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) facility in Waynesboro, Virginia.  Over 100 miles of river and associated floodplain have been contaminated by mercury in the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River watershed.

“In addition to a cash payment of just over $42 million, DuPont will fund the design and implementation of significant renovations at the Front Royal Fish Hatchery, estimated to cost up to $10 million. ….

“DuPont will provide the funds to government natural resource trustees, who will oversee the implementation of projects compensating the public for the natural resource injuries and associated losses in ecological and recreational services, such as fishing access.

“The trustees, through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Commonwealth of Virginia, invite feedback on actions to restore the river and wildlife habitat and improve public lands and recreational resources.  A draft restoration plan and environmental assessment (RP/EA) was also released today for a 45-day public comment period.  The plan results from stakeholder meetings beginning in 2008 to determine how best to compensate the public for the injured natural resources and their uses. …

“Since 2005, DuPont and the trustees have worked cooperatively to assess and identify potential restoration projects to benefit natural resources affected by mercury releases from the DuPont facility.  Over 100 miles of river and thousands of acres of floodplain and riparian habitat were impacted from the mercury.  Some of the assessed and impacted natural resources include fish, migratory songbirds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.  Recreational fishing opportunities were also impacted from the mercury. …

“Mercury released into the South River from the DuPont facility in the 1930s and 1940s continues to persist in the environment. Monitoring data collected over the last 20 years indicates that mercury levels remain stable, with no clear decreases over time.  Federal law seeks to make the environment and public whole for injuries to natural resources and ecological and recreational services resulting from a release of hazardous substances to the environment.

“The trustees evaluated a range of restoration alternatives and have ultimately proposed a preferred restoration alternative that includes projects that best meet the requirement that restoration efforts specifically focus on the injured resources.  Proposed projects include [the following]:

*land protection, property acquisition, improvements to recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat restoration;
*improvements to water quality and fish habitat through activities such as streamside plantings and erosion control, as well as stormwater pond improvements;
*mussel propagation and restoration to improve water quality, stabilize sediment and enhance stream bottom structure;
*Front Royal Fish Hatchery (in Warren County, Va.) renovations to improve production of warm-water fish such as smallmouth bass;
*recreational fishing access creation or improvement;
*migratory songbird habitat restoration and protection.

“The draft RP/EA outlines these proposed projects, as well as other restoration alternatives and an evaluation of injuries to the natural resources. It is available online, along with other information on the process, at www.fws.gov/northeast/virginiafield/news/news.html.

“The trustees will host a public meeting to summarize key components of the draft restoration plan and answer questions.  The public meeting will be held on Jan. 10, 2017, at the Waynesboro Public Library lower level meeting room from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM.  The library is located at 600 S. Wayne Avenue, Waynesboro, Virginia, 22980.  Following the comment period, the trustees will review and consider comments and prepare the final RP/EA.  Ultimately, the trustees will work with project partners such as local, state, and federal agencies; nonprofit organizations; and landowners to implement the projects.”

Additional sources:
DuPont agrees to pay $50M in record-setting settlement for river contamination near Waynesboro, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/15/16.
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “South River,” online at https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/waterbody/south-river/.

Additional news accounts of the settlement (most recent listed first):
People in Waynesboro Learn About Environmental Draft Restoration Plan, WVIR TV-Charlottesville, 1/10/17.

Community gets first look at Dupont draft restoration plans, WHSV TV-Harrisonburg, 1/10/17.

Public comment curbed at DuPont meeting, Waynesboro News Virginian, 1/10/17.

W&M aided in $50M DuPont draft settlement over mercury contamination, Daily Press, 12/20/16.  [“Years of research by a College of William and Mary ornithologist into toxic mercury’s effects on birds is a key component of a historic $50 million proposed environmental settlement announced last week between state and federal officials and the chemical giant DuPont.”]

Waynesboro Taking Next Steps in DuPont Settlement, WVIR TV-Charlottesville, 12/20/16.

DuPont agrees to pay $50 million to restore contaminated Virginia rivers, Bay Journal, 12/15/16.

DuPont agrees to $50 million settlement for South River mercury contamination, Waynesboro News Virginian, 12/15/16.

DuPont agrees to $50 million deal to clean up mercury pollution from Va. plant, Washington Post, 12/15/16.

 

 

 

Request for Wetland Mitigation Proposals in Roanoke River Basin in Virginia – Deadline to Submit Proposals is March 10, 2017

Through March 10, 2017, The Nature Conservancy is soliciting proposals for wetlands mitigation in the Roanoke River basin in Virginia.  Information about the solicitation is available online at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/vartf-roanoke-wetland-mitigation.xml.

According to the announcement at that site, “The purpose of the project is to provide wetland mitigation to offset unavoidable impacts for which the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund was utilized as the compensatory mitigation.  The Conservancy is seeking projects that will deliver 10 or more non-tidal wetland credits and can service multiple HUCs [hydrologic units] in the Roanoke River basin.  The primary objectives are to restore, enhance, and/or preserve wetland systems to address the credit needs in the Roanoke River Basin.  In general, wetland mitigation [comprises] activities that create, restore, enhance, or preserve wetland resources.  Such activities improve wetland functions and may result in gain of wetland acreage in the case of creation and restoration.”

More information about the Virginia Aquatic Trust Fund is available from The Nature Conservancy online at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/the-virginia-aquatic-resources-trust-fund-home.xml.

More information about mitigation generally in Virginia is available from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WetlandsStreams/Mitigation.aspx.

Possible Future of Water Infrastructure, Policy, and Technology under the Incoming Trump Administration is Focus of Jan. 12, 2017, Meeting in Boston, Mass.

If you’re going to be near Boston, Mass., in mid-January 2017, and you’re interested in what the incoming Trump Administration may mean for water infrastructure, policy, and technology, here’s an event of interest:

Future of Water:2017 – What does a Trump Administration mean to the US water sector?”  January 12, 2017, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m., in Boston.  The event is organized by the New England Water Innovation Network (online at http://www.newengland-win.org/).  Registration for the event (cost is $25) is available online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/future-of-water2017-what-does-a-trump-administration-mean-to-the-us-water-sector-january-12th-2017-tickets-29321820354.