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Official DEQ news releases.

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

DEQ offers free training to dry cleaners

CONTACT: Julia Wellman
(804) 698-4399

RICHMOND, VA. – The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is offering free environmental compliance seminars for owners and operators of dry cleaners from April through June.

The seminar series, called An Environmental Compliance Refresher: Getting Back on Track, provides facilities with training on new regulatory requirements and an opportunity to learn more about leak detection technology, environmental contamination and cleanups.

DEQ, the Mid-Atlantic Association of Cleaners and the Korean Dry Cleaners Association of Greater Washington are sponsoring the seminars.

The dates, locations and times for the seminars are:

• April 24 – DEQ West Central Regional Office, 3019 Peters Creek Rd., Roanoke, 7 to 9 p.m.

• April 25 – Danville Community College, Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training, Auditorium, 121 Slayton Ave., Danville, 7 to 9 p.m.

• April 26 – Tidewater Community College, Portsmouth Campus, Frederick W. Beazley Building, Waterfront Conference Room, 7000 College Dr., Portsmouth, 7 to 9 p.m.

• May 8 – John Tyler Community College, Chester Campus Auditorium, 13101 Jefferson Davis Highway, Chester, 7 to 9 p.m.

• June 24 – Fairfax County Government Center, Board Auditorium, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, 2 to 6 p.m.

To pre-register, email the DEQ Small Business Assistance Program at The program helps small businesses understand and meet environmental requirements by providing free training and technical assistance. More information is available on the DEQ website.

From: Julia Wellman

Sent: April 16, 2007 at 12:13 pm

Virginia issues 2005 report on chemical releases

CONTACT: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- Virginia industries reported that chemicals released on-site at facilities decreased by about 10 percent in 2005, according to the latest Toxics Release Inventory produced by the Department of Environmental Quality.

This comes despite the fact that the total amount of chemicals reported as managed on-site, transferred off-site or released on-site increased by about 50 percent from 2004. Most of the increase is due to the additional reporting of on-site recycling at one facility that had not been reported in recent years.

“I am encouraged that the overall amount of chemicals entering the environment continues to decrease,” DEQ Director David K. Paylor said. “Virginia businesses are getting better at effectively managing their chemicals. However we cannot be content and we still have work to do. DEQ will continue to work with businesses and industry to reduce chemical releases.”

The amount of chemicals that facilities transferred off-site or managed on-site for safe treatment or disposal increased by about 13 percent and 73 percent, respectively, from 2004.

The report also includes 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 2005 totaled about 218,194 pounds, a 29 percent decrease from 2004.

The 2005 report, which contains the most recent data available, includes this information:

• The amount of chemicals transferred off-site (to wastewater treatment facilities, or for recycling, energy recovery or disposal) – 72.5 million pounds, up 13.3 percent from 2004.

• The amount of chemicals managed on-site (through treatment, recycling or energy recovery) – 453 million pounds, up 72.8 percent.

• The amount of chemicals recycled on-site – 350 million pounds of which 256 million pounds were reported by Hercules in Hopewell.

• Total on-site releases - 56.4 million pounds, down 9.7 percent.

• On-site releases to the air - 40.7 million pounds, down 15.4 percent.

• On-site releases to water - 9.7 million pounds, up 12.2 percent due to changes in industrial processes and increases in discharges of treated wastewater.

• On-site releases to land - 5.9 million pounds, up 5.7 percent.

• The report also contains rankings by facility, type of industry and locality on the release, transfer and management of chemicals.

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 2005 Toxics Release Inventory is available on the DEQ website. Information on releases from 2006 is due to DEQ for analysis this summer and will be available to the public in early 2008.

From: Julia Wellman

Sent: March 30, 2007 at 12:13 pm

Micron Technology achieves 'environmental excellence' designation

CONTACT: Julia Wellman
(804) 698-4399

RICHMOND, VA. -- Micron Technology has received the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program’s “Extraordinary Environmental Enterprise” designation.

The Virginia Environmental Excellence Program is a voluntary recognition and incentive effort that promotes the use of environmental management systems in businesses and industrial facilities. Environmental management systems enable a facility to reduce waste and prevent pollution while increasing its operating efficiency.

“Micron Technology has voluntarily made environmental performance a management priority,” Department of Environmental Quality Director David K. Paylor said. “This company has shown that it is committed to environmental sustainability through the successful management of its facility.”

As an Extraordinary Environmental Enterprise or E4 participant, a facility must have a fully implemented environmental management system, a record of sustained compliance with environmental requirements and a commitment to sustainability and community involvement. Micron Technology in Manassas is a semiconductor manufacturing facility that has successfully reused more than 250 million gallons of water, saved 16 million kilowatt hours through energy efficiency upgrades and recycled more than 1,300 tons of material.

