Click to Listen to Episode (Length: 00:08:07)
- The first item is our monthly water status report. First, in precipitation: According to the Southeast Regional Climate Center, from September 1 through 30, most of southeastern Virginia received 7 to 13 inches of rain; most of central Virginia received 4 to 7 inches; and most of western Virginia, northern Virginia, and the Eastern Shore received 2 to 4 inches. Much of the month’s precipitation came in the last week from the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicolle. For example, between September 27 and 30, Norfolk received over 11 inches, Dulles Airport over 5 inches, and Lynchburg over 4 inches.
Second, in stream flow: According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s WaterWatch, streamflows averaged over the month of September were in the normal range at about 56 percent of stream gages in Virginia or just beyond the state border. Flows were below normal at about 21 percent of these gages; much below normal at about 15 percent; and above normal at about 8 percent. Normal and above normal flows generally were in western Virginia, with below normal flows generally in central and eastern Virginia. On October 1, current stream flows were high in much of the eastern two thirds of the state, reflecting the heavy rainfall in the last week of September.
And third, our drought watch: The weekly National Drought Monitor on September 28—just prior to the heavy rains at month’s end—showed abnormally dry conditions or worse occurring in over 86 percent of Virginia, excluding only some areas of far southwestern Virginia. Moderate drought was reported for 50 percent of Virginia, severe drought in 28 percent of the state, and extreme drought in parts of Frederick and Shenandoah counties. News sources: Precipitation: Southeast Regional Climate Center precipitation map, http://www.sercc.com/climateinfo/precip_maps; and Rainfall washes away drought, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 10/1/10. Streamflow: U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia, http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=pa28d&r=va&w=mv01d%2Cmap. Drought: The National Drought Monitor map is at http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html; the Virginia archive table is at http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/DM_tables.htm?VA.
- The heavy rains in the last week of September led the Virginia Department of Health, or VDH, to place emergency closures on several shellfishing areas in southeastern Virginia. VDH ordered the closures because high flows caused by the rainfall were expected to raise bacterial levels above state standards. The shellfishing-area closures were to be in place at least until October 6. News source: Storm brings temporary bans on clam, oyster catch, Virginian-Pilot, 10/1/10.
- And in our last news item this week: On September 30, the Obama Administration released its Chesapeake Bay Executive Order Action Plan for Fiscal Year 2011, including a request for a substantial funding increase. The plan, which requires Congressional approval for its proposed funding, calls for $491 million for Bay restoration actions. According to the Virginian-Pilot, requests in the plan include the following: $72 million in aid to farmers for conservation practices; $169.5 million for revolving loans to help wastewater-treatment plants reduce nutrient discharges; $7 million to increase oyster-recovery activities in Virginia and Maryland; $4.1 million to address rising sea levels and other predicted impacts of climate change on the Bay; and $370,000 to help establish nutrient-credit-trading markets. The 2011 Action Plan is required by the president’s May 2009 executive order, which addressed the role in Bay restoration activities by the U.S. EPA and the federal departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Interior, and Transportation. News Sources: White House plans huge cash boost for bay cleanup, Virginian-Pilot, 10/1/10; and $491 Million in Federal Resources Targeted for Chesapeake Bay Restoration in FY 2011, Chesapeake Bay Executive Order Web site, 9/30/10. More information: The Chesapeake Bay Executive Order Fiscal Year 2011 Action Plan is available at this link: Chesapeake EO Action Plan FY2011.pdf.
This week we feature another mystery sound: The Canada Goose
The Canada Goose is the most common of several geese species found in North America, and is one of three species found in Virginia. Canada Geese have spread far beyond their original range and have become year-round residents in parks and other residential areas. As described by Sigurd Olson his 1956 book “The Singing Wilderness,” flocks of migrating Canada Geese are recognizable for their “soft, melodious gabbling,” and their flight formations that resemble a “long skein of dots undulating like a floating ribbon.” Thanks to Lang Elliott of NatureSound Studio for providing this recording.
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS
First, in government policy and regulatory meetings occurring between October 7-October 13.
- On October 7 in Front Royal, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is holding a public briefing on an air-quality permit application by Virginia Electric and Power Company for a proposed natural-gas-fired power plant in Warren County. For more information, phone Anita Riggleman at (540) 574-7852. Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO) has applied for a permit to construct the Warren County Combined Cycle Facility, a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power generating facility. The proposed facility, which would be located in the Warren Industrial Park in Warren County, is classified as a major source of air pollution. The permit application is available on the DEQ website at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/air/permitting/Dominion_Warren.html.
- On October 7, 6 p..m. to 8 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza Marina Hotel in Hampton, the U.S. EPA holds the last of four public meetings in Virginia on the draft Chesapeake Bay TMDL, which was published on September 24 for a 45-day public comment period. Also on October 7, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the EPA is holding an online public meeting on the Bay TMDL. For more information, phone Tom Damm at (215) 814-5560. The EPA Web site for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL is www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl/. Registration for the EPA’s online meeting about the Bay TMDL is at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/689259867.
- On October 15, at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, the Virginia Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society is holding its annual meeting. For more information, phone Dennis Jones at (804) 248-9623.
- On October 21, at the Trani Center for Life Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, the Virginia Water Resources Research Center is organizing the 2010 Virginia Stormwater Symposium: Navigating Changes in Stormwater Technology and Policy. For more information, phone Jane Walker at (540) 231-4159.
- Finally, October 15 is the first date for this year’s Fall Forestry and Wildlife Tours, organized by the Virignia Forest Landowner Education Program and Virginia Cooperative Extension. The October 15th Northwest Tour is in Page and Rappahannock counties; the October 30th Southwest Tour is in Russell and Wise counties; and the November 10th Eastern Tour is in King & Queen County. For more information, phone Jennifer Gagnon at (540) 231-6391.
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. Organizations, events, or both are hyperlinked whenever possible. Click on those links for more information.
Show notes and production assistance were provided by Patrick Fay. Minni Gupta helped write the show. Recording assistance was provided by the Office of University Relations at Virginia Tech.
Opinions expressed on this show are not necessarily those of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Tech, or our broadcasting stations.
If you need more information about anything mentioned this week, call us at (540) 231-5463, or visit our web site at www.virginiawaterradio.org.