Virginia Department of Environmental Quality - Office of Environmental Impact Review and Federal Consistency
Environmental Impact Review and Federal Consistency
Project Description as Proposed:
The following activities will be performed as part of this project: Conduct federal consistency reviews of activities which can affect Virginia's coastal uses and resources pursuant to the CZMA and the federal consistency regulations. Coordinate Virginia's review of environmental documents for development of federal and state facilities and actions which require federal approvals or assistance. Continue to update Virginia's EIR manual and federal consistency information packages as necessary. Provide interpretation of federal consistency requirements to federal agencies, applicants for federal permits, approvals, or funding, and consultants preparing consistency determinations or certifications. Provide technical assistance to state reviewers and local government officials on the use of federal consistency and conduct group trainings (when there are opportunities to do so) at workshops sponsored by other agencies such as the Department of General Services and other natural resources agencies. Maintain and update the EIR/Federal Consistency website. Ensure public participation in the review of federal consistency documents to include publishing notices of consistency reviews in appropriate media such as local newspapers and holding public hearings when necessary; and Conduct site visits as necessary.
Ellie Irons, 804.698.4325; Ellie.Irons@deq.virginia.gov
10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
Final Product Received:
Final Project Summary serves as Final Product.
Project Summary Provided by Grantee:
During FY 2010, the Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Environmental Impact Review/Federal Consistency (OEIR) reviewed 212 development projects and management plans located in Tidewater for consistency with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VCP). The total number of projects reviewed in Tidewater represents approximately 78% of the 272 projects reviewed statewide. Twenty-seven of these projects in Tidewater were major state projects (13%), 100 were federal agency projects (47%) and 85 (40%) were federal activities (permits and funding). Based on the Commonwealth’s federal consistency purview, two federal projects were modified to be consistent with the coastal lands management enforceable policy of the VCP.
The OEIR routinely responds to the public on federal consistency issues. Also, OEIR continues to maintain a webpage for Federal Consistency for the Commonwealth. This site can be accessed through DEQ's main website or found at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/EnvironmentalImpactReview.aspx. The webpage is updated weekly and includes the Commonwealth's Federal Consistency information package, a project list with project descriptions and public notices of Federal consistency reviews. Several federal and state agencies still have direct links to the OEIR web page.
Training: Although OEIR was unable to conduct training on federal consistency issues to larger groups attending workshops as anticipated because of the heavy workload and financial constraints, OEIR provided informal discussions and disseminated training material at the public hearing on March 3, 2011 at Louisa County Middle School as part of the public review of the federal consistency certification for the Combined License (COL) to construct and operate Unit 3 at the North Anna Power Station. About 20 individuals from the general public attended the hearing. Also, DEQ staff presented an overview and answered questions on DEQ’s state and federal review authorities under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act at the Department of General Services, Division of Engineering and Buildings Capital Outlay and Facility Management Forum held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The forums are meetings of capital outlay and facilities management officials from agencies and institutions across the Commonwealth to discuss issues of mutual concern. It was attended by approximately 70 state agency facility officers and capital outlay managers involved in the development and construction of capital projects in the Commonwealth. In addition, all of OEIR staff provided one-on-one training to many individuals from several state and federal agencies as well as consultants on federal consistency matters on a regular basis. A federal consistency fact sheet and an information package are available online.
Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov
A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov