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Official DEQ news releases.

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

Virginia authorizes $8.5 million for local stormwater projects

March 2, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has authorized $8.5 million in matching grants for local government projects to reduce stormwater pollution. The grants come from the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund, created in 2013 to encourage best management practices that improve water quality.

"These grants are a key tool in our ongoing efforts to improve water quality in Virginia," said DEQ Director David K. Paylor. "The funds will help local governments implement specific projects that result in less stormwater pollution in our rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay."

The grants cover 17 projects in 17 localities. The projects focus on cost-effectiveness and enhanced stormwater management plans that address required water quality improvements in the Commonwealth.

A total of 77 projects statewide were submitted to DEQ for consideration this year. The list of projects and more information on the grants is available on the DEQ website at

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: March 02, 2016 at 8:54 am

Virginia Green announces 2015 Green Travel Star and Green Travel Leader award winners

February 24, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Green program presented the Virginia Green Travel Star Award today to 21 Virginia tourism businesses for their commitments to green tourism practices at the third annual Virginia Green Travel Conference and Travel Star Awards Celebration. In addition, 21 tourism businesses were recognized and received the Virginia Green Travel Leader Award for their efforts to protect the environment and promote green tourism in Virginia.

The conference was held at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel and Conference Center and featured more than 35 presentations on green tourism efforts in Virginia. The awards were presented by Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, with assistance from Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

The Virginia Green program is run through a partnership of the Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association (formerly the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association), and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. The program encourages green practices in Virginia’s tourism industry, and nearly 1,700 tourism businesses and other organizations have self-certified their green commitments through the Virginia Green program.

The 2015 Virginia Green Travel Star Award winners are:

-- Green Attraction of the Year: Burnham Guides, Onancock
-- Green Brewery of the Year: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond
-- Green Brewery of the Year: Wild Wolf Brewing Co., Nellysford
-- Green Event of the Year: 2015 UCI Road World Championships, Richmond
-- Green Hotel of the Year: Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel
-- Green B & B of the Year: Oak Grove Plantation Bed & Breakfast, Cluster Springs
-- Green Cabins of the Year: Shadow Mountain Escape, Luray
-- Green Restaurant of the Year: Caffe Amouri, Vienna
-- Green Visitor Center of the Year: Virginia Beach Visitor Information Center
-- Green Winery of the Year: North Gate Vineyard, Purcellville
-- Green Supplier of the Year: Lumen Energy, Richmond
-- Green Convention Center of the Year: Virginia Beach Convention Center
-- Green Conference Center of the Year: Airlie Conference Center, Warrenton
-- Most Innovative Green Projects of the Year:
--- Green Weddings by Khimaira Farm, Luray
--- Dark Skies Initiative by Staunton River State Park, Scottsburg
--- Zero Waste Project by Xanterra Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg
--- Composting & Urban Garden by the Hilton Downtown Richmond
--- Electric Vehicle Charging Station by Croc’s 19th Street Bistro, Virginia Beach
--- Recycling and Sustainability by Richmond International Airport
--- Pollinator Habitat Program by the Virginia Department of Transportation Welcome Centers
--- Green Procurement for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships by Echelon Event Management, Richmond

The 2015 Virginia Green Travel Leader Award winners are:

-- Adventure Kayak Tours, Chesapeake
-- Back INN Time Bed & Breakfast, Kilmarnock
-- Birdsong Pleasure Garden, Luray
-- Capital Ale House, Richmond
-- Cary St. Cafe, Richmond
-- Clay Corner Inn, Blacksburg
-- Green Leaf and Pebble Tea Spa, Virginia Beach
-- Go Green Distributors, Newport News
-- Hungry Mother State Park, Marion
-- Keep Virginia Beautiful - UCI Richmond Beautification Projects
-- Lansdowne Resort
-- Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Goochland
-- Mountain Song Inn, Willis
-- Oystoberfest, Richmond
-- Peabody’s "Hip Little Stay," Luray
-- Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria
-- Stonewall Jackson Inn Bed & Breakfast, Harrisonburg
-- The Westin Reston Heights
-- Virginia Aquarium Sensible Seafood Program, Virginia Beach
-- Virginia Tech Dining Services, Blacksburg
-- White Flint Farm, Keeling

Information about Virginia Green is available on the DEQ website at

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: February 24, 2016 at 3:13 pm

DEQ issues notice of violation to Dominion for mineral oil spill affecting Potomac River

February 19, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued a notice of violation today to Virginia Electric and Power Co. (Dominion) for a spill event occurring on January 24, 2016, at Dominion's Crystal City substation in Arlington County.

A transformer failure at the substation, located at 18th Street South and South Fern Street, released approximately 13,500 gallons of mineral oil.

After the transformer failure, DEQ received reports of an oil sheen on February 3, 2016, extending from stormwater outfall locations at Roaches Run to downstream shoreline areas along the Potomac River reaching as far south as the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The source of the oil sheen was traced back to mineral oil released from the Crystal City substation on January 24. Dominion announced on February 12 that it is assuming the role of "responsible party" for the release and will continue to cooperate with ongoing requirements for investigation and corrective action.

DEQ's notice of violation addresses the spill event and associated natural resource damage. In addition to impacts to state waters, 29 animal and fish deaths have been discovered. The notice of violation is an initial step in ensuring that Dominion is held accountable for the situation. The State Water Control Law provides authority to require corrective action and to assess civil penalties. In addition, DEQ plans to seek cost reimbursement for spill response activities and natural resource damage.

As of February 19, oversight of the spill event has been transferred to DEQ by the unified command (Virginia DEQ, the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment, and the U.S. Coast Guard). DEQ will continue to oversee the spill investigation and response, and it will monitor corrective action activities required of Dominion.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: February 19, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Emergency order requires fixes at Atlantic Waste Disposal landfill in Waverly

February 11, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

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

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: February 11, 2016 at 9:59 am

Virginia approves consent order addressing wetlands and other violations

January 29, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

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

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: January 29, 2016 at 9:59 am