Category Archives: Laws&Regs

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for July 3–July 20, 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

7/9/15, 9 a.m.: Board of Game and Inland Fisheries. At 7870 Villa Park Drive in Henrico.

7/9/15, 10 a.m.: Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists’ Wetland Delineator Exam Committee. At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

7/9/15, 1 p.m.: Stormwater Committee 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.

7/14/15, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board’s State Advisory Board on Air Pollution. At the Department of Environmental Quality’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen. This meeting will include a presentation on the U.S. EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan (regulation of carbon emissions by existing power plants).

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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.

7/8/15, 1 p.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science’s Cybersecurity Advisory Committee. In the 3rd Floor East Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

7/13/15, 8 a.m.: Commission on Electric Utility Regulation. In Senate Room B, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street 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.

7/6/15, 6:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Accotink Creek and Long Branch (Potomac River watershed) in Fairfax County. Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Road in Burke.

7/10/15, 10 a.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacteria 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 the Madison County Cooperative Extension Office, 2 South Main Street in Madison.

7/16/15, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study (stressor analysis) of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in Kits Creek (Meherrin River/Chowan River watershed) in Lunenburg County. At the Lunenburg Courts Building, 160 Courthouse Square in Lunenburg.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Mining

7/8/15, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) informal hearing on Fact of Violation for Cessation Order LJJ0001787 for VA Coal, LLC. At the mine site, 5 miles west of Norton on Roaring Fork in Wise County, in the Powell River/Upper Tennessee River basin.

State Parks
7/7/15, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation public meeting on the York River State Park Master Plan.   At the James City County Library, 7770 Croaker Road in Williamsburg.

Stormwater
7/13/15, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Stormwater Stakeholder Advisory Committee.  At the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice about these meetings, the Stormwater Stakeholder 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. T he 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.

Lawsuit Filed by Chesapeake Bay Foundation over Cattle Fencing in Virginia — Arguments to be Heard July 2, 2015, in Circuit Court in Richmond

Arguments are scheduled for July 2, 2015, in circuit court in Richmond in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Virginia over regulation of cattle access to streams.  CBF’s suit argues that a 10-year permit approved by the Commonwealth in 2014 should have required cattle operations of over 200 head to keep livestock from streams.  Currently Virginia requires stream exclusion for cattle in confined feeding operations (of CAFOs) but not for pastured cattle.

The regulation at issue is “Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) General Permit Regulation for Animal Feeding Operations,” Sec. 9 VAC 25-192 in the Virginia Administrative Code; available online at http://register.dls.virginia.gov/details.aspx?id=4388.

Sources:
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Sues Va. Over Livestock Rules, Associated Press, as published by Baltimore Sun, 6/29/15.
CBF sues Virginia for not making livestock stream exclusion mandatory, Bay Journal, 6/29/15.
Is livestock dung in streams threatening the Chesapeake?, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/29/15.

Virginia State Water Commission Meets July 22, 2015, in Richmond

Virginia’s State Water Commission will meet July 22, 2015, at 10 a.m., in House Room D of the General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

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. David L. Bulova
Del. Barry D. Knight
Del. T. Scott Garrett
Del. John M. O’Bannon, III
Del. Edward T. Scott
Del. Luke E. Torian
Del. Thomas C. Wright, Jr.
Del. R. Lee Ware
Sen. R. Creigh Deeds
Sen. Emmett W. Hanger, Jr.
Sen. John C. Miller
Sen. Frank M. Ruff, Jr.
Sen. Richard H. Stuart
Lamont W. Curtis
Richard A. Street

More information on the July 22 meeting is available online at http://studies.virginiageneralassembly.gov/meetings/223, or from Martin G. Farber, Division of Legislative Services (804) 786-3591, ext. 230.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for June 26–July 13, 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

6/26/15, 10 a.m.: Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees. At the John Barton Payne Building, 2 Courthouse Square in Warrenton.

