September 21, 2023

Vol.2, No.12

PEEP our Awards! PEEP wins at State and National Events

DEQ's Permitting Enhancement and Evaluation Platform (PEEP) continues to gain national attention and is even winning awards! PEEP won the Environmental Council of the States 2023 Innovation Award in the category of Agency Management & Emergency Response. In further recognition, PEEP has been awarded a Commonwealth Technology Award in the Best Customer Experience Initiative - State category at this year's Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium. These awards are not just in recognition of PEEP, but also the hard work by agency staff in PEEP's creation and implementation, and the quick adoption by involved PEEP stakeholders, including DEQ's external agency partners.

DEQ is also pleased to announce that DEQ's solid waste permits have been added to PEEP. Solid Waste Permits-By-Rule (PBR), Part A and B applications for full solid waste permits, permit modifications, and PBR modifications will now be tracked by PEEP as of Sept. 1. Stay tuned and check out the PEEP webpage for more information.

Virginia Balances Economic Growth and Ecological Preservation Through Ecotourism

Recently, Virginia's Coastal Zone Management (CZM) program was highlighted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for its $2.8 million investment in almost 100 ecotourism planning and infrastructure projects over the years, with a near 12x return on investment. CZM supports ecotourism initiatives in Virginia's rural coastal communities. Learn more about CZM's success from NOAA's program highlight.

Reporting Poultry Waste (Litter) Transfer Records Just Got Easier

During the 2021 regulatory revision, poultry waste (litter) transfer record reporting requirements were added to the Virginia Pollution Abatement Regulation and General Permit for Poultry Waste Management (9VAC25-630). The new reporting requirements affect permitted poultry growers and poultry waste end-users. For poultry waste brokers and poultry growers, the reporting timeframe and submittal dates were changed. Both will now submit their transfer records annually for the preceding state fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) to DEQ no later than Sept. 15. Starting in 2024, poultry waste end-users will start submitting their transfer records with the above schedule.

Now poultry growers, poultry waste brokers, and poultry waste end-users can register and use myDEQ Portal to enter and submit poultry waste transfer records. The portal is an efficient way to track and report poultry waste transactions throughout the year. Using the web-based portal will allow the creation and submittal of poultry waste transfer records all in one place.

DEQ Water Director Selected as ICPRB Vice Chairperson

Congratulations to Scott Morris, DEQ Water Division Director, for being selected as vice chairperson of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB)! The ICPRB is represented by three commissioners and three alternate commissioners from each of the five signatory jurisdictions (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania) and the federal government. ICPRB has also elected Susan Weaver, representative of Pennsylvania, as ICPRB's chairperson for 2024. Previously, Weaver served as the vice chair of ICPRB. Each year, the chairperson of ICPRB rotates among the jurisdictions.

Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Information Sessions

DEQ will host one-hour webinars Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to kick off the climate planning process under the recently awarded EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) program. Register today for the 11 a.m. session or the 6 p.m. session. Visit EPA's website to learn more about the CPRG program and stay tuned for more information on DEQ's CPRG webpage.

2023 Virginia Water Monitoring Council Conference

As a reminder, the 2023 Virginia Water Monitoring Council Conference will be held on Sept. 26 at the Henrico County Training Center. Registration is closed, but we hope to see some of you there! Attendees, make sure to visit our seminars "To the Rescue: Virginia's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Investment in Septic Assistance" and "An Overview of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality's PFAS Dashboard." For more information, please visit the conference website.

Happy Pollution Prevention Week 2023!

Happy P2 Week to all our Pollution Prevention partners! Every fall, we celebrate P2 week and appreciate all your efforts to reduce or prevent pollution in our communities.

DEQ's P2 program has been hard at work reducing pollution to our land, water, and air, as well as reducing the use of harmful chemicals — all with the ultimate objective of providing safer and healthier places to live and work. You can learn more about our program and how you may become involved by visiting our website. Visit the EPA P2 Week webpage to learn more about the EPA resources available to promote P2 in your community. Do you have your own P2 success story to share? Share the significance of P2 and your achievements on your own websites, newsletters, social media profiles, or any other communication platform! We are looking forward to another fantastic year of P2!

Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Workshop

Learn how to build and strengthen your facility's Environmental Management System (EMS)! Mark your calendars for Oct. 24 and join DEQ's Office of Pollution Prevention and facilities from around the region for a free day of learning from peers. We'll hear about creating programs that encourage employee buy-in, re-energizing your EMS, regulatory requirements and about how to find pollution prevention opportunities. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together facilities that want to continuously improve their EMS and pollution prevention programs. Register today, you won't want to miss it!

