It is March, a time when most people eagerly await the end of winter and embrace the first signs of spring. For me, the spring also marks the end of long days and nights spent walking the halls and occupying committee rooms in Richmond. The 2020 Virginia General Assembly session concluded on March 12, and by the time you read this, we will all be awaiting Governor Northam’s response to the legislation and budget passed by both houses.
Steve and Jennifer Rainwater’s world was turned upside down in 2017 when an access road was built along their property line and hundreds of dump trucks started arriving to dump dirt, non-stop, on a section of the property, behind their house. The new access road created runoff and flooding problems that damaged their pastures and a small pond that had provided fresh water for the horses. Although silt fences were used in places, they regularly collapsed and were generally ineffective. The view from their second floor has changed from woods to a never-ending construction site.
As construction picks up in the region, many of our localities are struggling with fill dirt and inert debris dump sites popping up in rural areas. On May 29, 2019, The Piedmont Environmental Council partnered with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and Rappahannock Rapidan Regional Commission to host a workshop on this complex issue. The agenda included speakers from PEC, NVRC, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.