The Secretary of Natural Resources, Matthew J. Strickler, published the Executive Order Number Six Report (April 30, 2019) which summarized the actions taken thus far in regard to Executive Order Number Six (April 3, 2018), and provided recommendations for future actions. The goal of the Executive Order Number Six was to evaluate opportunities for continuous improvement for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Executive Order Number Six laid out three actions:
- To review DEQ's permitting, monitoring, and enforcement activities in air, water, and waste programs
- To evaluate federal regulations released after January 2017 to determine local impacts
- To work with stakeholders to improve communication with the public
Executive Order Number Six Report summarized the actions taken thus far, and provided recommendations for future actions.
Some of the actions taken thus far include:
- A Virginia Council on Environmental Justice was established to develop a plan to better integrate environmental justice considerations into the work of the DEQ. Environmental justice is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, faith, national origin, or income, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.
- An update to the regulations to allow, but not require, Virginia to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon trading marketplace.
- An update to the DEQ's website (by Spring 2020) to improve usability and public communications. In addition, DEQ is working to make information presented to the regulatory boards clearer and easier for the public to understand and access, to increase the transparency of the regulatory board meetings.
In addition, the report laid out recommendations for additional actions and initiatives:
- Increased monitoring for air (especially particulate matter and ozone), surface water, and groundwater
- Amendments to update the Code of Virginia to regulate surface water withdrawals and unpermitted landfills
- Establish live streaming capabilities for public meetings and update public outreach materials
- Allocate additional resources to ensure efficiency and responsiveness in permitting
Please call Trinity's Roanoke, Virginia office at (540) 342-5945 for further information about Executive Order Six.