Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2017

For more information, click on underlined meeting dates. Click here for the Commonwealth Calendar listing of all government meetings open to the public, and here for the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall listing of all government meetings of a regulatory nature.

 For other, non-governmental, events, please see the Water Central News Grouper post, Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

11/28/17, 10 a.m.: Land Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees.  At the Patrick Henry Building, West Reading Room, 1111 East Broad Street in Richmond.

11/29/17, 6 p.m.: Marine Resources Commission’s Fisheries Management Advisory Committee.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

11/30/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation’s State Trails Advisory Committee.  At the Capitol Building, House Room 1, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

12/5/17, 10 a.m.: Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists.  At the Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

12/6/17, 9 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board.  At the Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth.

12/6/17, 9:30 a.m., and 12/7/17, 9:30 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  At Trinity Family Life Center, 3601 Dill Road in Richmond.

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VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+oth+MTG.  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services are available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

11/30/17, 10 a.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science/Environmental Regulations and the Aviation Industry Work Group.  At the Division of Legislative Services, Pocahontas Building, 9th Floor West Conference Room, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.  On 12/6/17, 10 a.m., the full Commission meets in Room E007 at the same location.

12/4/17, 10 a.m.: State Water Commission.  At the Capitol Building, House Room 1, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  The State Water Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1990.  Its purpose, according to Virginia Code section 30-187, is 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….”  More information about the Commission is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions/swc.htm.

12/4/17, 1:30 p.m.: Joint Subcommittee to Formulate Recommendations to Address Recurrent Flooding.  House Committee Room, Room W011, Ground Floor, Pocahontas Building, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.  The subcommittee was created by the 2014 Virginia General Assembly (HJR 16 and SJR 3) to make recommendations for a comprehensive planning effort to address recurrent flooding in Virginia’s Tidewater and Eastern Shore, particularly as climate change is expected to increase extreme weather events.  Information on the work of this subcommittee is available from the Division of Legislative Services, online at http://dls.virginia.gov/interim_studies_flooding.html; and in a July 23, 2014, news release from the chair of the subcommittee, Del. Chris Stolle (R-83rd) of Virginia Beach, online at http://chrisstolle.com/chris-stolle-elected-as-chair-of-general-assembly-joint-subcommittee-on-recurrent-flooding.

12/5/17, 9 a.m.:  Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee.  At the Pocahontas Builidng, Room 200A and Room 200B, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.  The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee advises the General Assembly on use of money received in the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund from special Bay license plates.  More information on the Committee is available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions/cbr.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.

None during this period.

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 MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Energy – All
12/1/17, 10 a.m.: Virginia’s Energy Markets and Planning (E-MAP) Program.  At the Capitol Building, House Room 1, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

Energy – Fossil Fuels
12/1/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) listening session  on the Virginia Petroleum Storage Tank Fund (VPSTF) Reimbursement Guidance Manual and Usual and Customary Rate (UCR) Schedule.  AT the Henrico County Training Center, 7701 East Parham Road in Henrico County.  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the DEQ is updating the Reimbursement Guidance Manual and the Usual and Customary Rate schedule.   Some preliminary goals of the guidance manual update are to adjust individual time and material codes to better reflect the actual expenses incurred; apply appropriate cost adjustments to the UCR schedule; and add and remove time and material codes from the UCR schedule as needed.

Energy – Solar
11/27/17, 1 p.m: Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority.  At the Capitol Building, House Room 1, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  The 2015 General Assembly (SB 1099) created this Authority to facilitate, coordinate, and support the development of the solar energy industry and solar-powered electric energy facilities in the Commonwealth.  The 2017 General Assembly (SB 1258) changed its name to add “energy storage” and added to its purposes to position the Commonwealth as a leader in energy-storage technology.

Ports
12/4/17 and 12/5/17: Virginia Port Authority meetings.  12/4/17, 2 p.m.: Finance and Audit Committee; 12/4/17, 3:15 p.m.: Growth and Operations Committee; 12/4/17, 5 p.m.: Executive Committee; 12/5/17, 9 a.m.: Board of Commissioners public session.  All meetings at 600 World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

River Basin Advisory Committees and Commissions
12/6/17, 1 p.m.: Rappahannock River Basin Commission.  At the Capitol Building, House Room 3, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  The Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly (see Va. Code section 62.1-69.27) to “provide guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water quality and natural resources of the Rappahannock River Basin.”  More information on the work of the Commission is available online at http://rappriverbasin.org/.

