Planning for the future is a challenge that affects this generation as well as the next. Since its inception, DEQ has worked to ensure a healthier future by conserving Virginia’s natural resources, promoting sustainable practices and supporting the use of renewable energy.
In 2009, the General Assembly enacted the “Small Renewable Energy Projects” statute that directed DEQ to develop permits to control impacts of these projects on natural resources. As of 2012, permits for the construction and operation of small renewable energy projects are now in place, and should encourage the development of renewable energy. Model ordinances for wind and solar have also been developed.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) is an online resource that DEQ uses to collect and analyze environmental data, as well as inform the public about agency policies and operations.
The tremendous value of Virginia’s coastal resources can be seen in DEQ’s online resources. GIS provides access to comprehensive information, helping to improve coastal planning and decision making. One particularly useful feature of GIS is an online program dubbed “Coastal GEMS” (Geospatial and Educational Mapping Systems). Coastal GEMS compiles data from agencies, non-profit organizations and academic institutions into one easy-to-use data portal. Being able to view and interact with all of this data in one place allows users to see the big picture and helps to reveal vital connections between different aspects of the environment.
E Beam technology has made the interactive whiteboard a reality, allowing people in separate locations to actively develop ideas in real time. E Beam is a way for multiple parties to create and develop ideas digitally.