CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (5:58).
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 2-3-23.
TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the weeks of February 6 and February 13, 2023. This is the last of a series of three planned episodes this winter on the Virginia General Assembly.
MUSIC – ~12 sec – instrumental.
That’s part of “Midwinter Etude,” by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va. The astronomical midwinter date of February 3 was also just about the midpoint of the Virginia General Assembly’s planned 46-day session for 2023. This year, the Assembly has been considering nearly 2400 bills, including budget bills with proposed amendments to the current biennial budget. About 130 of those bills involve water, either focusing specifically on water resources or on land uses that have impacts on water.
This 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 some water-related measures. I’ll briefly describe nine measures. After each description, you’ll have a few seconds of a ticking clock sound to decide if you would vote for or against the idea, and then I’ll give the measure’s status, as of February 3.
Nos. 1 and 2. House Bill 2004 would require Virginia natural and historic resource agencies to establish policies and procedures for consulting with federally recognized Tribal Nations in Virginia when the agencies evaluate certain permits that potentially could impact those Tribal Nations. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] The bill was in a House committee, while its companion bill, Senate Bill 1332, had passed the Senate.
No. 3. House Bill 1917 would require the Board of Health to adopt regulations to adopt regulations governing public swimming pools and other public water recreational facilities. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] The bill was in a House committee.
No. 4. Senate Bill 897 would allow the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to be used for aquaculture, and it would specifically designate money from that fund for a Blue Catfish Processing, Flash Freezing, and Infrastructure Grant Program. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] The bill had passed the Senate.
Nos. 5 and 6. House Bill 1485 and Senate Bill 1129 would (among other provisions) delay for four years or two years, respectively, the effective date for regulatory actions on certain agricultural practices under the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, which was required by the 2010 federal Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load process. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] The House bill had passed the House and was in a Senate committee; the Senate bill was on the Senate floor.
Nos. 7 and 8: House Bill 2189 would require certain industries to test their wastewater for several of the substances known collectively as PFAS chemicals and to transmit the results to the relevant wastewater treatment facility. And Senate Bill 1013 would require waterworks owners to notify customer when certain PFAS chemicals are present in the water supply above certain levels. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] The House bill was on the House floor, and the Senate bill had passed the Senate.
And No. 9. Senate Bill 1012 would prohibit state agencies from using single-use plastic bags, cutlery, straws, water bottles, or food containers, except during a declared state of emergency. [SOUND – ~2 sec – ticking] The bill failed in committee.
These measures, like most bills or resolutions, involve much more detail than you’ve heard here, and bills often get amended significantly. The Assembly’s Web site, virginiageneralassembly.gov, has tools to help you get more information and to express your opinions to Assembly members. The 2023 Virginia General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on February 25, so time is quickly ticking away.
Thanks to Timothy Seaman for permission to use this week’s opening music. We close with another musical selection, whose title reflects the rapid pace of important business that characterizes General Assembly sessions. Here’s about 25 seconds of “The Race,” by the Harrisonburg- and Rockingham County, Va.-based band, The Steel Wheels.
MUSIC – ~25 sec – “Tempest turns and the winds are wailing. Oh we got a race that must be run, oh we got a race that must be run; oh we got a race that must be run, oh we got a race that must be run.”
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 episode. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.
AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
“Midwinter Etude,” from the 1996 album “Incarnation,” is copyright by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission. More information about Mr. Seaman is available online at http://timothyseaman.com/en/. This music was used previously by Virginia Water Radio most recently in Episode 605, 11-29-21.
“The Race,” from the 2013 album “No More Rain,” is copyright by The Steel Wheels, is used with permission. More information about The Steel Wheels is available online at http://www.thesteelwheels.com/. This music was used previously by Virginia Water Radio most recently in Episode 519, 4-6-20.
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.
Photos are by Virginia Water Radio.
EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEGISLATION MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Following are Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS) summaries of the nine bills in the 2023 Virginia General Assembly mentioned in this episode, accessed at http://lis.virginia.gov/ on February 6, 2023. Please note that a bill’s provisions often change during the legislative process, so the LIS summaries quoted here may or may not reflect the current provisions of a given bill. The bill numbers are hyperlinked to the respective LIS pages for each measure.
1. HB 2004 – “SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED: Consultation with federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth; permits and reviews with potential impacts on environmental, cultural, and historic resources. Requires the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Historic Resources, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to establish policies and procedures for consulting with federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth when evaluating certain permits and reviews relating to environmental, cultural, or historic resources that potentially impact those federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth. The bill directs the Secretary of the Commonwealth to designate an Ombudsman for Tribal Consultation to facilitate communication and consultation with federally recognized Tribal Nations in the Commonwealth. The bill codifies Executive Order 82 (2021).”
