Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
State Water Control Board
Certification of Nonpoint Source Nutrient Credits (formerly 4VAC50-80) [9 VAC 25 ‑ 900]
Action Promulgate new Nutrient Trading Certification Regulations
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 3/16/2015
Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
3/11/15  2:28 pm
Commenter: John Blair Reeves; engineer & Va. citizen

Proposed: Nutrient Trading Certification Regs.- Deadline for Comments =Mar. 16, 2015

To:  Ms. Debra Harris; Va. DEQ; Richmond, Va.             March 11, 2015

Re: My Comments: DEQ's Proposed- Nutrient Trading Certification Regulations

Dear Ms. Harris & Va. DEQ,

Yes, the Va. DEQ staff has worked long and hard to gain many strong points in subject, needed Regs.

Yes, some improvements appear needed; here's my offering:

1. Strengthen provisions to protect local water quality.

  a) Double check-- does whole program comply with EPA's guidance regarding timing and location of trades?;

  b) Double check-- do overall Regs. prohibit trades that will degrade { what adverb here?; measurably ?? } local waterways?

2. Ensure *real water quality improvements.

  a) DEQ must specify that baseline conditions on farms/ ranches will include vegetated, robust-designed buffers 35' in width on pastureland, or maybe, in special contour cases along a stream, specify best-practical buffer widths up to 33% of the length of the riparian buffer (per advise of local, trained Soil & Water Conservation Board staff, Va. Extension Service staff, &/or properly certified consultant).

  b) Require practical water testing to demonstrate tangible improvements to both local and downstream waters.

3. Sustain transparency.  

  a) Provide for meaningful public access (ex.- DEQ's website show current, essential information about the practices that will generate *trade-able credits).

  b) Provide a 30-day period for the Public to offer comments &/or alternative actions.

  c) Double-check: For about zero-cost, get some volunteers at each DEQ Regional Office to ask ~25+ citizens/each Region- any problems in seeing these Regs., the nutrient trading and understanding the benefits of these type of pollution trades?  Even some simple focus-groups might be useful.

     Its important to show overall awareness (ex.- big-picture ideas- like the Fed. ADA initiatives)- lots of citizens are not up to 65 MPH, or even 55 MPH-- on the WWW.web (and DEQ's complex web-site), especially those of us over 65! 

Thank you for considering my comments.  Also, thanks for your good service to our vital Commonwealth.

John B. Reeves  P.E.                

    400 Silver Oaks Drive;   Rockingham, Va.  22801-3579

    (540) 433- 9358


CommentID: 39481