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Official DEQ news releases.

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Virginia provides water quality approval for Army Corps of Engineers wetlands permits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2017

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447
william.hayden@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has provided water quality certification for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2017 Nationwide Permits.

DEQ, under the authority of the State Water Control Board, issued the final Section 401 Water Quality Certification as meeting the requirements of the Virginia Water Protection regulation. After having accepted public comment for 30 days and giving consideration to the comments received, DEQ found that there is a reasonable assurance that the activities permitted under the Corps' Nationwide Permit program, including the Norfolk District Corps' Regional Conditions, will be conducted in a manner that will not violate applicable water quality standards, provided permittees comply with all applicable Section 401 conditions.

Among the activities covered under the federal Nationwide Permit program are projects such as renewable energy generation facilities, living shorelines, aids to navigation, dredging, utility line activities, aquatic habitat restoration, and removal of low-head dams.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: April 07, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Governor McAuliffe announces Environmental Excellence Award winners

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: April 06, 2017 at 1:58 pm

DEQ will require additional individual 401 certifications for natural gas transmission pipeline projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2017

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447
william.hayden@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. -- In keeping with Governor McAuliffe's commitment that the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines will be constructed in the most environmentally protective manner, the Department of Environmental Quality has notified ACP and MVP that in addition to utilizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers nationwide permit 12 for wetland and stream crossings, DEQ will be requiring individual 401 water quality certifications for each project.

These certifications will ensure that Virginia water quality standards are maintained in all areas affected by the projects. The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on these certifications and the conditions required to protect water quality. DEQ also will hold public hearings on the draft certifications. Once the comment period has concluded the proposed final certifications will be brought before the State Water Control Board.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: April 06, 2017 at 11:00 am

Virginia issues report on chemical releases for 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2017

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447
william.hayden@deq.virginia.gov

RICHMOND, VA. -- Virginia industries reported 858.6 million pounds of chemicals managed on-site, transferred off-site or released to the environment in 2015, a 6.3 percent decrease from the previous year, according to the latest Toxics Release Inventory produced by the Department of Environmental Quality.

The overall decrease is due to a reduction in the amount of chemicals being released, transferred and managed on-site, such as through treatment or recycling. In addition, the report shows decreases in chemical releases to the air and land, and a 3.3 percent increase in releases to water. The water increase is mainly due to larger amounts of nitrate and ammonia compounds released by several industrial facilities.

"It is very encouraging that the decades-long trend of reduced releases of toxic chemicals to the environment is continuing in Virginia," DEQ Director David K. Paylor said. "These chemical releases are managed under a wide variety of environmental permits, which ensure that people and the environment are protected."

DEQ compiles information on hundreds of toxic chemicals released by facilities that are required to submit reports each year. The 2015 report, which contains the most recent information available, includes these findings:

-- 32.49 million pounds of chemicals were released on-site to the air, water and land.
-- 65.46 million pounds of chemicals were transferred off-site for treatment, recycling, energy recovery or disposal.
-- 760.7 million pounds of chemicals were managed on-site by treatment, recycling or energy recovery.

The report also includes data about releases of a group of chemicals known as persistent bio-accumulative toxics. These chemicals remain in the environment for long periods of time and can build up in body tissue. On-site releases of these chemicals totaled 223,108 pounds in 2015.

DEQ uses the TRI data to identify facilities for projects to reduce pollution at the source. The Virginia Environmental Excellence Program at DEQ uses incentives and assistance efforts to promote environmental stewardship beyond regulatory compliance. The goal of this initiative is to help develop more-efficient technologies and business operations by reducing the amount of chemicals released to the environment and improving how the chemicals are managed.

The 2015 TRI is available on the DEQ website at www.deq.virginia.gov. Information on releases from 2016 is due to DEQ this summer and will be available to the public in early 2018.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: March 30, 2017 at 8:11 am

Virginia issues drought watch advisory for northern areas of state

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: March 22, 2017 at 2:27 pm