RSS feed for DEQ news releases DEQ news releases

Official DEQ news releases.

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

Fuel spill affects James River at Richmond Deep Water Terminal

August 24, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is working on a cleanup on the James River in the area of the Richmond Deep Water Terminal because of a fuel spill that occurred August 23.

The spill occurred when a tanker truck overturned while making a turn from Commerce road to Interstate 95. Fuel spilled from the tanker, which contained gasoline and diesel fuel, and some of it entered a storm drain along the road. Fuel from the storm drain outfall then entered the James River at the deep water terminal.

The tanker was carrying about 7,500 gallons of fuel; of that, 650 gallons were recovered from the tanker and 2,700 gallons were recovered from the road.

Storm drains in the area were inspected Tuesday, and absorbent booms were placed in the river to contain the fuel. A fuel sheen has been observed along the shoreline of the river for at least one-half mile, but most of the fuel is expected to evaporate today.

Some of the fuel has accumulated along the shore. DEQ will determine how to address this while also ensuring the removal of fuel from the storm outfall.

No immediate environmental or other effects have been observed. DEQ is coordinating the cleanup with the Virginia Department of Transportation, the city of Richmond and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as cleanup contractors.

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: August 24, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Virginia issues solid waste report for 2015

June 23, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Department of Environmental Quality released its annual report today on solid waste management in Virginia. The report includes the amounts of solid waste managed in Virginia in 2015, and the amounts and sources of solid waste generated outside the Commonwealth.

The total amount of solid waste received at Virginia facilities during 2015 increased by about 500,000 tons from 2014. Solid waste includes municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, vegetative and yard waste, and other types of waste. The total amount of solid waste from outside Virginia rose about 100,000 tons to 5.4 million tons. The total amount from within Virginia remained at about 15 million tons.

Other findings of the report include:

-- Of the 20.7 million tons of solid waste reported in 2015, about 12.7 million tons were municipal solid waste, which is trash from households and businesses.

-- The total amount of municipal solid waste generated outside Virginia was about 3.6 million tons, roughly the same as in 2014. Maryland, New York, Washington, D.C., North Carolina and New Jersey accounted for 98.3 percent of all waste received from out-of-state sources.

-- Of the total solid waste managed in Virginia in 2015, about 12.7 million tons were disposed of in landfills, and about 2 million tons were incinerated. The rest was managed by other means, including mulching and recycling.

The full solid waste report is available on the DEQ website at

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: June 23, 2016 at 11:29 am

Virginia responds to Maryland's withdrawal of lawsuit over water discharge permit

June 16, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden

RICHMOND, VA. - Virginia is pleased that Maryland has voluntarily withdrawn its appeal of the water discharge permit for the Dominion Virginia Power Possum Point power station.

David K. Paylor, director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, said. "We take Maryland's action today as a recognition that the discharge permit issued by Virginia was fully protective of our valuable estuaries and is fully consistent with the laws and regulations of both states and the federal government, and that the lawsuit was groundless.

"As we move forward, Virginia will continue to issue water discharge and waste management permits that protect our waterways and groundwater resources by requiring the safe removal of water from coal ash ponds and the proper closure and monitoring of the ponds and adjacent waters. We have a long history of partnering with Maryland to protect our joint heritage and the Chesapeake Bay, and we look forward to continuing a productive partnership.

"For decades, Virginia has protected water quality in our rivers and streams through rigorous and well-established permitting procedures. We have protected and continue to protect groundwater. We are closing coal ash ponds according to strict legal and regulatory requirements, and we are dedicated to protecting people's health and the environment."

From: Jennifer Underwood

Sent: June 17, 2016 at 8:11 am

From: Jennifer Underwood

Sent: June 16, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Enforcement order imposes penalty and further corrective action at Atlantic Waste Disposal landfill in Waverly

June 15, 2016

Contact: Bill Hayden
(804) 698-4447

RICHMOND, VA. -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is proposing a consent order, signed by Atlantic Waste Disposal Inc. on June 8, 2016, for the Atlantic Waste landfill in Waverly in Sussex County for ongoing noncompliance with the Virginia Waste Management Act.

The order contains a $99,000 civil penalty, as well as a schedule of required actions to bring the landfill back into compliance, including operational practices, limitation on waste intake, active monitoring of landfill mass temperature, and removal of leachate and contaminated stormwater from unlined areas of the landfill. The order is open for public comment through July 15, 2016.

The consent order replaces an emergency order issued by DEQ on February 5, 2016, for immediate action to address landfill odor, slope stability and increased leachate production. Under the emergency order, Atlantic Waste has spent approximately $15.8 million toward bringing the facility back into compliance.

The current consent order addresses long-term corrective action of conditions at the Atlantic Waste landfill resulting from heat reactions within the waste mass. The order also is a continuation of work under the emergency order addressing odor, slope stability and leachate.

DEQ continues to monitor the Atlantic Waste landfill to ensure compliance with the Waste Management Act, as well as with the terms of the consent order. DEQ also is investigating leachate impacts to wetlands adjacent to the facility, potentially resulting in further DEQ enforcement action.

Having a statewide presence with enforcement staff in six regional offices, DEQ's enforcement mission is based on ensuring compliance with Virginia's environmental laws and regulations to protect public health and the environment.

The order is available on the DEQ website at

From: Bill Hayden

Sent: June 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm