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

Free teacher kits on land conservation available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2008

Contact:
Julia Wellman
(804) 698-4399
jhwellman@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. -- Love-A-Tree activity kits are available for free to teachers from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The packets include a teacher resource guide with lesson plans and activities on land conservation and stewardship.

The lesson plans focus on three main concepts: the importance of land conservation, threats to the protection of open space and land management. The kit was designed for middle school teachers, but it can be adapted for upper elementary or high school students.

In April 2006, Governor Timothy M. Kaine set a goal to protect 400,000 acres of land. Benefits of this goal include preserving water quality, providing additional opportunities for recreation, and preserving wildlife habitat and historic landscapes. The kits highlight these benefits through the lesson plans.

The Love-A-Tree kit is a Virginia Resource Use Education Council project with special support from International Paper, the Virginia Office of Environmental Education at DEQ, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Department of Forestry and the Department of Transportation. Employees at the International Paper mill in Franklin also volunteered to assemble the materials into 3,000 kits.

To request a kit, contact Stephanie Feaser at DEQ by email at srfeaser@deq.virginia.gov and include a mailing address. For questions regarding the content, contact Kris Jarvis at DEQ by email at kdjarvis@deq.virginia.gov. Additional information about the Love-A-Tree kits and Virginia Naturally is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov.

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From: Julia Wellman

Sent: February 06, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Virginia issues recycling report for 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2007

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

VIRGINIA ISSUES RECYCLING REPORT FOR 2006

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has released its annual report on recycling by Virginia localities. The report includes information from localities on the percentage and type of waste recycled in 2006.

The statewide recycling rate for 2006 increased to 38.4 percent from 32.2 percent in 2005. About 86 percent of localities and regional waste management areas achieved the state recycling rates, compared with 61 percent in 2005.

“The increase in recycling and the number of localities meeting the recycling rates reflects the continued support by Virginians for recycling in their communities,” DEQ Director David K. Paylor said. “As a result of these efforts, less trash will go into our landfills, and we will conserve energy and important natural resources.”

Additional recycling and the use for the first time of recycling credits contributed to the increase. Localities could earn credits by including the amount of materials recycled or reused that typically are not included in household recycling. These materials include recycling residue and industrial byproduct wastes. Credits also could be earned by adding the amount of solid waste reused, such as office furniture donated to charities, and the amount of construction and demolition debris and industrial waste recycled.

In addition, localities could add 2 percentage points to their recycling rates if they have a waste reduction program, which could include home composting efforts and improvements in management practices that minimize the amount of waste created.

Other findings of the report include:

• Localities recycled or reused about 3.7 million tons of material.
• The percentage of paper, metal, plastics, glass and other “principal recyclable materials” that was recycled increased 11 percentage points from 2005.
• The percentage of waste tires, used oil, electronics and other materials that was recycled increased 11 percentage points from 2005.

Ten areas did not meet the state recycling rate in 2006, compared with 29 in 2005. For the areas that did not meet the recycling rate, DEQ will require the jurisdiction to prepare a recycling action plan to identify necessary changes or improvements to their programs.

State law requires that most localities or regional waste management areas in Virginia recycle at least 25 percent of waste generated. However, each locality or region with a low population density or high unemployment rate is required to meet a minimum recycling rate of 15 percent.

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

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From: Julia Wellman

Sent: December 13, 2007 at 12:41 pm

DEQ, VCU develop scholarship program for agency employees earning master’s degree

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2007

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

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Department of Environmental Quality has formed a learning partnership with the Center of Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University to promote higher education for DEQ employees beyond just the Richmond area.

“This kind of investment in education by a state agency is a first in the Commonwealth,” DEQ Director David K. Paylor said. “It offers many benefits to our employees, the agency and VCU. By promoting educational opportunities for the environmental professionals at DEQ, we expect to develop a better-informed workforce that will strengthen Virginia’s efforts to protect the environment.”

