The General Assembly extends the effective dates of the law requiring review by DEQ OEIR of oil and gas drilling projects in Tidewater Virginia.
DEQ issues its first air quality forecasts for the summer ozone season in the Richmond and Hampton Roads areas.
July 1, 1994
DEQ begins the Virginia Pollution Abatement general permit program for animal feeding operations, including nutrient management requirements.
August 3, 1994
DEQ’s first regional boundaries are established, replacing almost 20 regional boundary configurations from the pre-DEQ air, waste and water agencies.
January 1, 1995
Virginia returns primary control of the Superfund program to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, while a state oversight program continues.
The General Assembly directs the Department of Aviation to consider comments submitted by DEQ OEIR based on a coordinated review when issuing airport licenses.
July 1, 1995
Virginia’s Voluntary Remediation Program is authorized to encourage voluntary cleanups of potentially contaminated sites for later reuse.
DEQ opens its site on the World Wide Web, focusing on providing environmental information requested by the public.
Virginia creates the Water Quality Improvement Fund, with a $10 million appropriation. DEQ is authorized to award grants for nutrient removal technology at publicly owned treatment plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Hampton Roads area meets the national air quality standards for ozone in effect at the time, indicating significant improvement in air quality. Richmond receives the same designation two months later.
DEQ initiates cooperative efforts with environmental organizations to promote volunteer water quality monitoring activities across the state.
DEQ launches “Air Check Virginia,” an enhanced vehicle emissions inspection program for Northern Virginia.
The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program brings together state, federal and non-governmental organizations- plus private oyster industry partners- to focus on the Chesapeake Bay’s largest oyster restoration project.
July 1, 1999
DEQ begins the Virginia Pollution Abatement Poultry Waste Management Program, including general permits for confined poultry operations.
“DEQ 2000,” the first-ever statewide meeting of the DEQ staff, is held in Richmond. The two-day event focuses on the agency’s mission, strategic goals and training.
At the direction of the General Assembly, DEQ OEIR adds the protection of forests to the requirement that impacts to farmlands be considered in state projects.
The results of several decades of cooperative research with the U.S. Geological Survey are published documenting the Chesapeake Bay impact crater. This discovery, in which DEQ staff participates, results in the development of new approaches to managing ground water withdrawals in Virginia.
The Virginia Naturally 2000 initiative is unveiled in the governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address. Virginia commits “beginning with the class of 2005” to provide a meaningful outdoor stream or Chesapeake Bay experience for every student.
The Chesapeake 2000 Agreement calls on Virginia and other jurisdictions to improve the Chesapeake Bay’s water quality, restore vital habitats such as underwater grasses, and implement harvest levels to keep the Bay’s ecosystem balanced.
July 1, 2000
The General Assembly authorizes DEQ to regulate activities in nontidal wetlands, helping ensure no net loss of wetlands and promoting development that minimizes impacts on Virginia wetlands.
September 29, 2000
EPA authorizes Virginia to administer the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Corrective Action Program for the cleanup of permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities.
Federal consistency regulations are revised to state that there are no exceptions, exclusions or categorical exemptions from the consistency requirement for federal projects in Virginia’s coastal zone, based on amendments passed in 1990 to the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (which became effective in Virginia in 1986).
DEQ develops a schedule for closing unlined landfills by 2020. These closures ensure that active landfills protect human health and the environment. Twenty-one unlined landfills closed by 2013, and 36 more will close by the end of 2020.
Due to the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with the State Corporation Commission, DEQ OEIR coordinates environmental reviews of proposed power plants and associated facilities.
January 1, 2002
Federal “brownfields” legislation implements financing to encourage revitalization of contaminated industrial sites, enhancing Virginia’s program to support brownfields redevelopment. Virginia adopts brownfields legislation during the same time period.
July 1, 2003
State legislation takes effect enabling local and regional water supply planning. DEQ later adopts regulations requiring the development of water supply plans for each locality and the development of a state water resources plan.
DEQ implements a community involvement policy that commits the agency to work more closely with the public and environmental stakeholders, and to ensure broader participation in environmental decision making.
July 1, 2005
Legislation establishes the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program to encourage business and industry to develop environmental management systems and voluntarily go beyond regulatory requirements to reduce pollution.
State regulations take effect limiting the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that large wastewater treatment plants may discharge to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This is the first time that nitrogen discharges are regulated in Virginia.
July 1, 2006
Virginia revises its recycling mandate to provide for a two-tiered goal: 15 percent and 25 percent. This provides relief for lightly populated localities whose programs had been unable to reach the 25 percent recycling level.
January 1, 2007
DEQ implements one of the country’s first nutrient trading programs, allowing for the transfer of “credits” among existing wastewater treatment facilities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to meet nutrient limits.
The Richmond and Hampton Roads areas meet the latest national health standard for air quality.
The General Assembly revises the project cost to $ 500,000 in the environmental impact review law, first enacted in 1973. If a project meets or exceeds this threshold, state agencies must submit environmental impact reports to DEQ OEIR.
The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program joins other states in forming the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, which promotes regional collaboration to protect the ocean and coast.
January 1, 2008
DEQ assumes oversight of land application of biosolids, or sludge, in Virginia. This ensures a comprehensive inspection program and consistent enforcement of the biosolids regulations statewide.
October 1, 2008
State regulations take effect outlining wastewater reclamation and reuse, providing a mechanism for DEQ to promote the reuse of wastewater to further conserve drinkable water.
A DEQ study of airborne toxic chemicals in Hopewell, a first for the area, provides details on 67 chemicals and metals, and calls for additional analysis of two chemicals.
40th Anniversary of the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act
November 29, 2010
Virginia submits the Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan for the impending Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. DEQ developed the plan for most regulated nutrient sources subject to discharge permits.
EPA adopts the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load for nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. By 2025, DEQ is obligated to meet caps on discharges of nitrogen and phosphorus from municipal and industrial point sources in the Bay watershed.
July 1, 2011
The Virginia Brownfields Assistance Fund receives $1 million from the state to provide funding to localities for brownfields redevelopment projects.
In the first year under the watershed general permit for Chesapeake Bay nutrient discharges, facilities within all of the Bay’s river basins achieve their nutrient limits, and several basins far exceed their reduction requirements.
DEQ begins a community air study at fumigation sites in Suffolk, involving a stakeholder group to keep people informed about the monitoring project.
July 1, 2012
The Virginia Office of Environmental Education is transferred to the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Virginia Naturally education program has grown to more than 1,000 partners, delivering standards-based environmental education.
July 1, 2013
In a move to consolidate water management efforts in Virginia, DEQ assumes responsibility for storm water and other nonpoint source pollution programs.