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Official DEQ news releases.

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

Emergency order requires fixes at Atlantic Waste Disposal landfill in Waverly

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2016

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

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has entered into an emergency order by consent with Atlantic Waste Disposal Inc. for the Atlantic Waste Disposal landfill in Waverly. This order is for ongoing noncompliance with the Virginia Waste Management Act.

The order addresses conditions at the Atlantic Waste Disposal landfill resulting from excess heat within the landfill waste mass. This has led to concerns with odor, slope stability, and increased leachate production. Leachate is water contaminated by landfill waste. It was observed flowing outside the limits of the lined disposal area about 500 to 600 feet to adjacent forested wetlands, impacting approximately 3.4 acres.

The order requires completion of a schedule of compliance and adherence to a landfill management plan. Atlantic is required to: 1) remove leachate and contaminated stormwater from unlined areas; 2) reduce intake of waste to no more than 35,000 tons of waste per week; 3) remove a minimum of 2.5 million gallons of leachate per week, increasing to 3.5 million gallons after 60 days; 4) prevent migration of leachate seeps outside the lined disposal area; 5) backfill sinkholes occurring on the surface of the waste mass; 6) notify DEQ of any regulatory noncompliance within 24 hours of discovery; 7) submit an updated cost estimate for the facility’s financial assurance mechanism; and 8) submit weekly monitoring data for internal temperature of the landfill, intake of waste material and leachate removal.

Focused on interim, immediate corrective action, the order does not address any potential enforcement action from the agency. DEQ continues to monitor the landfill to ensure compliance with the Waste Management Act, as well as with the terms of the order.

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

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: February 11, 2016 at 9:59 am

Virginia approves consent order addressing wetlands and other violations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2016

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

RICHMOND, VA. -- The State Water Control Board, at the request of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, has approved a consent order with Boyd Farm for unauthorized discharge of pollutants to state waters in Goochland County.

A number of violations of the Virginia Water Protection Program resulted in impacts to 7.93 acres of wetlands and 10,385 linear feet of stream during the conversion of a silviculture operation to an agriculture operation. The consent order contains a civil charge of $278,542 and requires the completion of a substantial corrective action plan to restore and/or provide compensatory mitigation for impacts to the environment. The enforcement action supports DEQ’s policy of no net loss of existing wetland acreage and no net loss of function in surface waters.

DEQ’s enforcement mission is premised on ensuring compliance with Virginia's environmental laws and regulations to protect public health and the environment. DEQ’s Enforcement Program has a statewide presence with enforcement staff in six regional offices. DEQ coordinates closely with federal, state and local officials in a comprehensive strategy to investigate and adjudicate violations of the Commonwealth’s environmental laws.

The settlement with Boyd Farm is a result of a collaborative effort that included assistance from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The water board approved the consent order at its meeting January 14, 2016.

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

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: January 29, 2016 at 9:59 am

Virginia approves 2 permits for removing water from coal ash ponds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2016

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

RICHMOND, VA. -- The State Water Control Board approved two permits today that provide strict legal requirements for the removal of water from coal ash ponds at Dominion Virginia Power facilities in Fluvanna and Prince William counties.

The water discharge permits are a necessary first step in stabilizing and closing the coal ash ponds permanently. The requirements in the permits are designed to protect water quality, fish and other aquatic life, and human health at all times.

"These permits fully comply with state and federal laws and regulations to protect people’s health and the environment," said David K. Paylor, director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. "They will ensure that water in the receiving streams meets the water quality standards approved by Virginia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

The Dominion facilities are Bremo Bluff on the James River in Fluvanna, and Possum Point on Quantico Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River, in Prince William.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: January 14, 2016 at 5:31 pm

DEQ to renew commitment to citizen water monitoring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2015

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

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will renew an agreement supporting citizen water quality monitoring and thank the hundreds of Virginians who dedicate their time to this effort at an event Wednesday, November 18, 2015.

For more than 15 years, DEQ has partnered with state and local conservation organizations to give citizens the tools and training needed to accurately assess water quality. The information these volunteers collect is used at the local, state and federal levels to identify potential water quality problems -- and to find solutions.

DEQ Director David K. Paylor will join leaders from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Izaak Walton League of America, Virginia Citizens for Water Quality and Virginia Water Monitoring Council to sign a new partnership agreement supporting citizen water quality monitoring.

The November 18 event at Browns Island (directly across from Tredegar Iron Works on Tredegar Street in downtown Richmond) is open to the public. The signing event will begin at 1:30 p.m.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: November 16, 2015 at 11:22 am

Drought watch lifted for Roanoke River basin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2015

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

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has lifted the “drought watch” advisory for the Roanoke River basin that was issued in September 2015.

The affected localities and public water suppliers include Patrick, Franklin, Roanoke, Henry, Bedford, Pittsylvania, Campbell, Halifax, Charlotte and Mecklenburg counties and the cities of Danville, Martinsville, Roanoke and Salem in the Roanoke River basin.

According to the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force, which represents state and federal agencies, the primary factors contributing to the lifting of the drought watch advisory are:

-- Precipitation deficits for 2015 have been eliminated across nearly all of the Roanoke River basin by above-normal rainfall during the last 60 days.

-- Stream flows and groundwater levels have returned to normal or above-normal levels.

-- The National Weather Service has predicted a significant chance for above-normal precipitation during the next month.

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

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: November 03, 2015 at 1:24 pm