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Official DEQ news releases.

List administrator(s): Bill Hayden, Jennifer Underwood, Irina Calos, John Tragesser

Virginia issues 2011 recycling report

Statewide recycling rate remains above 40 percent

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2012

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447
william.hayden@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. – The Department of Environmental Quality has issued its annual report on recycling by Virginia localities, and it shows that the Commonwealth recycled 43.5 percent of its municipal and other solid wastes in 2011.

This is an increase over the 2010 recycling rate of 40.5 percent. Information for the report comes from recycling rates submitted by Virginia’s 71 solid waste planning units (either a local government or a regional authority).

One of the main reasons for the continued increase is the use of “single stream” collection methods for recyclable goods. This means that residents are allowed to place all of their recyclables in a single container without sorting into bottles, cans, paper, etc. All of the separation into marketable grades and types of material happens at the processing center.

Each planning unit is required to achieve a minimum 25 percent recycling rate – unless its population density is less than 100 people per square mile, or its unemployment rate is 50 percent or more above the statewide unemployment average. Localities meeting these criteria are required to achieve a minimum 15 percent recycling rate.

The report is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov. It provides an overview of the materials recycled, the amount of waste disposed, and a listing of the recycling rate reported by each solid waste planning unit for 2011.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: October 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Conditions in Appomattox River basin lead to downgrading of drought status

‘Drought watch’ lifted for northern Piedmont region;
‘Drought watch’ status remains for Roanoke River region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2012

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447
william.hayden@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. – The Department of Environmental Quality has downgraded its advisory for the Appomattox River basin in south-central Virginia to a “drought watch” status and lifted the previously declared “drought watch” advisory for the northern Piedmont region.

A “drought watch” advisory remains in effect for the Roanoke River region.

Drought watch for Appomattox basin

The affected localities and public water suppliers for the Appomattox basin drought watch include Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward and Prince George counties; the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg; and the towns of Appomattox, Blackstone, Burkeville, Crewe and Farmville.

DEQ is sending notifications to local governments, public water works and private-sector water users in the affected area. Localities, public water suppliers and self-supplied water users in the Appomattox basin are encouraged to continue to voluntarily take these steps to help protect current water supplies:

• Minimize nonessential water use.
• Review existing or develop new local water conservation and drought contingency plans and take conservation actions consistent with those plans.
• Include water conservation information on local websites and distribute water conservation information as broadly as possible.
• Continue monitoring the condition of public waterworks and self-supplied water systems in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health.
• Impose water use restrictions when consistent with local water supply conditions.
• Aggressively pursue leak detection and repair programs.

The drought status has been changed to a drought watch advisory because indicators in the state’s Drought Assessment and Response Plan have improved. According to the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a group representing state and federal agencies, the primary factors contributing to the change are:

• Stream flow has improved from less than 95 percent of recorded flows in the area, indicating a severe hydrologic drought, to levels between 90 percent and 75 percent less than recorded flows.
• Ground water levels remain less than 75 percent to 90 percent of previously recorded levels.
• Levels at Lake Chesdin have stabilized at approximately 28 inches below full pool.
• Eight public water supplies continue to have either mandatory or voluntary water use restrictions.
• Temperatures are expected to drop significantly during the next month.

Removal of drought watch for northern Piedmont region

DEQ also has removed the “drought watch” advisory for the northern Piedmont region, which includes Greene, Madison, Rappahannock, Orange, Culpeper, Louisa, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties; the city of Fredericksburg; and the towns of Culpeper, Gordonsville, Louisa, Mineral, Madison, Orange, Stanardsville and Washington. Specific factors contributing to this change are:

• Rainfall amounts have returned to greater than 85 percent of normal totals in the past year, and the headwaters portion of the region has received more than 90 percent of normal precipitation in the past 90 days.
• Stream flows have returned to levels consistently greater than 25 percent of historic flows, representing normal conditions.
• Temperatures are expected to drop significantly during the next month.

Continuing drought watch for Roanoke River region

DEQ has continued the drought watch advisory for the Roanoke River region that includes Patrick, Franklin, Roanoke, Henry, Bedford, Pittsylvania, Campbell, Halifax, Charlotte, and Mecklenburg counties; the cities of Bedford, Danville, Martinsville, Salem and Roanoke; and the towns of Altavista, Brookneal, Charlotte Court House, Drakes Branch, Keysville, Phenix, Boones Mill, Rocky Mount, Halifax, Scottsburg, South Boston, Virgilina, Ridgeway, Boydton, Brodnax, Chase City, Clarksville, La Crosse, South Hill, Stuart, Chatham, Gretna, Hurt and Vinton.

Specific factors contributing to the continuance of this advisory are:

• Rainfall patterns have continued to produce less than 75 percent of normal rainfall over much of the region, particularly the headwaters, for more than 90 days.
• Stream flows have continually been 75 percent less than historic flows.
• Ground water levels have been 90 percent below historic levels for most of the past 90 days.