Stormwater
11/29/17, 10 a.m.: House Bill 1774 Stormwater Workgroup.  At the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission, Suite 200, 9211 Forest Hill Avenue in Richmond.  According to the Virginia Legislative Information System, House Bill 1774 in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly “directs the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency to convene a work group to consider alternative methods of stormwater management in rural Tidewater localities. …The group is to be facilitated by the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William and Mary Law School and is to include representatives of institutions of higher education, state agencies, local governments, private industry, and other groups.  The…work group is to review and consider the creation of rural development growth areas, the development of a volume credit program, the payment of fees to support regional best management practices, and the allowance of the use of stormwater in highway ditches to generate volume credits.  …The bill also delays from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, the effective date of new stormwater laws enacted during the 2016 Session of the General Assembly.”  The work group is to report to the governor and the General Assembly by January 1, 2018.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
11/28/17, 2 a.m.: State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on the triennial review of water-quality standards for bacteria, ammonia, cadmium and human health criteria) (9 VAC 25-260 in the Virginia Administrative Code.)  At the DEQ Blue Ridge Regional Office, 3019 Peters Creek Road in Roanoke.  According to DEQ information online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityStandards/LawsMandates.aspx, Virginia Code section 62.1-44.15 (3a), part of Virginia’s State Water Control Law, requires the State Water Control Board to review and update the Commonwealth’s water-quality standards at least every three years.  The Board conducted a triennial review in 2015, but the Board deferred to a separate rulemaking updates to freshwater aquatic life criteria for ammonia, amendments to the 94 human health criteria, and new EPA recommendations for recreation waters criteria (bacteria) and aquatic life (potentially for cadmium and selenium) (Board action taken at January 14, 2016, meeting).  The proposed amendments on these itmes were published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on September 18, 2017.  The public comment period runs 9/18/17 to 12/8/17.  More information on these proposed amendments is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=3171&display=stages.  More information on the triennial review overall is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4017.

11/30/17, 1 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Oyster Credit Advisory Committee.  At The DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, this “advisory committee [was established] to assist in the evaluation of a proposal from the Oyster Company of Virginia to generate nutrient credits from an oyster aquaculture operation.”

Virginia State Water Commission Meets December 4, 2017, in Richmond

Virginia’s State Water Commission will meet December 4, 2017, 10 a.m., in House Room 1 of the State Capitol Building, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  More information on the meeting is available online at http://studies.virginiageneralassembly.gov/meetings/500; or contact the Virginia House of Delegates’ Clerk’s Office/Committee Operations, phone (804) 698-1540.  General information on the State Water Commission is available online at http://studies.virginiageneralassembly.gov/studies/188.

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 several members of the General Assembly, plus two citizen members.

The current members of the Commission were as follows as of November 22, 2017, the date of this post:
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

Draft Regulation on Reducing Carbon Emissions by Electricity-generating Plants in Virginia Approved Nov. 16, 2017, by Air Pollution Control Board

On November 16, 2017, the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board approved a draft regulation that would place a cap in 2020 on carbon emissions by the Commonwealth’s electricity generators; require by 2030 a 30-percent reduction in  that sector’s carbon emissions; and have Virginia join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Inititative (RGGI; online at  https://www.rggi.org/), a carbon-trading market between states.  The draft regulation will undergo a 60-day public-comment period before the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) writes a final version of the regulation, which would also require approval by the Air Pollution Control Board.

More information on this regulatory process is available online (in the PDF of the Board’s November 16 meeting agenda), at http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/L/GetFile.cfm?File=C:\TownHall\docroot\Meeting\1\26694\Agenda_DEQ_26694_v1.pdf.

This regulation follows from Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Executive Directive 11, issued in May 2017, which instructed the DEQ to begin a process of regulating carbon emissions from electricity-generating plants.  For more on that directive, please see this Water Central News Grouper item.

Meanwhile, on November 11, 2017, at the 23rd United Nations Climate Change Convention in Bonn, Germany, Virginia became a member of the Under2 Coalition of sub-national governmental entitities that have committed to reducing carbon emissions.  Source: Virginia Becomes Latest US State To Commit To Action On Climate Change, Water Online, 11/17/17.  More information about the Under2 Coalition is available online at https://www.theclimategroup.org/project/under2-coalition.