Register Today for Wastewater Utility Training

On Oct. 4 in South Boston, UNC Environmental Finance Center and DEQ are hosting a free training on Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Development for Small Systems (average daily flow of less than 1 million gallons). The training will teach small wastewater utilities how to review principles of environmental finance and assessing utility financial condition and understand the role of CIPs. Attendees will also learn how to initiate a CIP process and work with CIP consultants and will have the opportunity to review sample CIP templates. Attendees will receive a training certificate after completing the course. Register for the training event here.

WeLoveU Foundation River Cleanup Recap

Forty volunteers from the International WeLoveU Foundation gathered in Richmond's James River Park for a recent cleanup event. Volunteers cleaned near the historic Belle Isle in the middle of the James River. Walking along a two-mile trail, the group collected over 70 pounds of trash. The cleanup is part of WeLoveU's Oceans & Waterways Cleanup campaign. The initiative honors the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, an environmental program to restore the ecosystem by 2030. WeLoveU aims to restore ecosystems affected by plastic pollution by cleaning the total distance of the East Coast shoreline, which is nearly 2,200 miles long.

DEQ staff set up an informational booth at the cleaning to teach volunteers about balloon litter pollution. In Virginia, balloons are among a list of problematic types of debris. Often, balloons end up in waterways, and sea turtles mistake them for food. Learning about balloon pollution complimented the Ocean & Waterways campaign, which aims to protect sea life by cleaning up litter.

Public Meeting for AdvanSix Resins and Chemicals Plant in Hopewell

On Sept. 21, DEQ is holding a public informational meeting to discuss the proposed reissuance of a permit that authorizes AdvanSix Resins and Chemicals Plant in Hopewell to discharge wastewater and stormwater from the facility. The meeting will be held at Hopewell Library from 5:30-7 p.m. For more information, please contact Jeanne Puricelli (804-720-3682).

Tidewater Air Monitoring Evaluation Project Virtual Meeting

DEQ will hold a virtual community update meeting on Oct. 19 from 6:30-8 p.m. to discuss progress and next steps for the Tidewater Air Monitoring and Evaluation (TAME) project. This meeting will be recorded, and the recording will be made available to any community members who cannot attend the meeting live. Register for the meeting here.

Through TAME, DEQ is installing air quality monitors and sensors in two Tidewater communities: the Southeast community of Newport News and Lambert's Point in Norfolk. VDH will use information collected to develop a health risk assessment for these communities. This will help DEQ, VDH, and partners in collaborative efforts to address air quality concerns and determine next steps. Neighborhood residents can host PurpleAir sensors to measure particulate pollution in real time as part of the TAME project. Contract Grace Holmes (804-914-3510) to learn more.

DEQ Petroleum Tanks Lunch and Learn Training Events

The DEQ Office of Spill Response and Remediation (OSRR) will be hosting a series of short virtual training events covering various aspects of the petroleum tanks program. Training will be offered for tank owners and operators, environmental consultants, and DEQ staff. Topics will cover tank compliance, clean up, and reimbursement and will be offered monthly, usually over the lunch hour. Training sessions will be recorded and will be available for later viewing on the DEQ website. The first training will cover the new online tank registration process and will be offered on Sept. 27 from 12-1:00 p.m. For the current training schedule, please visit our website.

Public Participation Opportunites

Visit the DEQ website for comment opportunities on pending enforcement orders and permit actions. The following regulatory actions are available for public comment:

  • Notice of Intended Regulatory Action Sewage Collection and Treatment Regulations (9VAC25-790) (comment by 10/11)
  • Proposed General Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities (comment by 10/13)

In addition, there are numerous DEQ meetings and general comment periods where you can stay up to date on topics of interest:

Employment Opportunities

Are you committed to protecting human health and the environment? Apply for a job at DEQ. Current openings include:

  • Stormwater Plan Reviewer (Salem; closes Sept. 25)
  • Water Compliance Inspector (Henrico; closes Sept. 26)
  • Training Specialist (Richmond; closes Sept. 29)
  • Senior SQL Server Database Administrator (Richmond; closes Sept. 29)
  • VWP & Stormwater Compliance Coordinator (Henrico; closes Sept. 29)
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