Click to listen to episode (4:59)
Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.)
Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 1-31-20.
TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of February 3, 2020.
SOUNDS – ~10 sec – Deputy Clerk of the Virginia House of Delegates Sharon Crouch Steidel: “Ayes 99. I declare Eileen Filler-Corn duly elected Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.” Applause.
That’s an excerpt of the January 8, 2020, election of Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn of Fairfax as the first female Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. After that historic moment, the House—along with the Virginia State Senate—began the business of considering over 3100 bills and resolutions that have been introduced into the 2020 General Assembly session. At least 180 of those bills concern water resources, either focusing directly on water, or focusing on land uses, such as energy use and production, that have impacts on water.
This week is Virginia Water Radio’s annual episode giving you a chance to imagine being an Assembly member, and to consider how you’d vote on six of those water-related bills. I’ll give brief descriptions of the bills, followed by a couple of seconds of a ticking clock sound to decide if you would vote for or against the idea. Then I’ll give the bill’s status—still alive or already failed—as of January 29. Here we go.
No. 1: House Bill 705 would transfer permitting authority from the Air Pollution Control Board, Waste Management Board, and State Water Control Board to the Department of Environmental Quality. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] This bill was in alive in the House Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources, or ACNR, Committee.
No. 2: House Bill 542 would have the State Water Control Board facilitate regional water supply planning by localities, including predicting risk of shortfalls in each locality and region, encouraging cross-jurisdictional supply projects, and using river basins to designate regional planning areas. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] This bill had passed the House ACNR Committee and was alive in the House Appropriations Committee.
No. 3: House Bill 794 would create a Flood Insurance Fund to subsidize purchase of flood insurance by low-income Virginians in flood-prone areas. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] This bill also had passed the House ACNR committee and was alive in the House Appropriations Committee.
No. 4: House Joint Resolution 89 would request the Department of Environmental Quality to study the impacts of litter on fishing, farming, stream water quality, and other components of Virginia’s economy and habitats. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] This bill was alive in the House Rules Committee.
No. 5: Senate Bill 361 would direct the Joint Commission on Technology and Science to study the economic, quality-of-life, and safety consequences of weather and climate-related events on Virginia’s coastal areas. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] This bill failed in the Senate Rules Committee.
And No. 6: Senate Bill 1027 would authorize the Department of Environmental Quality to establish a carbon cap-and-trade program, selling carbon allowances and using the revenues for community flood preparedness, energy-efficiency programs for low-income citizens, and statewide climate change planning and mitigation. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] This bill was alive in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.
This short game obviously can’t capture the scope of the General Assembly’s potential impacts on a subject as complicated, connected, and vital as water. Any bill involves more information and details than you heard here. The General Assembly’s Web site, virginiageneralassembly.gov, has tools to help you get the details and to express your opinions to Assembly members. The 2020 General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on March 7, so now’s the time.
Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624. Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.
AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The opening audio was from the Virginia House of Delegates opening session January 8, 2020, in Richmond. The audio was excerpted from the House of Delegates livestream video archives, accessed online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php.
Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode. More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.
Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons swearing in Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn as Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, January 8, 2020. Image taken from House of Delegates livestream video archives, online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php.
Members of the Virginia House of Delegates, January 8, 2020. Image taken from House of Delegates livestream video archives, online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php.
Members of the Virginia Senate, January 8, 2020. Image taken from Senate livestream video archives, online at virginia-senate.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=2825.
EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT LEGISLATION MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Following are Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS) summaries of the bills mentioned in this episode, as of 1/31/20, accessed at http://lis.virginia.gov/ (edited in some cases for space or clarity). The bill numbers are hyperlinked to the respective LIS pages for each bill.
HB 542 – Regional water resource planning; State Water Control Board regulations. “Directs the State Water Control Board to predict the risk that each locality and region in the Commonwealth will experience water supply shortfalls, to encourage the development of cross-jurisdictional water supply projects, and to adopt regulations designating regional planning areas based primarily on river basin. Each locality in a particular regional planning area shall participate in cross-jurisdictional, coordinated water resource planning, and all localities in each area shall together develop and submit a single regional water supply plan. The bill directs the Department of Environmental Quality to facilitate the creation of the regional water plans by ensuring sufficient coordination among localities, providing planning and other assistance, and ensuring that each regional plan identifies risks and proposes cost-effective strategies in response. The bill directs that the Board and the Department prioritize the allocation of funds to localities that sufficiently participate in regional planning. The bill contains technical amendments.”
HB 705 – State air, waste, and water boards; permit authority. “Removes the authority to issue, reissue, amend, or modify permits or certificates or to hear permit actions from the Air Pollution Control Board, the Waste Management Board, and the State Water Control Board and places such authority with the Department of Environmental Quality. The bill changes the composition of the three boards from appointment exclusively by the Governor to the following: two members appointed by the Governor; two members appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules from a list recommended by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources; and three members appointed by the Speaker of the House from a list recommended by the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources. The appointing authority shall appoint members for the unexpired term upon a vacancy other than by expiration of a term.”
HB 794 – Flood Insurance Fund; low-income Virginians. “Creates a Flood Insurance Fund and directs the Executive Director of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Resources Authority to establish a program to use the Fund to subsidize the purchase of flood insurance by low-income Virginians. Such program shall include an application process, application guidelines, and a ranking system that prioritizes the use of the Fund to support the purchase of flood insurance in the most flood-prone areas.”