7/9/15, 9 a.m.: Board of Game and Inland Fisheries. At 7870 Villa Park Drive in Henrico.

7/9/15, 10 a.m.: Board for Professional Soil Scientists, Wetland Professionals, and Geologists’ Wetland Delineator Exam Committee. At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

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MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE BODIES

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, 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.

7/8/15, 1 p.m.: Joint Commission on Technology and Science’s Cybersecurity Advisory Committee. In the 3rd Floor East Conference Room, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street in Richmond.

7/13/15, 8 a.m.: Commission on Electric Utility Regulation. In Senate Room B, General Assembly Building, 201 North 9th Street 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.

7/6/15, 6:30 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Accotink Creek and Long Branch (Potomac River watershed) in Fairfax County. Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Road in Burke.

7/10/15, 10 a.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacteria 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 the Madison County Cooperative Extension Office, 2 South Main Street in Madison.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Biosolids (Treated Sewage Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
6/30/15, 7 p.m.: On the permit application by Synagro Central, LLC, of Champlain, Va., to land-apply biosolids to about 750 acres in Hanover County. At Montpelier Park Community Center, 17183 Sycamore Tavern Lane in Montpelier.

State Parks
6/30/15, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation public meeting on the Staunton River State Park Master Plan. At the Clover Center, Staunton River Battlefield State Park, 1035 Fort Hill Trail in Randolph (Charlotte County).

7/7/15, 6 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation public meeting on the York River State Park Master Plan.   At the James City County Library, 7770 Croaker Road in Williamsburg.

Stormwater
6/26/15, 9 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Stormwater Stakeholder Advisory Committee/Implementation Workgroup. At the DEQ Central Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond. On 6/30/15, 3 p.m., the Enforcement Workgroup meets at the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen. On 7/13/15, 10 a.m., the full committee meets at the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen. According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice about these meetings, the Stormwater Stakeholder 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.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
7/1/15, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Technical Advisory Committee on a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Watershed Permit Regulation for Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus Discharges and Nutrient Trading in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in Virginia. At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen. The DEQ and State Water Control Board are studying reissuance and possible amendment of the regulation. A Notice of Intended Regulatory Action was published on February 4, 2015; the public comment period on that notice ended 3/25/15. More information on the current proposal is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2466. The relevant section in the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-820. The 2012 Virginia General Assembly passed the Nutrient Trading Act (HB 176 and SB 77), which required the Soil and Water Conservation Board to adopt regulations related to certification of nutrient credits from non-point sources, including credits generated from agricultural and urban stormwater best management practices, incineration or management of manures, land use conversion, stream or wetlands restoration, shellfish aquaculture, algal harvesting, and other methods of nutrient control or removal. Since then, the program has been transferred to the State Water Control Board and the DEQ. More information about Virginia’s nutrient credit trading program is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/PermittingCompliance/PollutionDischargeElimination/NutrientTrading.aspx.

Clarifying Clean Water Act Jurisdiction and the “Waters of the United States” is Intent of “Clean Water Rule” Announced May 27, 2015, by U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers

Originally posted April 2014 following release of proposed rule in March 2014.  Updated 6/23/15 following release of final rule in May 2015.

For an audio take on the Clean Water Rule, have a listen to Virginia Water Radio Episode 269 (6-8-15), available at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2015/06/episode-269-6-8-15-what-are-waters-of.html.

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a final “Clean Water Rule,” by which the agencies seek to clarify what water bodies are considered “waters of the United States” and therefore fall under the jurisdiction of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).  The proposed rule had been published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2014 (link here).   The public-comment period on the proposal was originally scheduled to end on July 21, 2014, but was continued until November 14.  The agencies received over one million comments on the proposed rule.

The May 27 final rule will be subject to a 60-day public-comment period following its publication in the Federal Register.