2. SB 1332 – Companion bill to HB 2004, with same LIS summary as introduced.
3. HB 1917 – “SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED: Public pools; regulations. Directs the Board of Health to adopt regulations governing swimming pools and other water recreational facilities operated for public use, including swimming pools and other water recreational facilities operated in conjunction with a tourist facility or health spa.”
4. SB 897 – “SUMMARY AS PASSED SENATE: Governor's Blue Catfish Industries Development Fund established. Creates the Blue Catfish Processing, Flash Freezing, and Infrastructure Grant Program (Program) and adds aquaculture to the list of eligible activities to receive funds from the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund. Funds awarded by the Governor for blue catfish processing, flash freezing, and infrastructure projects will be awarded as reimbursable grants of no more than $250,000 per grant to political subdivisions to support such projects. The bill directs the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry to develop guidelines for the Program that (i) require that grants be awarded on a competitive basis, (ii) state the criteria the Governor will use in evaluating any grant application, and (iii) favor projects that create processing, flash freezing, and infrastructure capacity in proximity to small-scale blue catfish watermen. Such guidelines may allow contributions to a project by certain specified entities such as a nonprofit organization or charitable foundation.”
5. HB 1485 – “SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED: Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan; effective date. Changes the contingency for the effective date of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan provisions to (i) allow consideration of a combination of point or nonpoint source pollution reduction efforts other than agricultural best management conservation practices when determining whether the Commonwealth's commitments in the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan have been satisfied and (ii) bar such provisions from becoming effective unless the Commonwealth funds the Virginia Natural Resources Commitment Fund each year of the current or existing biennial period.”
6. SB 1129 – “SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED: Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Implementation Plan; effective date. Changes
the contingency for the effective date of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Implementation Plan to (i) allow consideration of a combination of point or
nonpoint source pollution reduction efforts other than agricultural best
management conservation practices when determining whether the Commonwealth's
commitments in the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Phase III Watershed
Implementation Plan have been satisfied and (ii) bar such provisions from
becoming effective unless the Commonwealth has fully funded the Virginia
Natural Resources Commitment Fund until June 30, 2030. The bill also advances from July 1, 2026, to
July 1, 2030, the contingency effective date of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Implementation Plan. The bill requires
the Department of Conservation and Recreation to submit an annual report
analyzing the use of funds from the Virginia Agricultural Best Management
Practices Cost-Share Program to demonstrate whether farmers or landowners are
participating in the Program at levels to maximize nutrient load
reductions. The bill directs each soil
and water conservation district to report to the Department any recommendations
for improving the disbursement of funds from the Virginia Natural Resources
Commitment Fund and program efficiencies that would expedite the disbursal of
such funds. Finally, the bill prohibits
any regulatory action to be imposed on agricultural practices before the
effective date of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan.”
7. HB 2189 – “SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED: Requirements to test for PFAS; publicly owned treatment works; discharges into state waters. Requires industrial users of publicly owned treatment works that receive and clean, repair, refurbish, or process items that contain PFAS, as defined in the bill, to test wastestreams for PFAS prior to and after cleaning, repairing, refurbishing, or processing such items. The bill also requires prompt testing for PFAS following the discharge of certain toxic agents or materials listed in the federal Clean Water Act into state waters and requires the results of such tests to be submitted to the coordinator of emergency services for the affected political subdivision.”
8. SB 1013 – “SUMMARY AS PASSED SENATE: “Waterworks; contaminants; notification to customers. Requires a waterworks owner that receives a finished water test result from an EPA-approved method for drinking water for any PFAS chemical subject to a PFAS advisory and such result exceeds the notification concentration, as defined in the bill, to (i) report such result to the Department of Health, (ii) provide public notice in the required consumer confidence report provided to the waterworks owner's customers and by posting on the waterworks owner's website, and (iii) provide such additional public notice as the Department may require on a case-by-case basis under applicable regulations.”
9. SB 1012 – “SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED: State and local prohibition on single-use plastic and expanded polystyrene products. Prohibits state agencies beginning July 1, 2024, from contracting for the purchase, sale, and distribution of (i) single-use plastic bags, cutlery, straws, or water bottles and (ii) single-use plastic food service containers and expanded polystyrene food service containers, except during a declared state of emergency. The bill directs the Department of General Services to post public notice of all prohibited goods on its public procurement website. The bill also authorizes any locality to prohibit by ordinance the purchase, sale, or provision, whether free or for a cost, of (a) single-use plastic bags, cutlery, straws, or water bottles and (b) single-use plastic food service containers and expanded polystyrene food service containers, with certain exceptions enumerated in the bill.”
Used for Audio
Farmers’ Almanac, “The Midpoint of Winter: When and What is It”? Online at https://www.farmersalmanac.com/midwinter-midpoint-winter.
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Chesapeake Bay TMDLs [Total Maximum Daily Load], online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/water/chesapeake-bay/chesapeake-bay-tmdls; and “Phase III WIP [Watershed Implementation Plan],” online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/water/chesapeake-bay/phase-iii-wip.
