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

Writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Who Gave Voice To Latin America, Dies

The master of magic realism was the region's best-known writer. His novels were filled with miraculous events and characters; love and madness; wars, dreams and death. He died Thursday at 87.
NPR

Consider The Can: An Unlikely Twist On A Louisiana Dish

When Poppy Tooker was a kid, her favorite dish was her great-grandmother's Peas in a Roux. Only years later did Tooker discover that canned peas — not fresh or frozen — were the key to the recipe.
NPR

President Obama's Favorite County — At Least When it Comes to Giving Speeches

President Obama has visited Prince George's County, MD, four times this year. It is the most affluent county with an African American majority, and also happens to be very close to the White House.
NPR

Ohio's Law Against Political Lying Heads To Supreme Court

Can a state law prevent political campaigns from doling out misinformation? Guest host Celeste Headlee learns more from The Plain Dealer's Sabrina Eaton.

Leave a Comment

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