The approximately 300-page rule follows U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2001 (in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County [Illinois] v. United States Army Corps of Engineers et al.; click here for PDF of decision) that eliminated migratory-bird use as a sufficient stand-alone factor for isolated waters to fall under CWA jurisdiction; and in 2006 (Rapanos v. U.S. and Carabell v. U.S.; click here for PDF of decision), in which the High Court issued three different interpretations of how to determine CWA jurisdiction.  The March 2014 proposed rule (p. 2) had stated that those decisions “resulted in the agencies evaluating the jurisdiction of waters on a case-specific basis are more frequently than is best for clear and efficient implementation of the CWA.”

The main goal of the CWA, first passed in 1972, is “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.” It established programs to regulate discharge of pollutants, filling of wetlands, oil spills, and other activities.  The Act states that it applies to “navigable waters,” defined as “waters of the United States, including the territorial seas”; Section 404 of the Act includes wetlands in the waters where dredging and filling activities are to be regulated.  In 1986, the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. EPA published regulations that applied the Act to several kinds of waters that may affect traditional navigable waters, including tributaries and adjacent wetlands, and that concept has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.  But many questions and legal challenges have been raised over implementation of that 1986 definition, and the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006 generated even more questions and inconsistency of implementation.

Various groups have said they intend to challenge the rule in court or to lobby Congress to change or block its provisions.

Here are some major elements of the Clean Water Rule, from the Executive Summary, pp. 7-27, of the document as published online on May 27, 2015, at http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-06/documents/preamble_rule_web_version.pdf.

The rule identifies categories of jurisdictional waters, grouped within “waters that are jurisdictional in all instances, waters that are excluded from jurisdiction, and a narrow category of waters subject to case-specific analysis to determine whether they are jurisdictional.” [p. 16, “Major Rule Provisions]

Jurisdictional waters in all instances (“jurisdictional by rule”)
1. Traditional navigable waters
2. Interstate waters
3. Territorial seas
4. Impoundments of jurisdictional waters
5. Tributaries
6. Adjacent waters.
The rule defines “tributaries” and “adjacent waters” [see pp. 18-19], categories which have been subject of much debate and litigation in the past.  The rule identifies certain waters that are excluded from the definition of “tributaries,” including ditches or gullies that flow only after precipitation and “ephemeral features that do not have a bed and banks and ordinary high water mark” [pp. 19-20].  The rule defines “adjacent waters” “based on their hydrological and ecological connections to, and interactions with,” traditional navigable waters [p. 20]. The rule aims to establish a “bright line” for where waters cease to be “adjacent,” although states may still include such waters in state protections.

Case-specific jurisdictional waters (subject to a specific analysis to determine if a “specific nexus” to a by-rule jurisdictional water exists):
7. Five specific categories of waters in specific regions (prairie potholes, pocosins, California vernal pools, Carolina and Delmarva bays, and Texas coastal prairie wetlands) [p. 22];
8. Waters within the 100-year floodplain of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, or territorial sea; c) waters within 4000 feet of the high-tide line or the ordinary high-water mark of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, seas, impoundments, or covered tributary [p. 23].

Identified exclusions [pp. 24-25; “existing” means the exclusion was already in existing regulations; “new” means the exclusion has been added in the new Clean Water Rule as “by rule” exclusions]
1. Prior-converted cropland (existing);
2. Waste-treatment systems (existing);
3. Waters and features previously identified as generally exempt, such as certain ditches not in or draining wetlands, and ditches with ephemeral flow that are not a relocated tributary, excavated in a tributary, or drain wetlands (new); 4. Groundwater (new);
5. Erosional features (new);
6. Waters that the agencies state  they did not intend to cover but which public comments about the proposed rule said might end up being included unless explicitly identified, including stormwater-control features (specifically constructed for stormwater conveyance), cooling ponds created in dry land [p. 25].

The rule notes that states and tribes may establish protections for waters not covered by the CWA, such as groundwater and certain wetlands [p. 26]. “Nothing in this rule limits or impedes any existing or future state or tribal efforts to further protect their waters.”