News Media Articles on the Draft Regulation (listed most recent first)
Virginia regulators approve carbon cap-and-trade plan, Associated Press, as published by Lynchburg News & Advance, 11/16/17.
Virginia Launches Plan to Join East Coast Carbon Market, Cut Emissions 30%, Inside Climate News, 11/16/17.
Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board approves draft rule that would regulate power plant carbon emissions, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/16/17.
Virginia Moves to Join RGGI Carbon-trading Market, POWER, 11/15/17.
Virginia DEQ unveils proposal to link with RGGI, ICIS/Reed Business Information, 11/13/17.
Virginia regulators set to unveil new climate plan after Northam victory, Utility Dive, 11/10/17.
After Northam win, Virginia set to unveil cap-and-trade plan, Washington Times, 11/10/17.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Nov. 9-Nov. 22, 2017

For more information, click on underlined meeting dates. Click here for the Commonwealth Calendar listing of all government meetings open to the public, and here for the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall listing of all government meetings of a regulatory nature.

For other, non-governmental, events, please see the Water Central News Grouper post, Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

11/14/17, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects/Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Section.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

11/15/17, 9 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board.  At the Perimeter Center, Training Room 1A, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

11/16/17, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board.  At the Capitol Building, House Room 1, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

11/16/17, 10 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.  The Board’s District Audit Committee meets at 9 a.m. that day at the same location.

11/16/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro, Inc., 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

11/20/17, 10 a.m.: Board for Professional and Occupational Regulation.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

11/21/17, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board.  At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

11/17/17, 1 p.m.: Aquaculture Advisory Board.  At the Marriott City Center, 740 Town Center Drive in Newport News.

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VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+oth+MTG.  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services are available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

None during this period.

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MEETINGS ABOUT TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (or TMDLs) for IMPAIRED WATERS

For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site; click on “Public Notices” in the menu to the left to access upcoming meetings and public-comment periods.  A search tool to find approved TMDL reports is available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx.

11/9/17, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in Catawba Creek and of bacterial impairment in the James River and tributaries Barbours Creek, Craig Creek, Catawba Creek, Lapsley Run, Little Patterson Creek, and Sinking Creek, all in the James River basin in Botetourt and Craig counties.  The 11/2/17 meeting is at Eagle Rock Library, 55 Eagles Nest Drive in Eagle Rock (Botetourt County); the 11/9/17 meeting is at the Catawba Community Center, 4955 Catawba Creek Road in Catawba (Roanoke County).

11/15/17, 5:30 p.m., on the TMDL modification process for aquatic life (benthic) and bacterial impairments in Blacks Run and Cooks Creek, located in the Shenandoah River/Potomac River wateshed in Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg.  At the Rockingham County Administration Building, Community Room, 20 East Gay Street in Harrisonburg.

11/16/17, 1 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) outreach meeting on Phase III Watershed Implementation Plans for the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), published in December 2010.  At the Miller Center Auditorium, 301 Grove Street in Lynchburg.  This is one of a series of outreach meetings on the Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan.    According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, information will be provided on the status of on-going efforts to clean up the Bay, improvements in Bay water quality, and expectations and roles for the Phase III WIP and timelines.  Other meetings were held 1/30/17 in Woodbridge (Prince William County); 2/16/17 in Harrisonburg; 2/21/17, in Woodbridge, 3/6/17 in Harrisonburg, 4/17/17 in Glen Allen (Henrico County), 5/4/17, in St. Stephens Church (King & Queen County), 6/1/17 in Chesapeake, and 8/17/17 in Accomac (Accomack County).

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Air-Water Connections
11/13/17, 11 a.m.: DEQ public hearing on implementing reasonably available control technology (RACT) in support of the 2008 ozone standard in the Northern Virginia Emissions Control Area.  At the DEQ Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge (Prince William County).  The DEQ is seeking comments on plans to maintain compliance with the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) in the Northern Virginia Ozone Nonattainment Area.  Proposals would be revisions to Virginia’s State Implementation Plan under Section 110(a) of the federal Clean Air Act.  The public comment period runs 10/16/17 to 11/15/17.  More information on the RACT proposal is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewNotice.cfm?gnid=757.

Chesapeake Bay
11/9/17, 1 p.m., and 11/10/17, 9 a.m. [link to PDF of agenda]; Chesapeake Bay Commission.  On 11/9/17, at the Pennsylvania State Capitol, 205 Ryan Office Building, 501 North Third Street in Harrisburg; on 11/10/17, at the Hilton Harrisburg, One North Second Street in Harrisburg.  According to the Commission’s Web site (http://www.chesbay.us/about.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.  The next meeting will be January 4-5, 2018, in Annapolis, Md.

