Virginia CZM Program: 2015 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task Number:

43

Grantee:

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Hampton Roads Coastal Resources Management Technical Assistance Program

Project Description:

The HRPDC staff will assist seventeen (17) member local governments, other public entities, and private organizations on coastal and other environmental issues. The HRPDC staff will perform the following:

1. Regional Coordination Process
The regional coordination process involves all seventeen (17) member local governments, associated towns, five (5) Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, and several state and federal agencies. It addresses Core Elements of the VCZMP, Chesapeake Bay Program, and Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuarine Program. It specifically addresses Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA) implementation, Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) implementation, wetlands, public access, environmental regulations, conservation planning, and other coastal issues. This component includes participation by the HRPDC staff in the Coastal PDC Committee and the Coastal Policy Team.

2. Environmental Impact Review
This includes review and comment on EIA/EIS and Federal Consistency Determinations/Certifications affecting Hampton Roads, including coordination of local responses if needed.

3. Public Information & Education
Maintain VCZMP-related information on the HRPDC website. Presentations to governmental and non-governmental organizations will be made on request. This component also covers monthly status reports and/or briefings to the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, the Regional Environmental Committee, and the Special Committee on Recurrent Flooding and Sea Level Rise, all of whose meetings are open and advertised to the public.

4. Training
Conduct at least four training programs/activities for local government staff. Possible topics include environmental codes, low impact development, wetlands, CBPA implementation, the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, stormwater regulations, conservation planning, sea level rise, GIS, sustainability, planning law, and land use planning.

5. Regional Technical Studies
Policy and technical analysis of environmental and coastal issues. Specific studies to be determined in cooperation with local governments. Potential topics includes sea level rise, coastal resources uses and conflicts, green infrastructure, and working waterfronts. 

6. Technical Assistance
Provide information, data, and technical assistance to help localities with comprehensive planning and ordinance updates related to coastal resources management.

This project is a continuation of activities undertaken by the HRPDC through the VCZMP over the last twenty years. The Regional Coordination Process is integral to all of the program components, linking them into a comprehensive environmental planning program. Through this process, the HRPDC staff manages local government advisory committees addressing the VCZMP, Chesapeake Bay Program, sea level rise, land use and wetlands issues and coordinates them with local and regional initiatives in water supply, stormwater and wastewater management that are supported directly by the localities. Each of these programs was initially supported by VCZMP seed money. In addition to the programs noted above, it is not known what requests may evolve through the process during the course of the project. They reflect developing local needs and new state and federal initiatives. Through this project, the HRPDC also participates in the Coastal PDC networking process and its involvement in VCZMP and other state and federal environmental initiatives. 

To the degree feasible, the HRPDC will document program measures consistent with the NOAA Performance Measurement System. This will include numbers of individuals participating in the various educational components and discussion of local ordinances, plans, policies and acquisitions being considered.

Federal Funding:

$60,000

Project Contact:

Benjamin McFarlane; 757.420.8300; bmcfarlane@hrdpcva.gov

Project Status:

10/1/15 - 9/30/16; Project Completed

Final Product:

Hampton Roads Coastal Resources Technical Assistance Program Fiscal Year 2015 - 2016 Final Report (PDF) 

Project Summary:

This report describes the environmental technical assistance program conducted by the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission during FY 2015 – 2016 through its Coastal Resources Management Program. This program encompasses environmental impact review, participation in state and federal programs, coordination of regional environmental programs addressing environmental issues, such as the Chesapeake Bay and wetlands, public information and education, and technical assistance to Hampton Roads localities. It contains representative examples of the technical work, comment letters, outreach materials, and associated materials generated and used in assisting the region’s seventeen local governments, supporting the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, and working with the other Planning District Commissions in the Coastal Zone. The report will be made available online at the HRPDC’s website: http://www.hrpdcva.gov.

Environmental Impact Review – Thirty-four (34) environmental impact assessments/statements and coastal zone consistency determinations were reviewed.

Participation in State and Federal Programs – The HRPDC staff represents the region on several state and federal technical advisory committees. The HRPDC staff continued to participate in the Coastal PDC Committee and Coastal Policy Team.

Regional Coordination Process – The HRPDC staff facilitates regional advisory committees addressing a variety of coastal and environmental issues. Between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016, the Regional Environmental Committee met eleven (11) times, the Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee met two (2) times, and the Coastal Resiliency Committee met four (4) times.

Public Information and Education – HRPDC staff maintained information on its website and provided regular briefings to local elected officials, local governing bodies, and to professional and civic organizations.

Regional Technical Studies – HRPDC staff completed and summarized two (2) technical studies or projects. The first was an analysis of new high-resolution land cover data. The second was an assessment of the potential impacts of E.O. 13690 on floodplain management.

Technical Assistance – Assistance is provided to local government staff, consultants, businesses, and citizen environmental organizations on environmental and planning issues on request.

Benefits Accrued from Prior CZM Grants – As a result of the coastal resiliency work the HRPDC staff has completed with CZM support, the Commission applied for and received a grant for a Joint Land Use Study with the Navy, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach, that will develop strategies to address flooding impacts to the communities on Navy facilities.

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 toVirginia.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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