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Official DEQ news releases.

List administrator(s): Jennifer Underwood, Ann Regn, Irina Calos, John Tragesser

Winners of Governor's environmental excellence awards announced

April 2, 2009

Contact: Krystal Coxon, DEQ
(804) 698-4399

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant, Jr., announced the 23 winners of the 2009 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards on April 1, at the Environment Virginia 2009 Symposium in Lexington.

The awards recognize the significant contributions of environmental and conservation leaders in three categories: environmental projects, environmental programs and land conservation. They are given to businesses and industrial facilities, not-for-profit organizations, government agencies and individuals.

These entries were recognized as Gold Medal Winners in the Environmental Program category:

• The Philip Morris USA's Park 500 facility in Chester for its environmental management system.
• The Sustainability Park in Chester for building an infrastructure focused on a model of sustainability.
• The City of Roanoke for its "Clean and Green" public outreach campaign.
• The Town of Blacksburg for its comprehensive environmental management program.
• The Lynnhaven River NOW organization for its campaign to protect and restore the estuary.

These entries were recognized as Gold Medal Winners in the Environmental Project category:

• The Philip Morris USA's Park 500 facility in Chester for its innovative natural wastewater treatment system.
• The Dometic Corporation of Richmond for the development of the first commercially viable battery-powered heating and cooling system for idling trucks.
• The Virginia Department of Corrections for the Pamunkey Farm Cooperative Venture conservation and restoration project.

The City of Roanoke also received a Gold Medal in the Land Conservation category for its Carvins Cove Conservation Easement project.

Award winners were chosen based on criteria including to environmental benefit, stakeholder involvement, public outreach, transferability and innovativeness.

This year's awards were sponsored by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Manufacturers Association and Dominion.

Additional information on the Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards is available on the DEQ website at

From: Krystal Coxon

Sent: April 02, 2009 at 11:58 am

Virginia issues 2007 report on chemical releases

March 19, 2009

Contact: Bill Hayden, DEQ
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- Virginia industries reported that chemicals released on-site at facilities decreased by 4 percent in 2007, according to the latest Toxics Release Inventory produced by the Department of Environmental Quality.

Virginia industries reported 931.5 million pounds of chemicals managed on-site, transferred off-site or released, a 21.2 percent increase from the previous year. This is due mainly to an increase in on-site recycling activities and off-site transfers by Virginia facilities.

DEQ compiles toxic release inventory chemicals data from reporting facilities annually. The 2007 report, which contains the most recent data available, includes these findings:

• 63 million pounds of chemicals released on-site to the air, water and land (a 4.0 percent decrease from 2006).
• 88.9 million pounds of chemicals transferred off-site for treatment, recycling, energy recovery, or disposal (a 28.8 percent increase from 2006).
• 779.6 million pounds of chemicals managed on-site by treatment, recycling, or energy recovery (a 22.9 percent increase from 2006).

The report also includes data about releases of a group of chemicals known as persistent bioaccumulative toxics. These chemicals remain in the environment for long periods of time and can build up in living tissue. Releases of these persistent chemicals in 2007 totaled 291,265 pounds, a 25.2 percent decrease from 2006.

DEQ uses the TRI data to target facilities for projects to reduce pollution at the source. DEQ's Environmental Excellence Program uses incentives and assistance efforts to promote environmental stewardship beyond regulatory compliance. The goal of this initiative is to help develop more efficient technologies and business operations by reducing the amount of chemicals released to the environment and improving how the chemicals are managed.

The 2007 Toxics Release Inventory is available online at Information on releases from 2008 is due to DEQ for analysis this summer and will be available to the public in early 2010.

From: Krystal Coxon

Sent: March 19, 2009 at 11:42 am

Nearly 20,000 tires removed from last known tire dump site in western Virginia

March 17, 2009

Contact: Bill Hayden, DEQ
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is removing nearly 20,000 tires today from a site near Martinsville, the last known illegal tire dump in western Virginia.

DEQ's Waste Tire Program is working with contractors to remove the tires on Tuesday, March 17, 2009. This completes the cleanup of western Virginia sites that have been identified since 1993 and brings the total number of removed tires in this region to approximately 3.6 million.

The western region includes the cities of Lynchburg, Roanoke, Martinsville, Danville, Farmville and South Boston and surrounding counties and towns. Statewide, DEQ has removed 433 piles totaling more than 21 million tires since 1994; property owners have removed 678 smaller piles, totaling 1.7 million tires.