HJ 89 - Study; economic and environmental impacts of litter on fishing, farming, habitat, organisms, and water quality in streams; report. “Requests the Department of Environmental Quality to study the economic and environmental impacts of litter on fishing, farming, water quality, and other components of Virginia's economy and habitat and to propose strategies, campaigns, and necessary state actions to protect the economy of the Commonwealth from harm caused by litter and to promote Virginia's economic welfare.”
SB 361 – Study; JCOTS; safety, quality of life, and economic consequences of weather and climate-related events on coastal areas in Virginia; report. “Directs the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) to study the safety, quality of life, and economic consequences of weather and climate-related events on coastal areas in Virginia. In conducting its study, JCOTS shall examine (i) the negative impacts of weather, and geological and climate-related events, including displacement, economic loss, and damage to health or infrastructure; (ii) the area or areas and the number of citizens affected by such impacts; (iii) the frequency or probability and the time dimensions, including near-term, medium-term, and long-term probabilities of such impacts; (iv) alternative actions available to remedy or mitigate such impacts and their expected cost; (v) the degree of certainty that each of these impacts and alternative actions may reliably be known; and (vi) the technical resources available, either in state or otherwise, to effect such alternative actions and improve our knowledge of their effectiveness and cost.”
SB 1027 – Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act; fund. “Directs the Department of Environmental Quality to incorporate into regulations previously adopted by the State Air Pollution Control Board certain provisions establishing a carbon dioxide cap and trade program to reduce emissions released by electric generation facilities. Such provisions are required to comply with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative model rule. The bill authorizes the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality to establish, implement, and manage an auction program to sell allowances into a market-based trading program. The bill requires revenues from the sale of carbon allowances, to the extent permitted by Article X, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, to be deposited in an interest-bearing account and to be distributed without further appropriation (i) to the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund; (ii) to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy for low-income energy efficiency programs; (iii) for administrative expenses; and (iv) for statewide climate change planning and mitigation activities. The bill continues the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund as the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund for the purpose of creating a low-interest loan program to help inland and coastal communities that are subject to recurrent or repetitive flooding.”
Used for Audio
University of Virginia, “State Government Relations/Key Dates for the 2020 General Assembly Session,” online at https://sgr.virginia.edu/key-dates-2020-general-assembly-session.
Virginia House of Delegates Appropriations Committee, “Legislative Budget Process,” online at http://hac.virginia.gov/legislative.htm.
Virginia House of Delegates live stream video archive, online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php, and Virginia Senate live stream video archive, online at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3. Live streaming of committee meetings also is available; information on live streaming of House committee meetings is online at https://publications.virginiageneralassembly.gov/display_publication/209; Senate committee meetings are online at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.
Virginia Legislative Information System, online at https://lis.virginia.gov/lis.htm. This site provides lists and summaries of all bills, searchable by topic, member, committee, etc. As of January 31, 2020, “Session Statistics,” online at https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+oth+STA, listed 3155 House or Senate bills, resolutions, or joint resolutions introduced for the 2020 session.
Virginia General Assembly, online at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php. This Web site offers several useful features, including member lists, session calendars, live video of floor sessions, and information on legislative processes.
Virginia Water Resources Research Center, “Virginia Water Legislation,” online at https://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/virginia-water-legislation/. This site provides access to inventories of water-related bills in the Virginia General Assembly from 1998 through 2019.
For More Information about the Virginia General Assembly
To express an opinion on legislation, citizens are requested to contact their respective delegate of senator. If you do not know your representatives or their contact information, you can use the online “Who’s My Legislator” service, available at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/. You can find members’ contact information at these links:
The Lobbyist-In-A-Box subscriber service also offers free tracking for up to five bills, and it offers tracking of more than five bills for a fee; visit http://lis.virginia.gov/h015.htm. For assistance, phone Legislative Automated Systems at (804) 786-9631.
Virginia Water Central News Grouper posts on the Virginia General Assembly are available online at https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=General+Assembly. Items are categorized by the year of each session, from 2012 to 2020.
RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES
All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html). See particularly the “Community/Organizations” subject category.
Following are links to previous episodes on the Virginia General Assembly.
Episode 143, 1-7-13 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 147, 2-4-13 – on General Assembly committees.
Episode 196, 1-13-14 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 247, 1-5-15 – annual General Assembly preview, with special focus on state budget.
Episode 252, 2-9-15 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 297, 1-4-16 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 302, 2-8-16 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 350, 1-9-17 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 353, 1-30-17 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 359, 3-13-17 – on General Assembly subcommittees.
Episode 402, 1-8-18 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 405, 1-29-18 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 410, 3-5-18 – on electricity regulation legislation in 2018 session.
Episode 454, 1-7-19 – annual General Assembly preview.
Episode 460, 2-18-19 – annual “voting on water” episode.
Episode 506, 1-6-20 – annual General Assembly preview.
FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION
The episode—the audio, extra information, or sources—may help with the following Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).
2010 Science SOLs
Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
6.9 – public policy decisions regarding the environment.
Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
4.5 – ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystem.
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.
Life Science Course
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.
Earth Science Course
ES.6 – renewable vs. non-renewable resources (including energy resources).
ES.10 – oceans, including economic and policy decisions affecting oceans, the coastal zone, and the Chesapeake Bay.
2015 Social Studies SOLs
Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.
Civics and Economics Course
CE.1 – social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
CE.7 – government at the state level.
CE.10 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.
World Geography Course
WG.18 - cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.
GOVT.1 – social studies skills that responsible citizenship requires.
GOVT.8 – state and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – public policy at local, state, and national levels.
GOVT.15 – role of government in Va. and U.S. economies, including examining environmental issues and property rights.
Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.
Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.
Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.