Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Air Pollution Control Board
Public Participation Guidelines [9 VAC 5 ‑ 5]
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8/19/21  5:09 pm
Commenter: Meredith Haines

Sometimes notification requires an actual notice

Dear Board,

I have the privilege of writing to you concerning Public Participation Guidelines precisely because I have the privilege of time to investigate issues and act on them, as well as the informed connections and resources to navigate the process.

I am NOT who you need to be hearing from. It is not my suburban neighborhood that is being threatened with additional massive air pollution burdens. Please keep that foremost in mind as you perform your process review and consider requests - giving extra weight to those who describe their barriers to participation.

As I review the stories of impacted communities finding out from volunteers sharing information (that is nearly always too late to act upon), I might remind you that a hand-delivered page (in both Spanish and English) with timely information and contact names and numbers, is a reasonable approach.  Fairfax County has just notified residents in my area in this very manner, with a page stuck in every door, about an upcoming sewer upgrade project during which service will be out for up to 10 hours. An inconvenience for a day. Projects that will alter every nearby resident, ongoing indefinitely, deserve this level of notification at a  minimum.

As  the coronovirus and wildfires remind us, your air is my air. As rising greenhouse gas concentrations remind us, our air is our entire ecosystem support. Your work is more important than ever, and the public's trust in your decisions, believing that our comments are heard and weighed, is critical.

Thank you for doing this work.

CommentID: 99789