DEQ's Waste Tire Cleanup Program began with a statewide survey in 1993 to identify, quantify and certify tire dump sites. The program cleans up eligible tire dump sites on a priority basis, focusing first on the largest sites and then on smaller sites as funding is available.

Tires removed from dump sites are generally shred and used in place of gravel or sand in landfill applications such as drainage and cover materials. Cleaner waste tires can be chipped for other uses such as crumb rubber for recycled products or fuel chips.

To be eligible for the DEQ cleanup program, tire dump sites must have been created before 1994 or as a result of illegal dumping reported to local police or a sheriff’s office. Tire dump sites created in 1994 or later are the responsibility of the property owner. To report a pile that may be eligible for cleanup, contact the nearest regional DEQ office found at

To learn more about DEQ's Tire Waste Program, visit

From: Krystal Coxon

Sent: March 17, 2009 at 7:05 am

DEQ releases Hopewell air quality study

Feb. 23, 2009

Contact: Bill Hayden, DEQ
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- Preliminary information from a new study indicates that most airborne chemicals in the city of Hopewell are safely below Virginia's long-term air quality standards, the Department of Environmental Quality announced today. DEQ's investigation is continuing with an analysis of whether two of the chemicals raise any concerns for human health.

"Our initial results show that levels of the chemicals acrolein and formaldehyde require a more thorough look," DEQ Director David K. Paylor said. "We expect a more complete picture when we finish the study of potential health concerns and whether they could affect Hopewell residents."

Air quality studies across the United States show that acrolein and formaldehyde levels in many parts of the country are higher than Virginia's standards. The concentration of these chemicals in Hopewell are not unusual compared with what many other urban and rural areas of the country experience, according to the DEQ report. These chemicals most often are produced during open burning and from vehicle emissions.

"Our primary goal is to protect people's health and the environment," Paylor said. "When we have obtained the information we need and the study is complete, DEQ will evaluate appropriate steps for reducing these and other chemicals in the air."

DEQ began the Hopewell air quality study in 2006 with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as part of DEQ's overall program to evaluate air quality throughout the Commonwealth. The study covered 67 chemicals and metals, and 96 percent of them were below Virginia's air quality levels of concern. DEQ worked closely with a stakeholder group from Hopewell to explain the design and conduct of the study, and the group members are familiar with the results.

As a result of the work related to this study, DEQ has placed another air monitor in Hopewell and is analyzing several more chemicals beyond what previously was studied. The preliminary Hopewell air quality study is available on the DEQ website at

From: Krystal Coxon

Sent: February 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Virginia's litter and recycling programs show strength

Jan. 20, 2009

Contact: Krystal Coxon, DEQ
(804) 698-4399

RICHMOND, VA. -- Local governments and volunteers, demonstrating strong support for litter and recycling programs, completed nearly 800,000 hours of litter and recycling activities in 2007-2008 across Virginia.

The Department of Environmental Quality's 2007-2008 litter and recycling annual report shows that more than 650 Virginian local government employees worked alongside volunteers for approximately 800,000 hours from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008, under the state litter prevention and recycling grant program to complete litter cleanups, conduct anti-littering youth education programs and organize recycling programs.

"Virginia's local governments and residents are showing an extraordinary commitment to keeping Virginia clean," says DEQ Director David K. Paylor.

A total of 10,583 cleanup events were hosted throughout Virginia, using a total of 101,177 volunteers who cleaned up 38,745 cubic yards of litter. Nearly 2,500 presentations, workshops and other educational events for youth were conducted as part of youth education programs.

Three hundred local governments received approximately $1.8 million in funding from the state litter prevention and recycling grant program and exceeded matching funds with more than $8.1 million from other sources of funds and in-kind services.

The money for litter prevention and recycling grants is generated through three litter taxes paid by Virginia beer distributors, soft drink companies and retailers. DEQ disburses the litter and recycling tax revenues to localities that apply annually for the grant funding. The amount that each locality receives is proportional to the road miles and population of the jurisdiction.

To learn more about Virginia's litter prevention and recycling grant program and to read the 2008 annual report to the Litter Control and Recycling Fund Advisory Board, visit the DEQ website at

From: Krystal Coxon

Sent: January 20, 2009 at 10:15 am