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.
- 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.
- It is anticipated that activities will increase related to the development of renewable energy (e.g. wind power off Virginia Beach) and oil and gas projects on the outer continental shelf off Virginia based on current interest and activities. Local interest and the infusion of federal dollars to improve and possibly expand passenger rail sevice, particularly within coastal population centers in Virginia (e.g. D.C. to Richmond, Richmond to Raliegh, and Richmond to Hampton Roads), are anticipated to result in activities impacting federal consistency under the VA CZMP. These activities will result in the expenditure of a significant amount of staff time coordinating with project proponents, stakeholders, federal and state agencies, and localities on federal consistency issues and reviews.
Ellie Irons, 804.698.4325; Ellie.Irons@deq.virginia.gov
10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012
Final Product Received:
Final Project Summary serves as Final Product.
Project Summary Provided by Grantee:
During FY 2011, the Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Environmental Impact Review/Federal Consistency (OEIR) reviewed 251 development projects and management plans located in Tidewater for consistency with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VCP). Total number of projects reviewed in Tidewater represents approximately 85% of the 292 projects reviewed statewide. Thirty of these projects in Tidewater were major state projects (11%), 119 were federal agency projects (45%) and 102 (44%) were federal activities (permits and funding).
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.
Outreach/Training: (i) Marine Event Permit Workshop. On November 30, 2011, at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth, OEIR staff participated in a workshop conducted for marine event sponsors involved in applying for permits to conduct marine events (e.g. boat races and fireworks shows) on Virginia navigable waters. The workshop was attended by 31 individuals. At the workshop, DEQ staff presented an overview of the CZMA federal consistency requirement, the VCP and enforceable policies, and the Commonwealth’s federal consistency review process and procedures. (ii) On July 25, 2012, OEIR staff attended a meeting held by the Army National Cemeteries in the Visitors’ Center belonging to Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) regarding the progress of a Master Plan and Programmatic Environmental Assessment (EA) for the ANC. Approximately 30 people attended. At the meeting, OEIR staff gave brief explanations of the environmental and federal consistency review processes and expressed continuing interest in the Cemetery expansion planning effort. (iii) OEIR attended a public meeting held by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on August 8, 2012, in Richmond. The FWS developed a Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment (CCP/EA) to guide the management of Presquile National Wildlife Refuge for the next 15 years. The Refuge occupies an island in the James River downstream from Richmond, nearest to southern Chesterfield County, covering 1,329 acres.
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