Purpose: This document provides detailed guidance on implementation of §62.1-44.19:5.F, the section of the Water Quality Monitoring, Information and Restoration Act that provides for requests from the public regarding specific segments that should be included in the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) annual Water Quality Monitoring Plan.
Background: During the 1997 legislative session, the General Assembly enacted the Water Quality Monitoring, Information and Restoration Act (the Act). The Act directs DEQ to provide a procedure for citizens of the Commonwealth to nominate portions of lakes, streams, and rivers of Virginia for water quality monitoring by DEQ. Citizens can send their nominations to DEQ via the procedures described below. Nominations received by April 30, 2015 will be considered for inclusion in DEQ's annual monitoring plan for the 2016 calendar year. The monitoring plan will be finalized after considering the citizen's nominations for inclusion. DEQ will respond to each request in writing, stating the reasons for accepting or denying each nomination. DEQ’s response is due by August 31 for nominations received between January 1 and April 30.
Process to Request Additional Monitoring: Any person may request that a specific body of water be included in DEQ's annual water quality monitoring plan. Each request received between January 1 and April 30, shall be reviewed when DEQ develops or updates the annual water quality monitoring plan. Such requests shall include, at a minimum (i) a geographical description of the water body recommended for monitoring; (ii) the reason the monitoring is requested, and (iii) any water quality data that the petitioner may have collected or compiled. Please see the nominating form Attachment 1 to the guidance.
Please note that the monitoring program covered by this process is directed at the surface waters of the state. Private ponds, privately owned lakes and any other body of water not deemed to be "State Waters" are ineligible.
Nominations can be submitted by mail, fax, email, or hand delivered to the contact person listed below.
Timeline: Nominations received between January 1 and April 30, 2015 will be considered for inclusion in DEQ’s Water Quality Monitoring plan for the following calendar year (2016). DEQ will respond in writing on its approval or denial of each nomination by August 31, 2015. The DEQ 2015 monitoring plan will be made available for public inspection. A notice of availability of the annual monitoring plan will be placed in the Virginia Register and on DEQ's web site at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/WaterQualityMonitoring/CitizenMonitoring/FollowupMonitoring.aspx