Monday, June 21, 2010

Virginia Water Radio 22: Week of June 21, 2010

Welcome to Virginia Water Radio (Episode 22) for the week of June 21, 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.  NOTICE: The show will be on a break during the week of June 28. Have a Happy Independence Day, and please join us again during the week of July 5.  

Audio archived 3-25-13.  Please contact Virginia Water Radio to request this audio. 

  • On June 8, Virginia, nine other Atlantic coastal states, and the U.S. Department of the Interior signed an agreement establishing the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium. According to Interior Department information, the agreement is intended “to promote the efficient, orderly, and responsible development of wind resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.” The agreement sets objectives on permitting and regulation, scientific data, and infrastructure; the consortium is to develop an action plan for achieving the objectives. In a related action, the Interior Department announced that it will locate a regional renewable-energy office in Virginia to facilitate the Atlantic states’ efforts to develop wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources along the East Coast.  News sources: Virginia Joins Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 6/8/10 (a link to the agreement document is available at this online news release); and Salazar Signs Agreement with 10 East Coast Governors to Establish Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, U.S. Department of the Interior News Release, 6/8/10.
  • On June 15, about 100 people attended a contentious meeting by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on whether the county will adopt a proposed Chesapeake Bay Protection Ordinance. The county ordinance would implement the full stream- and wetland-protection measures of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. The Bay Act, passed in 1988, requires 84 Virginia Tidewater localities to implement its provisions, but implementation is voluntary in Bay watershed localities NOT located in the Tidewater region. Loudoun would be the first locality to implement the full protection measures of the Act voluntarily. Opponents have questioned whether the ordinance is necessary and asserted that it will infringe on property rights. Supporters of the ordinance, citing county documents indicating that 78 percent of Loudoun’s streams are “stressed,” have asserted that the ordinance is needed to protect the county’s waterways.  News sources: Tempers flare over proposed Chesapeake Bay Protection Ordinance, Loudoun Times-Mirror, 6/15/10; and Loudoun to keep debating Chesapeake water quality measure, Washington Post, 5/26/10. More information on the Virginia Chesapeake Bay Act is available from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Web page, at
  • In mid-June, citizens on Virginia’s Eastern Shore reviewed the first draft of a water-supply plan being produced for the two shore counties of Accomack and Northampton. The plan is being developed under the state mandate for long-term plans to be submitted by all Virginia localities no later than 2011. The plan focuses on groundwater because groundwater supplies all public water on the Shore. Some of the key issues facing the area are the capacity of the shallow, water-table aquifer compared to the deeper Yorktown aquifer; the impact of commercial development on groundwater recharge areas; the potential for groundwater pumping to cause intrusion of salt water into the Yorktown aquifer; and groundwater use by the area’s two poultry-processing plants.  News source: State-mandated groundwater supply draft plan is complete, Eastern Shore News, 6/15/10. More information on Virginia’s statewide water-supply planning process is available from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality at
  • And in our last news item: By early June, almost 280,000 American Eels had completed passage up two new fish ladders that were installed in Spring 2010 at Dominion Virginia Power’s Roanoke Rapids hydroelectric dam on the Roanoke River just below the Virginia-North Carolina border. Young eels produced from breeding of adults in the Sargasso Sea (a large area of the Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda) historically migrated up the Roanoke River into Virginia; that migration is blocked by hydroelectric and other dams unless fish ladders are available. Dominion was required by its 2005 relicensing agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to put in ladders for eels and American Shad on the Roanoke Rapids dam and the upstream Lake Gaston dam. The Army Corps of Engineers operates the third (and uppermost) dam on the Roanoke River, which creates Kerr Lake in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is negotiating with the Corps to put in ladders for migratory fish on the Kerr Lake dam.  News source: Dominion gives eels a lift on river trip, Virginian-Pilot, 6/14/10. More information about Dominion Virginia Power’s Roanoke Rapids Power Station, including the eel ladders, is available at Information about the Corps of Engineers’ John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir is available at

This week we feature a Virginia version of a popular song by a Nashville musician who also spends time around the Charlottesville area: “Hills and Hollers,” by Adrienne Young and Little Sadie. The original “Hills and Hollers” was on the 2005 album “The Art of Virtue” on the AddieBelle Music label. In 2007, Ms. Young and her group performed the song—with the verse you just heard—for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in a video about the Virginia Wildlife Action Plan. The Wildlife Action Plan is a 10-year strategic plan that identifies 925 species of greatest conservation need, the habitats that support these species, and the tasks needed to conserve the species and the habitats. For more information about the Virginia Wildlife Action Plan, and to see the Adrienne Young video, visit Thanks to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for permission to use this recording. More information about Adrienne Young is available at and at


First, in government policy and regulatory meetings occurring between June23 and July 6. We’re covering two weeks this time, because Virginia Water Radio will be on a break next week.

  • On June 23, the Department of Health’s Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board meets in Richmond. For more information, phone Donna Tiller at (804) 864-7470.
  • On July 1, the Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals holds an informal fact-finding conference for licensing. For more information, phone David Dick at (804) 367-8595
Here are four upcoming meetings about Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs, for impaired waters:
  • June 24 in Rockbridge Baths, on the TMDL implementation plan for Hays Creek and three tributaries in Rockbridge and Augusta counties. For more information, phone Nesha McRae at (540) 332-9238.
  • June 28 in Emporia, on the TMDL study for Fontaine Creek in Brunswick and Greensville counties. For more information, phone Margaret Smigo at (804) 527-5124.
  • June 30 in Alexandria, on the TMDL study for Cameron Run, Holmes Run, and Hunting Creek in Arlington County, Fairfax County, Alexandria, and Falls Church. For more information, phone Katie Conaway at (703) 583-3804.
  • Also on June 30, in Richmond, on the TMDL study for the James River and eight tributaries in Chesterfield County, Henrico County, Powhatan County, and Richmond. For more information, phone Margaret Smigo at (804) 527-5124.
Finally, in upcoming educational and recreational events:
  • On June 25 at Breaks Interstate Park in Dickenson County, the Big Sandy River Basin Coalition is holding the annual Big Sandy River Watershed Conference. For more information, phone Bobbie Rasnick at (276) 926-6621.
  • On June 26 and 27, Caledon State Park, located along the Potomac River in King George County, is participating in the Great American Backyard Camp-out, a nationwide effort to get individuals, families, and especially children to spend time outdoors. For more information, phone (540) 663-3861.
  • And last, also on June 26 and 27, the South Holston Fly Fishing Festival will be held in Bluff City, Tennessee, about 10 miles from Bristol, Virginia, along the South Fork Holston River. Proceeds from the event support the River’s Way Outdoor Adventure Center, a non-profit organization working with disabled and disadvantaged youth from Virginia, Tennessee, and other states. For more information, phone Knox Campbell at (423) 538-0405.

    For more information about government policy and regulatory meetings, click here for the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall, where these meetings are listed by date. E-mail addresses for contact people are available there. For TMDL meetings, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site. Please note that TMDL meetings are also listed at the Town Hall site, but are included among all other meetings. In the educational and recreation events section, organizations, events, or both are hyperlinked whenever possible. Click on those links for more information.  
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 were provided by Patrick Fay. Recording assistance was provided by the Office of University Relations at Virginia Tech.

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, or visit our web site at