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Page updated Oct 27, 2015 2:41 PM

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The Office of Environmental Quality (OEQ) administers the City's air, water, and noise improvement programs, which help preserve and protect the environment and public health and welfare.


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City of Alexandria Receives Highest Certification for Virginia Municipal League’s Go Green Government Challenge

 For Immediate Release: October 9, 2015

On Tuesday, October 6, the City of Alexandria was recognized by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) with highest platinum-level certification for being a green and sustainable government.  The Go Green Government Challenge, a VML initiative, encourages local governments to implement specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce carbon emissions generated by both the local government and the broader community.

VML’s platinum-level certification, the highest level for local governments.  This is the eighth consecutive year VML has recognized the City at this highest level as part of the Go Green Government Challenge Program.

The City was given maximum innovation points for: 1) developing the new Metroway premium bus service on the Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway, 2) launching SolarizeAlexandria to help residents go solar, 3) retrofitting 90 percent  of the City’s traffic lights with LED, and 4) participating in the Energy Masters Volunteer Training Program.

For more information regarding the City's Office of Environmental Quality, visit the City’s Eco-City Alexandria initiative, visit

City's Top Ten Environmental Achievements for 2014

Every year, the City publishes the top ten environmental highlights that were submitted by City Departments and City-based organizations. The Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, Infrastructure & Environmental Division compiles this list which includes initiatives on transportation, solid waste, stormwater and wastewater management, City parkland and natural areas, green building and energy conservation. to view the full list, please visit the following:

List of Alexandria Top-Ten Environmental Achievements for 2014

Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) and Construction General Permits

In accordance with the new Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) Regulations, effective on July 1, 2014, the City of Alexandria will administer construction general permits for discharges of stormwater from local construction activities. For more information on how to obtain a construction general permit, please see Memo to Industry 08-14, visit the Water Quality Regulations and Permitting webpage or contact the Stormwater and Sanitary Sewer Infrastructure Division at 703-746-4014. 

Green Sidewalks - BMP Design Guidelines

The City published new guidelines on June 12, 2014 to promote the treatment of stormwater runoff from the public right of way. The guidelines are being published to aid the development community during design and construction of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) for treatment of stormwater runoff from new public rights-of-way. The focus of the guidelines is to provide a design that achieves water quality improvements while managing placement and aesthetics of the facilities. For a summary on the guidelines development, regulatory drivers and applicability please see Memo to Industry 03-2014.

Green Sidewalks BMP Design Guidelines

Stream Maintenance Project – Holmes Run & Cameron Run

The Department of Transportation & Environmental Services (T&ES) will be conducting routine stream maintenance work in Holmes Run and Cameron Run starting in early April 2014. Generally, the work will consist of removal of all woody vegetation from bottom third of the stream banks. Clearing of all invasive species will occur for the rest of the stream bank. Healthy trees at the top of stream banks will not be removed.  Some trees at the top of the bank will be limbed up where low limbs are near to walking/bike trails. The work will be performed by The Care of Trees, under the supervision of their ISA Certified Arborists.

For more information or questions regarding this work, please visit the Stream Maintenance Project webpage or contact the Office of Environmental Quality at 703.746.4065.

Check This Out!

  • City Recognizes Closure of GenOn Potomac River Generating Station
    For decades, the GenOn Potomac River Generating Station was one of the largest sources of air pollutants in Northern Virginia. The closure of this facility today was a culmination of outreach and civic engagement from residents and local officials for more than 10 years. Closing down this coal-fired power plant is consistent with the City’s Eco-City Alexandria’s Environmental Action Plan, which focuses on environmental sustainability and long-range environmental planning efforts. For more information, visit

  • Visit the Virtual Green Building Resource Center                                                                                                          
    The Green Building Resource Center (GBRC) is one of the City's latest Eco-City Alexandria initiatives, offering citizens and business owners information on how to reduce energy and water consumption and operating costs by offering practical solutions to design, build and maintain their spaces in an eco-friendly manner. We welcome all citizens to visit the site periodically for new technical articles, event updates, and local case studies at
  • Take the Eco-City Challenge to learn ways to: 
    • Reduce your carbon footprint
    • Reduce air, water, and solid waste pollution
    • Reduce resource consumption
    • Reduce water and energy costs
    • Improve your indoor environment
    • Improve your health and the health of the environment
      Eco-City Challenge button2 
  • Awards and Accomplishments  

  • More News & Events  



Air Quality  


Watershed Management  


Noise Control  


Mirant Potomac River Generating Station  


Contaminated Lands  


Other Programs and Projects 



OEQ performs the following tasks in an effort to achieve the environmental goals established in the City Council's Strategic Plan (Adopted 2004, Revised 2006 & 2010) which states that "Alexandria respects, protects and enhances the health of its citizens and the quality of its natural environment."

  • Monitors air and water quality.
  • Investigates pollution complaints.
  • Reviews development plans with regard to water quality impacts.
  • Ensures compliance with the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.
  • Issues noise variance permits.
  • Inspects stormwater management facilities.
  • Supports open space preservation.
  • Participates in stormwater management and watershed planning and restoration initiatives.
  • Responds to citizen questions and concerns and provides information to the public on how to protect and improve the environment.

Additionally, OEQ advises and works with other City agencies and divisions on matters that impact the environment, and provides staff support to the City’s Environmental Policy Commission, which studies and makes recommendations on various projects and program initiatives that may have environmental impacts. The Commission meets on a monthly basis.