When soils erode, sediments are washed into waterways. Excess sediment is one of the most common pollutants in our local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. The sediment clouds the water, which limits sunlight from reaching aquatic plant life, causes declines in fish populations, limits recreational opportunities, and increases the cost of treating drinking water. The Commonwealth of Virginia regulates sediment discharges from construction sites by requiring practices that reduce erosion and prevent stormwater pollution.
|Photo credit - https://www.nsa.gov/resources/everyone/commitment-to-environment/|
The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) partnered with the Tidewater Regional Office (TRO) of the Department of Environmental Quality to offer workshops for contractors covering erosion and sediment control practices and the state requirements for stormwater pollution prevention plan inspections.
The presenters included Mr. Noah Hill with TRO, Ms. Laura Nusz with the City of Newport News, Mr. David Mergen with the City of Chesapeake, and Mr. Seamus McCarthy and Mr. Odell Glenn, both from the City of Norfolk. The first workshop was held on Friday, February 7, 2020 in the Regional Boardroom at the HRPDC offices in Chesapeake, and the second was held on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton. Combined, the workshops were attended by 82 contractors, 51 local government staff, 2 utility representatives, and 1 non-profit representative. The feedback was very positive, with several participants indicating that they had found the workshop to be informative and valuable. There has been so much interest in the workshops that a third session will be offered in May 2020.