Virginia CZM Program: 2011 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA CZM logo

94.02

Grantee:

Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Land and Water Quality Protection in Middle Peninsula

Project Description as Proposed:

In light of changing Federal and State regulations associated with Bay clean up-nutrient loading, nutrient goals, clean water, OSDS management, storm water management, TMDLs, etc, staff from the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) will develop a rural pilot project which aims to identify pressing coastal issue(s) of local concern related to Bay clean up and new federal and state legislation which ultimately will necessitate local action and local policy development.   Based on guidance and mandated directives provided by the Secretary of Natural Resources, PDC staff is prepared to work directly with a Middle Peninsula pilot locality or use either a committee of local government administrators and planners to develop the most appropriate project structure. MPPDC is scheduled to receive a presentation and guidance from the Secretary of Natural Resources office on April 27th. Based on the results of this meeting and any additional guidance provided by the Secretary of Natural Resources office prior to the start of this initiative, MPPDC is prepared for either approach. Achieving the local nutrient loading goals will be a priority, therefore, MPPDC staff will focus on developing, assessing, and articulating the development the enforceable policy tools necessary to assist localities with the reduction of nutrient loadings by evaluating and assessing a series of environmental factors anticipated to support, clarify, prepare, and maximize locality or regional participation proposed in the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan. MPPDC anticipates, among other enforceable policy changes, local land use program changes necessary to address the expansion of the nutrient credit exchange program for on-site water treatment systems. Chesapeake Bay clean up will have a very strong nexus to local land use policy, water quality protection, and fiscal concerns associated with the proliferation of new engineered septic systems.  Staff has identified many cumulative and secondary impacts that have not been researched or discussed within a local public policy venue.  Year 1-3 will include the identification of key concerns related to coastal land use management/water quality and Onsite Sewage Disposal System (OSDS) and community system deployment.  Staff will focus on solution based approaches, such as the establishment of a regional sanitary sewer district to manage the temporal deployment of nutrient replacement technology for installed OSDS systems, assessment of land use classifications and taxation implications associated with new state regulations which make all coastal lands developable regardless of environmental conditions; use of aquaculture and other innovative approaches such as nutrient loading offset strategies and economic development drivers.   It is anticipated that the services of VNEMO will be required to address storm water and nutrient loading issues as another condition identified within Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase 1 Watershed Implementation Plan.  New storm water regulations will be needed, nutrient management plans for municipal and or county owned lands are anticipated as well.  These issues, among others will ultimately require new local tools and enforceable policy. Staff will partner with VNEMO to facilitate collaborative public decision processes to evaluate the successes of the identified approaches.

Federal Funding:

$50,000

Project Contact:

Lewie Lawrence - 804.758-2311: llawrence@mppdc.com

Project Status:

10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Land and Water Quality Protection in Middle Peninsula (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

In light of changing Federal and State regulations associated with Chesapeake Bay nutrient goals (ie. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL), clean water, onsite sewage disposal system (OSDS)/ alternative onsite sewage system (AOSS) management, and storm water management, the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission (MPPDC) directed staff to develop a rural pilot project aimed at identifying pressing coastal issue(s) of local concern. MPPDC staff worked to develop, assess, and articulate enforceable policy tools to assist localities with the reduction of nutrient loadings by evaluating and assessing a series of factors anticipated to support, clarify, prepare, and maximize locality or regional participation proposed in the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

With the passing of HB 1065 in April 2012, the Erosion and Sediment Control Act integrated the Stormwater Management Act and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act regulatory programs into one consistent regulation. The bill also eliminated the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Board and places its responsibilities with the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board. Thus with guidance from the State regarding many of the factors influencing water quality, the State provided limited guidance for failing onsite septic systems. As failing systems within the Middle Peninsula persist and continue to impact local water quality, year one of this project focused on understanding the failing septic system enforcement process; the mechanics of establishing a sanitation district or sanitary district to manage the temporal deployment of nutrient replacement technology for installed OSDS systems; and the impacts of Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Emergency Regulations on land use and reassessment.

Through the development of a project committee, MPPDC staff and consultants found communication gaps within the current failing system enforcement process that may hinder homeowners and VDH in fixing failing/leaking septic systems. As these gaps were specifically identified, the committee and MPPDC have recommended and implemented solutions to improve the current enforcement process. Additionally, year one of this project was devoted to positioning Middle Peninsula localities in order to respond comprehensively to recent water quality mandates (ie. Erosion and Sediment Control Act integrated the Stormwater Management Act). Besides extensive research, the MPPDC applied for two grants and received award notification that will assist in the future compliance with Federal and State regulations associated with Chesapeake Bay nutrient goals.

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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