Most classes will be offered via distance learning using DEQ’s videoconferencing equipment, though some classes will be traditional face-to-face lectures. The course work will lead to a Master of Environmental Studies degree.

“VCU Life Sciences is very pleased to partner with DEQ on this unique program, which leverages distance-learning technologies and a terrific faculty to provide DEQ employees across the Commonwealth with access to graduate-level instruction in environmental science and policy,” said Dr. Greg Garman, Director of the VCU Center for Environmental Studies.

For the 2007-08 academic year, seven DEQ employees are participating – two from Richmond, two from Roanoke, and one each from Virginia Beach, Lynchburg and Harrisonburg.

Under the partnership agreement, DEQ will provide scholarships to selected employees for 75 percent of the costs for tuition. To be eligible for the program, participants must be employed by the state in a classified position for at least one year. Participants must meet all VCU admission requirements, must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 throughout the course of study and must enroll for at least six graduate credits each academic year.

All students in the master’s program are eligible for scholarships made possible by a gift from Mrs. Inger Rice, who donated to VCU an ecologically rich, 340-acre parcel of land on the tidal James River southeast of Richmond. VCU Life Sciences, including the Center for Environmental Studies, uses the property for research, education and outreach activities.

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From: Julia Wellman

Sent: October 18, 2007 at 11:09 am

Agreement strengthens efforts to improve water quality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2007

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

RICHMOND, VA. - The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Dan River Basin Association will begin a partnership to improve water quality on October 2 in Danville.

“This agreement will strengthen Virginia’s efforts to protect and restore water quality in the Dan River watershed,” DEQ Director David K. Paylor said. “We look forward to working with the Dan River Basin Association to improve and promote the region’s water resources.”

The agreement defines the roles and shared goals of DEQ and the Dan River Basin Association. DEQ and the association plan to work together to expand water quality monitoring by volunteers, study the health of the watershed, promote opportunities to discuss environmental issues with the public and implement land management practices that reduce pollution.

Paylor and the Dan River Basin Association President William Truslow will sign the agreement at a ceremony starting at 10 a.m. under the triple flags in the Crossing at the Dan in Danville.


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From: Bill Hayden

Sent: October 01, 2007 at 11:02 am

Proposed water reuse regulation ready for public comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 11, 2007

Contact:
Bill Hayden
804) 698-4447
wphayden@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. -- The State Water Control Board is requesting public comment through Oct. 9, 2007, on a proposed regulation that would allow the reuse of treated wastewater or reclaimed water from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities. The use of reclaimed water will conserve water supplies and reduce the discharge of wastewater to natural waters.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality worked with stakeholders to develop the regulation, which establishes requirements for treating and monitoring reclaimed water for reuse. These requirements are designed to protect the environment and public health. Water reuse is the use of reclaimed water for purposes that do not require drinking water quality.

For the reclamation of municipal wastewater, the regulation proposes that the wastewater be treated either to a standard allowing reuses with the potential for public contact or to a standard allowing reuses with no or minimal potential for public contact. Treatment standards and monitoring requirements will be developed on a case-by-case basis for industrial wastewaters.

Reuses of reclaimed water that are listed in the regulation are divided among six categories: urban (unrestricted access), irrigation (unrestricted access), irrigation (restricted access), landscape impoundments, construction and industrial. Reuses not listed may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

DEQ will also host three public hearings at which written and oral comments will be accepted. The dates, locations and times of the public hearings are:

• Sept. 17 – DEQ West Central Regional Office, 3019 Peters Creek Road, Roanoke, 2 p.m.
• Sept. 21 – DEQ Tidewater Regional Office, 5636 Southern Boulevard, Virginia Beach, 2 p.m.
• Sept. 24 – DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949 Cox Road, Glen Allen, 2 p.m.

More information is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov.

From: Julia Wellman

Sent: September 11, 2007 at 12:47 pm