Fort Monroe
11/9/17, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees’ Finance Committee.  At 20 Ingalls Road in Fort Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).  On 12/15/16 at 1 p.m., the full Board of Trustees meets at Paradise Ocean Club, 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/.

Resource Management Mapping and Planning
11/13/17, 10 a.m.: Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) Advisory Board.  At 1751 Meadowville Lane in Chester (Chesterfield County).  VGIN was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1997 to help support the creation, development, and use of geographic information and related technology for state and local government agencies, colleges and universities, and other Commonwealth users of maps and geographic information.  It’s coordinated by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA).  More information is available online at http://www.vita.virginia.gov/isp/default.aspx?id=8482.

Chesapeake Bay Commission Meeting on November 9-10, 2017, in Harrisburg, Penn.

The Chesapeake Bay Commission will meet November 9-10, 2017, in Harrisburg, Penn.  The agenda for the meeting is available online (as a PDF) at http://lis.virginia.gov/171/oth/Agenda.CBC.1109-1017.pdf.  The Commission will meet again on January 4-5, 2018, in Annapolis, Md.; May 3-4, 2018, in Washington, D.C.; September 6-7, 2018, at a location in Virginia to be announced; and November 8-9, 2018, at a location in Maryland to be announced.  Information on Commission meetings (including agendas, presentations, and minutes) is available online at http://www.chesbay.us/meetings.htm.

According to the Commission’s Web site (http://www.chesbay.us/about.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.

Fall 2017 RFP for Stream Mitigation Projects in James and Rappahannock River Basins, under the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund Program; Proposals Due to Nature Conservancy by January 12, 2018

On October 16, 2017, the Nature Conservancy announced a request for proposals (RFP) for projects to meet stream-mitigation liability for impacts in the Lower James and Rappahannock River basins in Virginia, under the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund mitigation program.  November 3, 2017, is the deadline to submit questions, and January 12, 2018, is the deadline to submit proposals.  The RFP is available online at https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/explore/the-virginia-aquatic-resources-trust-fund-home.xml, as of 10/24/17.

According to the RFP (Attachment A, A.1 Purpose), “The Conservancy is seeking suitable projects to meet the mitigation liability generated by unavoidable impacts in the Lower James River and Rappahannock River basins within the Commonwealth of Virginia for which the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (VARTF) was utilized as the compensatory mitigation.  The primary objectives are to restore, enhance and/or preserve stream systems in the Lower James River and Rappahannock River basins.  In general, stream mitigation is comprised of activities that stabilize stream banks, establish or protect riparian buffer areas, improve water quality through reduction of erosion and sedimentation, or preserve pristine resources. Such activities can significantly reduce erosion and sedimentation, improve wildlife habitat, and improve water quality.  The scope of work requires the Contractor to provide a full delivery stream mitigation project or projects within the Lower James River Basin and/or Rappahannock River Basi in Virginia that will meet or exceed the standards for compensatory mitigation in Virginia.  The mitigation banking guidelines developed and provided by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers –Norfolk District (Corps) should be used to guide the types of stream mitigation projects identified.  These may include stream bank grading and sloping, in-stream work or repairs, structure placement, live stake planting, buffer establishment or enhancement, cattle exclusion, and/or long term protection/preservation.”

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

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

Triennial Review of Virginia’s Water-quality Standards in Public Comment Period September 19–November 17, 2017; Public Hearing October 24 in Richmond

From September 19 to November 17, 2017, the Virginia State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting public comments on the the triennial review of water-quality standards for bacteria, ammonia, cadmium and human health criteria (9 VAC 25-260 in the Virginia Administrative Code.)

A public hearing is scheduled for 10/24/17, 2 p.m., at the DEQ Main Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond.

According to DEQ information online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityStandards/LawsMandates.aspx and at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=3171&display=stages, Virginia Code section 62.1-44.15 (3a), part of Virginia’s State Water Control Law, requires the State Water Control Board to review and update the Commonwealth’s water-quality standards at least every three years.  The Board conducted a triennial review in 2015, but the Board deferred to a separate rule-making updates to freshwater aquatic life criteria for ammonia, amendments to the 94 human health criteria, and new EPA recommendations for recreation waters criteria (bacteria) and aquatic life (potentially for cadmium and selenium) (Board action taken at January 14, 2016, meeting).

The proposed amendments on these items were published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on September 18, 2017.  More information on these proposed amendments is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewStage.cfm?stageid=5343.

More information on the triennial review overall is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=4017.