Monday, November 22, 2010

Virginia Water Radio 43: Week of Nov. 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio (Episode 43), for the week of November 22, 2010.

Audio archived 9/19/11.
For access to the audio, please contact Virginia Water Radio.

NEWS
  • Since July 2010, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, and a technical advisory committee have been developing—for consideration by the State Water Control Board—a General Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for pesticide discharges. According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall Web page on the proposed regulations, the goal of the regulation is to establish consistent requirements for permitting discharges from pesticide applications directly to surface waters or onto pests that are present in or near surface waters, in order to achieve “proper and comprehensive protection of state waters.” The permit would apply to pesticide applications for mosquitoes and other flying insect pests, aquatic weed and algae control, aquatic animal pest control, and forest canopy pest control. The proposed regulation appeared in the October 25th Virginia Register of Regulations, with a public comment period until December 27. A public hearing on the proposed regulation was held in Virginia Beach on November 16, and another is scheduled for December 7 in Glen Allen. More information on the proposal is available from the DEQ’s William Norris, at (804) 698-4022. News source: Virginia Regulatory Town Hall documents for the regulatory process, available online at http://www.townhall.state.va.us/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2418.
  • Our next item is about one of the consequences of this summer’s drought. On November 10, Gov. Robert McDonnell’s office announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had designated 59 Virginia counties and Suffolk City as primary disaster areas due to crop losses caused by drought and excessive heat in summer 2010. The agency also approved “contiguous disaster area” designations for another 24 counties and 19 independent cities adjacent to the localities designated as primary areas. Both the primary and contiguous designations make farmers in the localities eligible to apply for federal, low-interest, emergency loans. News source: Governor McDonnell Announces Federal Disaster Designations for 60 Localities, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 11/10/10.
  • In another disaster-declaration item: In late October, Gov. McDonnell requested that the U.S. Commerce Department declare a federal fishery disaster for Virginia’s oyster industry, as a result of economic losses to Virginia oyster processors whose Gulf of Mexico supply was interrupted by the BP Gulf oil spill. Gulf oysters make up as much as 85 percent of the supply for some Virginia processors. A July report by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science estimated that the Gulf spill lead to losses of $30.1 million and 352 full-time and part-time jobs by activities directly or indirectly related to Virginia’s oyster-processing industry. Similar requests have been approved for Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, but not yet for any non-Gulf states. The Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service will review Virginia’s request. News source: Aid for Va.'s oyster industry?, (Newport News) Daily Press, 10/25/10. The VIMS report, “Estimated Economic Impact of Gulf Oil Spill on Virginia’s Oyster Industry” (July 2010), is available online at http://www.vims.edu/newsandevents/_docs/oyster_econ_gulfspill.pdf.
  • And in our last news item this week: On November 1, the U.S. Navy announced that it had completed 27 years and $100 million-worth of construction activities that are the most significant step in cleaning up federal Superfund-listed contamination sites at the Norfolk Naval Station. Parts of the base were placed on the Superfund list in 1996, but the Navy has been working on the clean up since at least 1983. Most of the problems involved sites used for dumping various chemicals—such as pesticides, paints, solvents, and heavy metals—prior to enactment of federal laws regulating disposal of such materials. News source: Navy reaches Superfund milestone at Norfolk base, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 11/1/10. More information about the Superfund program is available online at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/
WATER SOUNDS AND MUSIC

This week we feature a tune about a ship being recreated as a history-teaching vessel: “The Luna,” performed by TJ Savage and Mike Steen, with lyrics by Cindy Warner. The tune is from the 2009 CD “Loaded to the Gunwales,” a sea-faring compilation produced to benefit the Colonial Seaport Foundation, located in Hampton, Virginia. The Foundation seeks to preserve—and teach about—America’s colonial maritime history. The actual Luna is a modern yacht being restored and converted to a replica of an 18th-Century sloop for eventual use in the Foundation’s educational programsInformation about The Luna and the other activities of the Colonial Seaport Foundation is available online at http://www.colonialseaport.org, or contact the Foundation at (757) 303-8529. An April 5, 2009, Newport News Daily Press article about The Luna project is available at the Foundation site at http://www.colonialseaport.org/news4.5.09.html.

UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS

First, in Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring between November 25 and December 1.
  • On November 29, the Stormwater Management Program Regulations Advisory Panel meets in Richmond. For more information, phone David Dowling at (804)786-2291. The Stormwater Management Regulations Advisory Panel is advising the Soil and Water Conservation Board in considering amendments to Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit Regulations (4 VAC 50-60 in the Virginia Administrative Code.) More information and relevant documents about the proposed stormwater changes are available online at http://www.townhall.state.va.us/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1145.

  • On November 30, the Pesticide Control Board meets in Glen Allen. For more information, phone Liza Fleeson at (804) 371-6559.

  • On December 1 in Richmond, the Department of Environmental Quality holds a public hearing on a proposed general permit for energy producing facilities of five megawatt capacity or less using various kinds of biomass, such as forest products, agricultural products, animal waste, landfill gas, or solid waste. For more information, phone Mary E. Major at (804) 698-4423. Background documents and information on regulatory stages for the proposed biomass-energy general permit are available at http://www.townhall.state.va.us/L/viewstage.cfm?stageid=5679&display=documents. The proposed regulation was published in the October 25, 2010, Virginia Register of Regulations. The public comment period ends 1/5/11.
Now, here is one meeting about Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs, for impaired waters:
  • December 1, in Virginia Beach, on the TMDL study of PCB-impaired sections of the Elizabeth River, lower James River, and several major tributaries of both rivers. For more information, phone Jennifer Howell at (757) 518-2111.
Finally, in educational and recreational events:
  • On December 2, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is presenting its Blue Planet Forum, featuring a presentation by the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change, to be followed by a panel discussion. For more information, phone the Bay Foundation’s Virginia state office at (804) 780-1392.

  • And On December 8, at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point, the Virginia Water Monitoring Council is holding Enhance Your MS4 Program--Outreach and Monitoring Strategies for Local Governments. The workshop deals with municipal stormwater systems, known as MS4s. Registration closes December 2. For more information, phone Jane Walker at (540) 231-4159.

    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.
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 Virginia Water Resources Research Center. We invite you to visit the center online at www.vwrrc.vt.edu.

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 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.