Sources For This Post And For More Information

Greenwire, Industry, enviros alike wary of WOTUS’s mining provisions, 6/2/15. (Greenwire is a product of E&E Publishing, http://www.eenews.net/; a subscription is required for online access to Greenwire and other E&E products.)

New York Times, Obama Announces New Rule Limiting Water Pollution, 5/27/15.

PBS NewsHour, “Why farmers are concerned about EPA’s new rules on protected water,” 5/29/15, 7 min./4 sec. video, online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/farmers-concerned-epas-new-rules-protected-water/.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Regulatory Programs and Permits, online at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/RegulatoryProgramandPermits.aspx.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Clean Water Rule: ‘Definition of the Waters of the United States,’” accessed online at http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-06/documents/preamble_rule_web_version.pdf.

U.S. EPA, Clean Water Rule Protects Streams and Wetlands Critical to Public Health, Communities, and Economy, News Release, 5/27/15.

U.S. EPA, EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Clarify Protection for Nation’s Streams and Wetlands: Agriculture’s Exemptions and Exclusions from Clean Water Act Expanded by Proposal, News Release, 3/25/14.

U.S. EPA, “Clean Water Rule” Web site, http://www2.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule.

U.S. EPA, “Documents Related to the Clean Water Rule,” online at http://www2.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule/documents-related-clean-water-rule.

U.S. EPA, “Summary of the Clean Water Act,” online at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-clean-water-act.

Wetland Studies and Solutions (Gainesville, Va.,) “EPA & COE Redefine Which Wetlands and Streams are Federally Regulated,” Field Notes, Vol. 23/No. 4 (June 2, 2015), online at http://www.wetlandstudies.com/resources-regulations/fieldnotes-newsletter.html.

Zygmunt J. B. Platter et al., Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society, 2nd ed., West Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minn., 1998.

https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/rapanos-cartoon.jpg?w=532&h=404

Cartoon by George Wills of Blacksburg, Va. (https://www.etsy.com/people/BlacksburgArt), that accompanied an article in the January 2007 issue of Virginia Water Central (the newsletter of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center) on the 2006 Rapanos decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Virginia Water Central is available online at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/water-central-news/.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission News, June 2–June 12, 2015: Horseshoe Crabs, Trophy Striped Bass, Menhaden Fyke Net Fishery, Emergency Closure of Northwest Branch of Back River, and Oyster-theft Penalties

Below are news items from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) between June 1 and June 12 (listed below from newest to oldest). The items were accessed at the VMRC’s “Agency News” Web site, http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/whatsnew.shtm, on 6/18/15.  Each item includes the link provided by the VMRC for more information.

Please note also that on June 3, 2015, the VMRC published  the Spring 2015 “VMRC Fisheries Newsletter”; the newsletter includes updates on management of Blue Crab, American Eel, Striped Bass, Speckled Trout, Alewives, Menhaden, Shellfish, Atlantic Sturgeon, harmful algal blooms, and reporting requirements.   The newsletter is available (as a PDF) at http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/Newsletters/NewsSpring2015_FINAL.pdf.

June 12, 2015:  It is projected that 80% of the horseshoe crab commercial hand harvest quota has been taken. For that reason, it shall be unlawful for any valid horseshoe crab commercial hand harvest permittee to possess aboard any vessel or to land more than 250 horseshoe crabs per day, effective 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), Friday, June 12, 2014.  [Closure Notice]

June 10, 2015: 
Accurate accounting of Trophy Striped Bass caught during the spring season is essential to maintaining this fishery. All trophy permittees are urged to report their trophy striper activity, including a report of no fishing if the permittee was unable to fish this year.  Please review the following trophy striped bass FAQ to see your reporting options.  [Trophy Striped Bass FAQ]

