New TMDLs for Accotink Watershed: Sediment and Chloride

Pink flagging alerts construction crews to the locations of preservation areas.

To address water quality concerns within the Accotink watershed, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) developed draft Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to reduce pollutant sources from sediment and chloride levels. TMDLs determine the maximum amount of a pollutant that a stream can receive while still maintaining its water quality standards. While sediment TMDLs are common, this will be the first chloride TMDL in Virginia and could have widespread implications for the Virginia Department of Transportation, commercial property managers, homeowner's associations, and individual homeowners as the primary source of chloride is road salt in the winter.

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Get Your Instream Work Done - Use III Time of Year Restriction Approaching in Maryland

Jabez Branch - a Use III waterway in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Jabez Branch - a Use III waterway in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

The instream work time-of-year restriction (TOYR) within Use III waterways in Maryland – nontidal cold waters - is rapidly approaching.  The TOYR, which goes into effect on October 1 and ends on April 30¹, prohibits instream work such as road construction, utility line and stream diversion installation, and stream restoration activities. Use III waterways are generally located in western Maryland, northern Montgomery County, Howard County, Carroll County, Baltimore County, and Cecil County.

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Endangered and Threatened Species Alert: Survey Window for the State-Threatened Wood Turtle Opens Soon

WSSI scientist handling a wood turtle

WSSI scientist handling a wood turtle

If you are planning to develop property in Northern Virginia that has a clear, moderate to fast-flowing perennial stream and a relatively undisturbed floodplain¹, you may need a survey for the wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) this winter - or your wetlands permitting may be delayed up to a year!

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FAST-41 and Recent Executive and DOI Orders Seek to Streamline Environmental Reviews and Authorizations for Infrastructure Projects

Pervious concrete at WSSI's Gold LEED-certified headquarters

Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41) created a new process intended to improve and expedite federal environmental review and authorization for qualified infrastructure projects subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  FAST-41 was signed into law on December 4, 2015; however, it was recently reinforced in Executive Order 13807 published August 24, 2017, and in the Department of the Interior (DOI) Order 3355 published August 31, 2017.  The Executive and DOI Orders incorporate the main components of FAST-41, but go further to establish target limits for review timeframes and agency approvals.  

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Blaze Pink is the new Orange!

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This fall our Virginia fields and forests may be speckled with pink – as blaze pink gives hunters a new color option that meets Virginia’s blaze-colored requirements for hunting apparel.  On March 13, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed HB 1939, which amends § 29.1-530.1 of the Code of Virginia to include blaze pink in addition to the traditional blaze orange.  

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