Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Environmental Quality

General Notice
Date Posted: 12/18/2023
Expiration Date: 1/31/2024
Submitted to Registrar for publication: NO
No comment forum defined for this notice.

PURPOSE OF NOTICE: The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality announces the release of the 2022 fish tissue and sediment contaminant monitoring data.

BACKGROUND: The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) conducts routine studies of fish tissue and bottom sediments in state waters to assess the human health risks for individuals who may consume fish, to identify impaired aquatic ecosystems, and to plan and track the progress of cleanup efforts. Results are made available to the public each year on the agency’s website.

In 2022, DEQ collected fish tissue samples primarily from sites in the watersheds of the Potomac River, Albemarle Sound (including Great Dismal Swamp and Currituck Sound tributaries) and Big Sandy River, although samples were collected from all of Virginia’s major river basins. In addition to routine statewide monitoring, DEQ also conducted a special fish tissue monitoring study in the Dan and Roanoke Rivers to evaluate the effects of coal ash in these river systems. These data are also included in the release. Samples were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) and a suite of 17 metals, including mercury. DEQ also collected bottom sediment samples from the Potomac River basin (32 samples), Albemarle Sound basin (4 samples) and James River basin (1 sample), which were analyzed for PCB’s and whose results are included.

2022 monitoring results are available on the agency’s website at the following link:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) uses the data generated by DEQ’s fish tissue monitoring program to determine the need for fish consumption advisories. More information on VDH fish consumption advisories is available here:

CONTACTS FOR MORE INFORMATION: Questions on DEQ’s fish tissue monitoring program can be directed to Rick Browder (, Gabriel Darkwah (, or Andrew Kirk ( Additional information is also available on the VADEQ Water Quality Monitoring website at the following location

Contact Information
Name / Title: Richard Browder 
Address: 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, 23218
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)212-9734    FAX: ()-    TDD: ()-