Monday, February 22, 2010

Virginia Water Radio 5: Week of 2-22-2010

Welcome to Virginia Water Radio (Episode 5) for the week of February 22, 2010. This week's show is hosted by, Alan Raflo, research associate at the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, located at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Our show presents news and notices that relate to Virginia’s waters, from the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean.

Audio archived 1/9/12.  Contact Virginia Water Radio for access.

  • On February 16th, Governor McDonnell’s office announced that the federal government has approved disaster assistance for Virginia’s recovery from the December 2009 snowstorm. The assistance will help cover costs of infrastructure damage, debris removal, and related emergency services in 31 counties and nine cities, and for snow removal in 24 counties and 8 cities. Other localities could be added later. Meanwhile, localities are assessing damage and costs from the two February 2010 snowstorms; the assessments will be submitted to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for evaluation of whether to seek federal assistance.
  • Also on February 16, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli filed a petition with the U.S. EPA asking the agency to reconsider its December 2009 finding that six greenhouse gases endanger human health by contributing to climate change. The finding is a key step in the process of regulating the gases under the federal Clean Air Act. Virginia also filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, asking that court to review the EPA finding. According to a February 17 article in the New York Times, the states of Texas and Alabama as well as several organizations have filed similar petitions, while 16 other states are expected to support EPA’s finding.
  • On February 12th, Governor McDonnell’s office announced that $4.76 million in Abandoned Mine Land funding has been granted to Buchanan and Wise counties for two public-water supply projects. One project will provide water to the Wise County community of Dunbar where 48 are currently being served by a well that is impacted by past mining activities. The Buchanan County project will construct the second of five phases of a water-line extension to 222 households in the community of Hurley.
  • Conditional-use permits and rezoning requests for Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s (ODEC) proposed coal-fired power plant in southeastern Virginia were approved on February 1 by the Dendron Town Council and on February 4 by the Surry County Board of Supervisors and the Sussex County Board of Supervisors. ODEC has purchased options both for a 1,600-acre site in Dendron and Surry County, and for a 1,200-acre site in Sussex County. ODEC now has to seek an estimated 50 state and federal permits for the proposed plant.
  • And in our last news item this week: The Williamsburg Yorktown Daily reported that on February 11 the Navy released test results and a statement asserting that polychlorinated biphenyls (or PCBs) from construction debris dumped years ago in an abandoned swimming pool at Camp Peary Naval Reservation in York County “do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.” After removal of the debris from the site in 2008 and 2009, PCB’s were discovered in a drainage way leading to Waller Mill Reservoir, Williamsburg’s main water supply. The results released on February 11—based on tests of fish sampled from the reservoir between April and August 2009—are part of a draft report that will be reviewed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.


This week we featured a Virginia song about a mountain, a river, a cave, and a silver mine near Meadows of Dan in Patrick County, Virginia: “The Pinnacle Mountain Silver Mine,” sung in 1980 by Helen Cockram on the CD, “Native Virginia Ballads and Songs,” originally from the Blue Ridge Institute at Ferrum College and reissued by Global Village Music. According to a Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy Web page on silver, that mineral was produced in Virginia between 1885 and 1945, mostly as a by-product of copper, lead, gold, and zinc mining.


First, in government policy and regulatory meetings:
  • On March 1, the Education, Planning, and Outreach Committee of the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries will meet in Richmond. And on March 2, the Board’s Nominating Committee will meet, also in Richmond. For more information about either meeting, phone Beth Drewery at (804) 367-9149.
Upcoming meetings about Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs, for impaired waters include the following:
  • On February 25, 10:00-11:30 a.m., is a U.S. EPA online meeting (or Webinar) on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. For more information, visit the Bay TMDL Web site at
  • Two public meetings will be held on March 2, in West Point, on the TMDL for the Lower Mattaponi, Lower Pamunkey, and Upper York rivers in King and Queen, King William, and New Kent counties. For more information, phone Margaret Smigo at (804)-527-5124.
  • And two public meetings will be held March 3, in Hopewell, on the TMDL for the Blackwater River, Blackwater Swamp, and several tributaries in Prince George, Dinwiddie, Surry, and Sussex counties and the City of Petersburg. The contact for this meeting is also Margaret Smigo, at (804) 527-5124.
Next, in upcoming educational events:
  • On March 1st and 2nd in Charlottesville, the Virginia Water Environment Association will hold an Industrial Water and Pretreatment Seminar. For more information, phone Linda Respess at (804) 541-2214, ext. 246.
  • And on March 6, at the University of Richmond, the Virginia Native Plant Society will hold a workshop called “At Water's Edge--Virginia's Wetland Habitats.” For more information, phone (540) 837-1600. 

Virginia Water Radio is a product of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, which is solely responsible for the show’s content. Hosting and bandwidth for this podcast are also provided by the Water Center. We invite you to visit the center online at

Show notes and production assistance has been provided by Patrick Fay. Technical assistance provided by Innovation Space.

Opinions expressed on this show are not necessarily those of the Water Center, Virginia Tech, or this station.

If you need more information about anything mentioned this week, call us at (540) 231-5463.