June 10, 2015: Effective 6:00 P.M., Eastern Daylight Savings Time, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, the commercial directed menhaden fyke net fishery will be closed. Based on landing reports from mandatory harvest reporting and Virginia seafood buyers, it is projected that Virginia will have caught 100% of the 1,950 pounds of the directed menhaden fyke net quota, by Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Therefore, after 6:00 P.M., EDST, Wednesday, June 10, 2015 it shall be unlawful to harvest or land more than 6,000 pounds of menhaden per day, for commercial purposes, by use of fyke net in Virginia, for the remainder of 2015. [ Menhaden closure ]

June 4, 2015:  A break in a sewage pipe caused a sewage spill into a tributary of the Northwest Branch of Back River in the city of Hampton. Due to potential microbiological pollution hazards, an emergency closure has been established in a portion of the River. A copy of the notice and map of the area is available at this link [VDH Notice]. The emergency closure is effective June 4 – 25, 2015. The affected area is scheduled to reopen June 25, 2015. The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will monitor shellfish and water quality during this period to determine if the area can be reopened sooner.

June 2, 2015: 
New Law Increases Penalties on Oyster Thieves ~ Licenses now can be revoked for up to five years and financial penalties up to $10,000 can be imposed if revocations are ignored.  [Press Release]

June 1, 2015:  Landing limit reduction for the pound net permittees in the 2015 Virginia horseshoe crab fishery effective 12:00 (Noon) Tuesday, June 2, 2015 and closure of the 2015 pound net horseshoe crab fishery effective 12:00 (Noon) Wednesday, June 3, 2015.  [Notice]

Hazardous Waste Open-air Incineration at Radford Army Ammunition Plant under Scrutiny in Permit-renewal Process During 2015

June 29, 2015, was the deadline for the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RAAP), to submit to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) an application to renew its permit for open-air burning and detonation of hazardous wastes generated at the facility.

The over 4600-acre facility, built during World War II and located along the New River in Montgomery and Pulaski counties, Va., is currently the only military-propellant manufacturer in the United States. The propellant production results in waste containing various hazardous chemicals, such as barium, chromium, and mercury. The practice of open-air burning of the waste is not unique to RAAP—NASA’s Wallops Island Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and the Naval Surface Warfare Center near Fredericksburg also have such permits—but is done a larger scale at RAAP than at other facilities in Virginia. RAAP’s burning has drawn attention and raised concerns from some local citizens because of the plant’s location near residences, one school, and farmland.

RAAP’s 10-year DEQ permit for open-air incineration is set to expire in October 2015, and the DEQ’s spokesman has stated that the permit renewal request will get close scrutiny because of the concerns that have been raised. DEQ information about the open air incineration permit-renewal process and the agency’s other regulation of the RAAP is online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/EnvironmentalInformation/RadfordArmyAmmunitionPlant.aspx.

Additional sources: Permit for Army plant near Radford to burn explosive waste is up for renewal, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6/14/15; and MilitaryBases.com, “Radford Army Ammunition Plant Army Base in Radford, VA,” online at http://militarybases.com/radford-army-ammunition-plant-army-base-in-radford-va/, accessed 6/16/15.  For another media account, see Permit renewal raises questions for Radford arsenal, Appalachian Voices, 6/15/15.

Additional media accounts: Permit renewal raises questions for Radford arsenal, Appalachian Voices, 6/15/15; Radford ammunition plant seeks fresh permit for controversial open burning, Roanoke Times, 6/28/15.

Separate from the open-air incineration permit issue, from 1989 to 2014 the RAAP was under Corrective Action Permit from the U.S. EPA to clean up some several areas of contaminated soil and groundwater.  In August 2014, the EPA issued a “Corrective Action Final Decision,” stating that any further remediation of groundwater contaminants would be left to natural attenuation, but also that the plant must continue groundwater monitoring and maintain “institutional controls.” Information from the EPA on that part of the RAAP story is available online at http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/ca/va/webpages/va1210020730.html.

New River Arsenal Falls Jun15 2008

Arsenal Falls, part of the New River section that passes through the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, photographed here on June 15, 2008.