DEQ will recognize the company’s achievement in a ceremony at Micron Technology located at 9600 Godwin Drive in Manassas on Wednesday, March 14 at 10 a.m. Media representatives are invited to attend.

For more information on Micron Technology’s environmental management system, contact Jennifer Rutkowski, Micron’s community and public affairs specialist, at (703) 396-1137. Information on the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program is available on the DEQ website.

From: Julia Wellman

Sent: March 12, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Virginia focuses fish kill investigation efforts

CONTACT: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, along with their partners on the Shenandoah River Fish Kill Task Force, have focused their research and monitoring efforts to address the most likely causes of the fish kills that have occurred in the Shenandoah River watershed each spring since 2004.

Dr. Greg Garman of the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Environmental Studies and Dr. Donald Orth of Virginia Tech have offered recommendations on which efforts to continue after analyzing past studies. Based on these suggestions, DEQ and DGIF will pursue a research and monitoring plan that includes three key areas:

* Continue and expand ongoing fish studies to address possible diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and chemicals.

* Evaluate characteristics of chemical compounds or biological agents that would have effects on the biological community that are consistent with those observed during the Shenandoah fish kills. An outgrowth of this evaluation would focus on chemicals used in Shenandoah Valley agricultural and industrial practices.

* Continue and expand ongoing water quality studies, including an investigation on the interaction between ground water and surface waters, river sampling during storms, continuous pH monitoring, and weekly river basin sampling.

The task force, led by DEQ and DGIF, has conducted a number of investigations into water quality and fish health since 2004. Preliminary results from these studies suggest that multiple stress factors affecting fish may be involved. The latest efforts build upon this work.

Money to conduct the additional research and monitoring is available from the Virginia Environmental Emergency Response Fund. In October 2006, Governor Timothy M. Kaine authorized the use of up to $150,000 from the fund to support scientific investigations of the Shenandoah River fish kills.

DEQ urges anyone observing dead fish or unusual water quality conditions in the watershed to contact DEQ immediately at (540) 574-7800.

From: Julia Wellman

Sent: March 05, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Virginia Beach infuses cleanup plan with innovation

CONTACT: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- Virginia Beach is implementing a plan, approved by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, to improve water quality in the Lynnhaven, Broad and Linkhorn bays with innovative approaches and technology.

“Virginia Beach has proved its commitment to environmental stewardship by leading efforts to improve water quality in the city’s bays,” DEQ Director David K. Paylor said. “The city is a model for other communities across the Commonwealth.”

The Lynnhaven, Broad and Linkhorn bays are impaired because bacteria levels in water samples are higher than the allowable amounts. DEQ, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and Virginia Beach completed a cleanup plan to reduce bacteria levels in the bays in June 2006, and Virginia Beach has been implementing measures since then to reduce pollution.

“From the beginning of the process, Virginia Beach dedicated resources to develop and implement measures to reduce bacteria contamination in the watersheds,” Paylor said. “The city is also taking a proactive approach by addressing potential threats to water quality before they can cause problems.”

Numerous significant projects are under way or planned. They include:

• Using six solar aerators in two storm water management impoundments. The aerators have improved dissolved oxygen levels in one lake and improved water clarity and reduced blue-green algae in both lakes; reductions in bacteria and nutrient contributions to the receiving waters of the Lynnhaven River are anticipated.

• Installing anti-microbial mats (called centipedes) inside storm water pipes to reduce bacteria levels in the water passing over them.

• Starting a $4.6 million effort to retrofit many of its sewage pump stations with generator hookups and electric generators that will allow city crews to provide auxiliary power when severe storms cause power disruptions.

• Undertaking a boater pump-out program for the Lynnhaven River watershed in partnership with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District. Boaters will receive sewage pumpouts of their vessels at no cost to prevent sewage discharge into the Lynnhaven waters during boating season. At the city’s request, DEQ petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to declare the Lynnhaven watershed a “no discharge zone,” in which sewage discharge from boats is prohibited. EPA has approved the request.

• Partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to stabilize the eroding shoreline connecting Linkhorn and Broad bays in conjunction with a federal maintenance dredging project.

• Undertaking an extensive public education campaign that includes watershed and storm drain identification markers and a pet waste awareness component.

Virginia Beach and its partners estimate that implementing these projects to improve water quality, restore habitats and ensure infrastructure integrity will cost about $10 million. More information about the city’s water quality improvement efforts is available from Bill Johnston, P.E., of the Virginia Beach Department of Public Works at or the Virginia Beach website at

From: Julia Wellman

Sent: February 28, 2007 at 11:58 am