Virginia General Assembly main Web site, online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php.
See particularly the following specific pages:
About the General Assembly;
Senate of Virginia;
Virginia House of Delegates Member Listings.
Virginia Legislative Information System, online at https://lis.virginia.gov/. For budget information, see https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/. For session statistics, see https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?231+oth+STA.
For More Information about the Virginia General Assembly
Ballotpedia, “Virginia General Assembly,” online at https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia_General_Assembly.
Video streams of sessions and meetings for both the
House of Delegates and the Senate, including committees, are available online
Committees are key parts of the General Assembly process. Legislation about water or about activities that can affect water may be assigned to any of several standing committees, most of which meet weekly during the General Assembly session. Two committees that receive many (but not all) of the water-related bills are the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Wednesdays at 1 p.m., and the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Tuesdays, one-half hour after adjournment of the day’s floor session. Information about all standing committees as of the 2023 session—including membership, meeting times, and legislation being considered—is available online at https://lis.virginia.gov/231/com/COM.HTM.
To express an opinion on legislation, citizens are advised 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 also find members’ contact information at these links:
House of Delegates, at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php;
State Senate, at https://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/.
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 more information or assistance, phone Legislative Automated Systems at (804) 786-9631 or Virginia Interactive at (804) 318-4133.
The organization Open Virginia’s Richmond Sunlight Web site, at https://www.richmondsunlight.com/, also offers tools for following the General Assembly and for learning about Virginia law.
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 2023.
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 other episodes on the Virginia
Episode 143, 1-7-13 – “Music for the Past and Present of the Virginia General Assembly” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 147, 2-4-13 – “Committees Guide the Flow of Bills in the Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 196, 1-13-14 – “The Virginia General Assembly on its 396 Opening Day, January 8, 2014” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 247, 1-5-15 – “January Means State Budget Time in the Virginia General Assembly” (annual General Assembly introduction, with special focus on the state budget).
Episode 252, 2-9-15 – “Voting on Water in the 2015 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 297, 1-4-16 – “Water’s on the Agenda—along with a Whole Lot Else—When the Virginia General Assembly Convenes” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 302, 2-8-16 – “Voting on Water in the 2016 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 350, 1-9-17 – “Old English Music Helps Preview the Old Dominion’s 2017 General Assembly” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 353, 1-30-17 – “Voting on Water in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 359, 3-13-17 – “Subcommittees are Where Many Proposed Virginia Laws Start to Float or Sink.”
Episode 402, 1-8-18 – “The Virginia Legislature Begins Its 400th Year in 2018” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 405, 1-29-18 – “Voting on Water in the 2018 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 410, 3-5-18 – “Virginia Electricity Regulation and Water” (on legislation in the 2018 session on electricity regulation).
Episode 454, 1-7-19 – “The Virginia General Assembly, from Jamestown in 1619 to Richmond in 2019” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 460, 2-18-19 – “Voting on Water in the 2018 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 506, 1-6-20 – “Action on Budget, Bills, and Other Business Commences January 8 for the 2020 Virginia General Assembly” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 510, 2-3-20 – “Voting on Water in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 522, 4-27-20 – “Virginia Enacts a New Energy Era” (on legislation in the 2020 session on electricity generation, carbon emissions, and recurrent flooding).
Episode 558, 1-4-21 – “January 13 is Opening Day for the 2021 Virginia General Assembly” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 562, 2-1-21 – “Voting on Water in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 611, 1-10-22 – “The Second Wednesday in January Means the Virginia General Assembly Convenes” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 614, 1-31-22 – “Voting on Water in the 2022 Virginia General Assembly.”
Episode 646, 1-9-23 – “Near Richmond’s James River Falls, Each Second Wednesday in January Calls the Virginia General Assembly to Order” (annual General Assembly introduction).
Episode 647, 1-23-23 – “Virginia’s State Budget and Money for Water.”
FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION
Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.
2020 Music SOLs
SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”
Grades K-5 – Earth Resources
3.8 – Natural events and humans influence ecosystems.
4.8. – Virginia has important natural resources.
6.9 – Humans impact the environment and individuals can influence public policy decisions related to energy and the environment.
Life Science Course
LS.9 – Relationships exist between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.
Earth Science Course
ES.6 – Resource use is complex.
ES.8 – Freshwater resources influence and are influenced by geologic processes and human activity.
ES.10 – Oceans are complex, dynamic systems subject to long- and short-term variations, including effects of human actions.
ES.11 – The atmosphere is a complex, dynamic system subject to long-and short-term variations, including effects of human actions.
BIO.8 – Dynamic equilibria exist within populations, communities, and ecosystems, and natural events and human activities influence local and global ecosystems and may affect the flora and fauna of Virginia.
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 https://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching-learning-assessment/instruction (as of 2-23-23).
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 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
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.
Episode 524, 5-11-20 – on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20 – on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20 – on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.
Episode 606, 12-6-21 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.