Virginia Proposes Additional Staff To Investigate Runoff | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Virginia Proposes Additional Staff To Investigate Runoff

Play associated audio

Virginia's farmers may be getting a little bit more help to reduce their runoff.

Right now, there's just one person in charge of all of Virginia's small farms when it comes to investigating complaints of water pollution from runoff. That one person has to determine whether a farm is polluting, and how to fix the problem. There can be 100 complaints a year, and that number is expected to rise as stricter water quality rules are developed.

Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing to triple the staff to three, something long advocated by secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore.

"Hopefully these new two positions will go to working with farmers and farms that have water quality impairment issues to make those issues go away so water quality is not impaired and by doing so you keep farms in operation and their commercial viability in tact," he says.

This plan only applies to small farmers -- most large animal feeding operations are regulated directly by EPA permits.

It was one component of a larger cleanup plan that Virginia submitted to the EPA in November. Ann Jennings, the Virginia head of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, says it's a sign that the clean up may be beginning in earnest.

"This proposal would really start the process of putting Virginia's cleanup plan for the Bay to work -- this proposal clearly indicates Virginia is committed to moving forward," Jennings says.

The Virginia General Assembly will have to approve the program's expansion.

NPR

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

An earthquake in Napa Valley this week brought back old fears for author Gustavo Arellano. In his anxiety he's revisiting the book A Crack in the Edge of the World.
NPR

Real Vanilla Isn't Plain. It Depends On (Dare We Say It) Terroir

There's no such thing as plain vanilla — at least if you're talking about beans from the vanilla orchid. Whether it's from Tahiti or Madagascar, vanilla can be creamy, spicy or even floral.
NPR

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Restriction On Abortion Clinics

Requiring every center that performs abortions to meet all the standards of a surgical center is excessively restrictive, said the federal district court judge who blocked that state rule Friday.
NPR

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

You probably haven't thought about whether your phone could help diagnose alcohol withdrawal. Well, it can. An app for doctors measures tremors and may help tell if someone's faking it to get drugs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.