On Dec. 9, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced $21.5 million in grants under the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund. The grants cover 64 projects in 25 localities. The fund, administered by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), was established by the 2013 General Assembly. This year, $28 million was available to local governments as matching grants for best management practices that reduce stormwater pollution. DEQ plans to award the remaining $6.5 million in the fund in late 2015.

Examples of local government projects awarded include Albro Creek stream restoration and constructed wetlands project in Richmond. The City of Falls Church also will create the Cavalier Trail Park bioretention facility. The approved projects are designed to reduce levels of phosphorus, a key pollutant in stormwater. They have relatively high environmental benefits in terms of pounds of phosphorus removed per year, and they are the most cost-effective of the proposals that DEQ considered.

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DEQ plans to release a proposed rulemaking to govern the generation of nonpoint source pollution credits on Dec. 29. Underway since 2012 when the General Assembly enacted the underlying laws, this rulemaking seeks to ensure that future credit-generating stormwater controls meet nutrient reductions as reported and are properly operated and maintained. DEQ expects that comments will be accepted from Dec. 29 until March 16.