Through the drought watch advisory, Virginia is encouraging localities, public water suppliers and self-supplied water users in these localities to voluntarily take these steps to help protect current water supplies:

• Minimize nonessential water use.
• Review existing or develop new local water conservation and drought contingency plans and take conservation actions consistent with those plans.
• Include water conservation information on local websites and distribute water conservation information as broadly as possible.
• Continue monitoring the condition of public waterworks and self-supplied water systems in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health.
• Impose water use restrictions when consistent with local water supply conditions.
• Aggressively pursue leak detection and repair programs.

Statewide information on the current drought status is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: October 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

Conditions in Appomattox River basin lead to 'drought warning' status

‘Drought watch’ advisories issued for two other regions in Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2012

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447
william.hayden@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. – In response to ongoing summertime precipitation deficits, the Department of Environmental Quality has issued a “drought warning” advisory for the Appomattox River basin in south-central Virginia.

In addition, DEQ has issued “drought watch” advisories for the northern Piedmont and Roanoke River regions of the state.

Drought warning for Appomattox basin

The affected localities and public water suppliers for the Appomattox basin drought warning include Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward and Prince George counties; the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg; and the towns of Appomattox, Blackstone, Burkeville, Crewe and Farmville.

Drought warning responses are required when the onset of a significant drought event is imminent. Water conservation and contingency plans that were prepared during the drought watch stage should be implemented. Water conservation activities at this stage generally are voluntary, but this does not preclude localities issuing mandatory restrictions if appropriate.

DEQ is sending notifications to all local governments, public water works, and private-sector water users in the affected area, and is requesting that they prepare for the onset of a drought event by developing or reviewing existing water conservation and drought response plans. Through the drought warning declaration, Virginia is encouraging localities, public water suppliers and self-supplied water users in the Appomattox basin to voluntarily take these steps to help protect current water supplies:

• Minimize nonessential water use.
• All public waterworks and self-supplied water users who withdraw more than 10,000 gallons per day will initiate voluntary water conservation requirements contained in drought water conservation and contingency plans.
• Include water conservation information on local websites and distribute water conservation information as broadly as possible.
• Continue monitoring the condition of public waterworks and self-supplied water systems in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health.
• Impose mandatory water use restrictions when consistent with local water supply conditions.

This advisory is being issued because drought indicators in the state’s Drought Assessment and Response Plan have been met. According to the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, a group representing state and federal agencies, the primary factors contributing to the declaration of the drought warning advisory are:

• Precipitation deficits are 8 to 12 inches since October 1, 2011, throughout much of the river basin, and there are deficits of 6 to 8 inches in the rest of the basin.
• Stream flow is lower than 95 percent of recorded flows in the area, indicating a severe hydrologic drought – a period of below-average water content in streams, reservoirs, ground water aquifers, lakes and soils.
• Ground water levels are lower than 75 percent to 90 percent of previously recorded levels.
• Levels at Lake Chesdin have continued to fall since a drought watch advisory was issued July 26. Public water supply impacts have been reported by Crewe, Farmville and the Appomattox River Water Authority.
• A total of eight public water supplies have announced voluntary water use restrictions, and one additional waterworks has imposed mandatory restrictions.

Drought watch for northern Piedmont and Roanoke River regions

DEQ also has issued a “drought watch” advisory for Virginia's northern Piedmont region, which includes Greene, Madison, Rappahannock, Orange, Culpeper, Louisa, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties; the city of Fredericksburg; and the towns of Culpeper, Gordonsville, Louisa, Mineral, Madison, Orange, Stanardsville and Washington. Specific factors contributing to this advisory are:

• Scattered summer rainfall patterns have produced less than 50 percent of normal rainfall over much of the region for more than 60 days.
• Stream flows have continually been 75 percent less than historic flows for nearly one month, and have periodically dropped to 95 percent less than historic flows during the same period.
• Ground water levels have been 90 percent below historic levels for most of the past 60 days.

In addition, DEQ has issued a drought watch advisory for the Roanoke River region that includes Patrick, Franklin, Roanoke, Henry, Bedford, Pittsylvania, Campbell, Halifax, Charlotte, and Mecklenburg counties; the cities of Bedford, Danville, Martinsville, Salem and Roanoke; and the towns of Altavista, Brookneal, Charlotte Court House, Drakes Branch, Keysville, Phenix, Boones Mill, Rocky Mount, Halifax, Scottsburg, South Boston, Virgilina, Ridgeway, Boydton, Broadnax, Chase City, Clarksville, La Crosse, South Hill, Stuart, Chatham, Gretna, Hurt and Vinton. Specific factors contributing to this advisory are:

• Scattered summer rainfall patterns have produced less than 75 percent of normal rainfall over much of the region for more than 60 days.
• Stream flows have continually been 75 percent less than historic flows for nearly one month.
• Ground water levels have been 90 percent below historic levels for most of the past 60 days.

