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Official DEQ news releases.

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

DEQ to submit report on approved MVP erosion & sediment control and stormwater plans to State Water Control Board

February 2, 2018

Contact: Ann Regn
(804) 698-4442

RICHMOND, VA. - Prior to construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will submit a report to the State Water Control Board (Board) on DEQ's approval of the final erosion and sediment control and stormwater plans, the annual standards and specifications, and the Supplemental Karst Evaluation Plan.

"Because of the depth of citizen concerns and to assure transparency, we plan to follow the same notification procedures for MVP as required for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline," said Director David Paylor. "DEQ will provide a report to the Board and the public as soon as they are finalized and approved." Last month at its deliberations of the upland Section 401 water quality certification for Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the Board required DEQ to report on the adequacy of these plans.

DEQ has required each pipeline developer to submit detailed, project-specific erosion and sedimentation control and stormwater plans for every foot of land disturbance related to pipeline construction to protect surface water quality during and after construction completion. These plans must be approved by certified planners before any construction can begin.

These programs-- erosion and sediment control, stormwater management and upland certification give DEQ a variety of regulatory tools to protect water quality across the range of pipeline activities, not just temporary construction impacts to streams and wetlands. "DEQ will hold the developers to the highest standards for which they are accountable and take appropriate action for any problems that occur," Paylor said.

From: Irina Calos

Sent: February 02, 2018 at 1:01 pm

DEQ central office moving to new Main Street location in downtown Richmond

November 13, 2017

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The central office of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will begin moving its downtown Richmond operations to a new Main Street location on November 17, 2017.

The lease for DEQ's current location at 629 East Main Street has expired. DEQ employees will move out of this building, which has headquartered DEQ for more than 20 years, in stages. The Virginia Department of General Services has overseen the selection of the new location in the Bank of America Building.

As the DEQ staff relocates it will be consolidated onto four floors covering more than 81,000 square feet. In addition to cost savings in rent over the 10-year lease, the new space also includes energy-saving features such as lighting sensors, high-efficiency appliances and utility savings.

The move will be completed December 22, 2017. Between now and then, the DEQ street address will remain unchanged. On December 23, 2017, the street address will change to 1111 East Main St., Richmond, VA 23219. The post office box mailing address will not change, and DEQ phone numbers will remain the same.

During the move period -- November 17 through December 22 -- visitors should report to 629 East Main Street for information on meeting with DEQ staff.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: November 13, 2017 at 10:02 am

Virginia has cleanest air in at least 20 years

October 31, 2017

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The summer of 2017 was the cleanest ground-level ozone season in Virginia in at least 20 years, the Department of Environmental Quality announced today.

"We have made tremendous improvements in Virginia's air quality in the past two decades," DEQ Director David K. Paylor said. "Though we still have work to do to ensure that our air remains clean, the progress we have seen so far is a great benefit to all Virginians."

For years now, the trend for air quality in Virginia has been one of steady improvement. Pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particles have shown consistent declines for 20 years or more. Emissions of these pollutants in Virginia have decreased by almost 60 percent in the past 20 years. This has happened in the face of increased demand for electricity and many more vehicles on Virginia's highways.

Twenty years ago, the ozone health standard was 120 parts per billion, and many urban areas in the Commonwealth failed to meet it. Now, only four days this summer had ozone levels that exceeded the current, more stringent ozone standard of 70 ppb as of the end of September. These high ozone readings were limited to Arlington and Fairfax counties, with four exceedances, and Henrico and Giles counties, each with one.

All other areas of Virginia had no high ozone days in 2017. This year is even better than the second-cleanest year of 2013, when five high ozone days were recorded. In addition, Virginia is seeking redesignation for the Northern Virginia area from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the 2008 ozone standard (75 ppb). EPA will soon formally announce that the region has attained the 2008 standard, clearing the way for the redesignation that DEQ is seeking.

The 2017 ozone season compares with years in the 1990s when multiple ozone exceedances occurred on a single day, and in some cases there were dozens of days statewide that experienced high ozone. The average number of high ozone days in the 1990s was 86, including a high of 108 in 1993 and 1998. More information about air quality is on the DEQ website at

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: October 31, 2017 at 10:24 am

Virginia declares drought watch for Middle James, Roanoke and Shenandoah regions

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: October 11, 2017 at 12:23 pm

State Water Control Board meeting dates announced

October 3, 2017

Contact: Ann Regn
(804) 698-4442

RICHMOND, VA. -- The State Water Control Board plans to hold two meetings in December to consider additional Section 401 water quality certification conditions for the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

Each meeting is scheduled to last about two days. On the first day of each meeting, those who made oral or written comments during the public comment period will have an opportunity to sign up to speak to the board under the board's policy for public participation. The official agenda containing more details will be available in early November.

The schedule for the meetings is:

-- Mountain Valley Pipeline. 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 6, 2017, and Thursday, December 7, 2017. Location: Trinity Family Life Center, 3601 Dill Road, Richmond, VA 23222.

-- Atlantic Coast Pipeline. 9:30 a.m., Monday, December 11, 2017, and Tuesday, December 12, 2017. Location: Trinity Family Life Center, 3601 Dill Road, Richmond, VA 23222.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will present a summary of the public comments it received and will make its recommendations to the board on the proposed additional conditions at each meeting. Also at each meeting, the board may approve, deny or amend the recommendations.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: October 03, 2017 at 11:08 am