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Official DEQ news releases.

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

Inclement Weather Update

Due to the snow, the State Air Pollution Control Board meeting scheduled for tomorrow Dec. 10, has been rescheduled for Dec.19.

For updates, visit DEQ's website www.deq.virginia.gov or call 804-698-4378.

From: Ann Regn

Sent: December 09, 2018 at 6:34 pm

INCLEMENT WEATHER INFORMATION

Due to expected weather, travel safety concerns and possible delayed opening of State offices in Richmond, the State Air Pollution Control Board meeting on Monday, December 10, 2018, will convene at 12:00 noon (previously noticed for 10:00 a.m.).

Please note that if State offices in Richmond are closed on Monday, December 10, 2018, the meeting will not be held, but will be rescheduled for Wednesday, December 19, 2018.

Persons interested in this meeting can monitor the Town Hall website for updates to the meeting information. Updates will also be posted on the Department's website and be available through a voicemail message on 804-698-4378.

From: Jennifer Underwood

Sent: December 07, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Phishing Alert

Some emails appearing to originate from DEQ are being sent to regulated entities, government agencies and stakeholder partners. The sender's name, email address and the body of the message are formatted to appear to be from DEQ.

Never open unfamiliar links in an email. It is not customary for DEQ to send out an official email containing a shortened or obfuscated URL using a site such as bit.ly or tinyurl.com.

From: Ann Regn

Sent: November 30, 2018 at 2:31 pm

VIRGINIA'S GROUND-LEVEL OZONE POLLUTION CONTINUES TO DECLINE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ann Regn
(804)698-4442
Ann.Regn@DEQ.Virginia.gov

Nov. 28, 2018

VIRGINIA'S GROUND-LEVEL OZONE POLLUTION CONTINUES TO DECLINE
Virginia maintains historic improvements in air quality

RICHMOND, VA. - The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has released its initial ozone monitoring results for 2018. Monitoring for ground-level ozone in Virginia, and in much of the country, runs from May 1 through Oct. 31. Data collected from DEQ's 21 ozone monitoring stations across the state indicate Virginia's air quality continues to improve.

Levels of fine particulate pollution have decreased by more than 40 percent and nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide levels have also dropped significantly. Each year, ozone monitoring results are collected and certified by DEQ and then reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In 2018, Virginia saw only six days when air quality exceeded levels for ground-level ozone ("Code Orange" days). These exceedance levels, color-coded from yellow to maroon according to severity, indicate unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups. Virginia has been trending in a positive direction recently, with only four Code Orange days in 2017. By comparison, Virginia reported more than 100 excessive ozone days in both 1993 and 1998.

"As a result of emission reductions associated with a variety of pollution control programs and positive changes in people's behavior such as carpooling, air pollution in Virginia has decreased by more than 50 percent over the last 25 years," said DEQ Air and Renewable Energy Division Director Michael Dowd. "Through our permitting and regulatory programs we are managing a more complex system of solutions to achieve the best air quality in decades. DEQ is focused on encouraging development in the solar field and in deploying electric vehicle technology so these excellent trends in air quality will continue."

In the upper atmosphere, ozone filters harmful UV rays but at ground level, ozone is considered an air pollutant. Ozone is formed when pollutants emitted by cars and other sources react on hot, sunny days. Ground-level ozone can cause a variety of health problems, as well as damage to plants and building materials. Chemicals that form ozone -- nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons (also called volatile organic compounds or VOCs) -- are generated by sources such as motor vehicle exhaust, power plants, industrial emissions and solvents. Ozone can travel hundreds of miles from its original source, so that even rural areas with few pollutants can occasionally experience high-ozone levels.

DEQ uses EPA's color-coded system, known as the Air Quality Index, to issue forecasts and alerts to inform the public when air quality may be unsafe for sensitive populations. See air quality forecasts, hourly ozone values across Virginia, and sign up for ozone alerts by visiting DEQ's website at www.DEQ.Virginia.gov/Programs/Air/AirQualityForecasting.aspx. Animated maps are also available from the EPA at https://airnow.gov/.

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From: Ann Regn

Sent: November 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm

VIRGINIA CELEBRATES RECYCLING SUCCESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ann Regn
(804)698-4442
Ann.Regn@DEQ.Virginia.gov
Nov. 15, 2018

VIRGINIA CELEBRATES RECYCLING SUCCESS
DEQ releases positive recycling report on 'America Recycles Day'

RICHMOND, VA. - Just in time to celebrate "America Recycles Day," the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued the Commonwealth of Virginia's 2017 Recycling Summary Report. Based on data from 117 local governments across the commonwealth, the state recycling rate is 42.8 percent, which continues the positive trend in Virginia's recycling efforts.

America Recycles Day is a national effort that recognizes the economic, environmental and social benefits of recycling, and helps raise awareness about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling every day. Visit www.americarecyclesday.org for more information.

"The trend for Virginia continues to move in a steady, positive direction," said DEQ Land Protection and Renewal Division Director Justin Williams. "For example, four years ago the rate was 41 percent, which was well above the state mandated rate of 25 percent. Today, we have nine local planning units reporting amounts that are near 50 percent or higher."

More than 100 Virginia cities, counties and towns, which are organized into 17 solid waste planning units, are required by law to achieve and maintain a minimum rate of 25 percent. For calendar year 2017, the planning units reported the disposal of more than four tons of municipal solid waste and nearly 3.6 million tons of recycled materials. Recycled materials included 2.6 million tons of recyclables such as paper and glass and nearly 1 million tons of other types of waste.

DEQ works closely with local and regional litter prevention and recycling programs to maintain mandated recycling rates. DEQ's Office of Pollution Prevention and the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program also work directly with businesses and agencies to encourage recycling and source reduction statewide.

For more information, visit www.DEQ.Virginia.gov.
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From: Ann Regn

Sent: November 15, 2018 at 11:26 am