Through the drought watch advisory, Virginia is encouraging localities, public water suppliers and self-supplied water users in these regions to voluntarily take these steps to help protect current water supplies:

• Minimize nonessential water use.
• Review existing or develop new local water conservation and drought contingency plans and take conservation actions consistent with those plans.
• Include water conservation information on local websites and distribute water conservation information as broadly as possible.
• Continue monitoring the condition of public waterworks and self-supplied water systems in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health.
• Impose water use restrictions when consistent with local water supply conditions.
• Aggressively pursue leak detection and repair programs.

Statewide information on the current drought status is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: August 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Virginia issues 'drought watch' advisory for Appomattox River basin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2012

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447
william.hayden@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. – Precipitation deficits and above-average temperatures have continued to cause drought impacts in the Appomattox River basin in south-central Virginia. In response to existing conditions and to increase public awareness of the potential for a significant drought event, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has issued a “drought watch” advisory for the Appomattox basin.

The affected localities and public water suppliers include Amelia County, Appomattox County, Buckingham County, Chesterfield County, Cumberland County, Dinwiddie County, Nottoway County, Powhatan County, Prince Edward County, Prince George County, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, and the towns of Appomattox, Blackstone, Burkeville, Crewe and Farmville.

A drought watch advisory is intended to increase awareness of conditions that are likely to precede a significant drought event and to facilitate preparation for a drought.

This advisory is being issued because drought indicators in the state’s Drought Assessment and Response Plan have been met. According to the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, an interagency group representing state and federal agencies, the primary factors contributing to the declaration of the drought watch advisory are:

• Precipitation deficits are 8 to 12 inches since October 1, 2011, throughout much of the river basin, and there are deficits of 6 to 8 inches in the rest of the basin.
• Stream flow is lower than 95 percent of recorded flows in the area, indicating a severe hydrologic drought – a period of below-average water content in streams, reservoirs, ground water aquifers, lakes and soils.
• Ground water levels are lower than 75 percent to 90 percent of previously recorded levels.
• Levels at Lake Chesdin are down 38 inches. Public water supply impacts have been reported by Farmville and the Appomattox River Water Authority.
• According to the National Weather Service, conditions in the area are designated as “moderate drought.”

DEQ is sending notifications to all local governments, public water works, and private-sector water users in the affected area, and is requesting that they prepare for the onset of a drought event by developing or reviewing existing water conservation and drought response plans. Through the drought watch advisory, Virginia is encouraging localities, public water suppliers and self-supplied water users in the Appomattox basin to voluntarily take these steps to help protect current water supplies:

• Minimize nonessential water use.
• Review existing or develop new local water conservation and drought contingency plans and take conservation actions consistent with those plans.
• Include water conservation information on local websites and distribute water conservation information as broadly as possible.
• Continue monitoring the condition of public waterworks and self-supplied water systems in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health.
• Impose water use restrictions when consistent with local water supply conditions.
• Aggressively pursue leak detection and repair programs.

The next stage after a drought watch would be a “drought warning,” which would be issued if conditions warrant. Drought warning responses are required when the onset of a significant drought event is imminent. Water conservation and contingency plans that have been prepared during a drought watch stage would begin to be implemented. From the perspective of the Commonwealth, water conservation activities at this stage would generally be voluntary. This does not preclude localities issuing mandatory restrictions if appropriate.

Statewide information on the current drought status is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: July 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Virginia issues solid waste report for 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2012

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447
william.hayden@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Department of Environmental Quality released its annual report today on solid waste management in Virginia. The report includes the amounts of solid waste managed in Virginia in 2011, and the amounts and sources of solid waste generated outside the Commonwealth.

The total amount of solid waste received at Virginia facilities during 2011 increased by about 1 million tons (5.2 percent) from 2010. Solid waste includes municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, vegetative and yard waste, and other types of waste. The total amount of solid waste from outside Virginia increased by about 19,000 tons (0.3 percent) to 5.6 million tons. The total amount from within Virginia increased to about 15.2 million tons (7.1 percent).

Other findings of the report include:

• Of the 20.7 million tons of solid waste reported in 2011, approximately 12.4 million tons (60 percent) were municipal solid waste, which is trash from households and businesses.
• The total amount of municipal solid waste generated outside Virginia was approximately 3.8 million tons, a decrease of about 190,000 tons (4.7 percent). Maryland, New York, Washington, D.C., New Jersey and North Carolina accounted for 97.1 percent of all waste received from out-of-state sources.
• Of the total solid waste reported in 2011, about 3.8 million tons (18.4 percent) were construction and demolition debris.
• Of the total solid waste managed in Virginia in 2011, about 12.9 million tons (74.5 percent) were disposed of in landfills, and about 2.1 million tons (12.3 percent) were incinerated. The rest was managed by other means, including mulching and recycling.

The full solid waste report is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: June 27, 2012 at 11:35 am