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. More...
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What is New?
Ordinance Revision to Comply with the Virginia Stormwater Management Act
The City will be amending the Environmental Management and Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinances to comply with the new State stormwater regulations. Public input is sought on the effort to meet these regulations as well as the load reductions required by the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. Information on this effort is available at the City’s Watershed Management page or by contacting Claudia Hamblin-Katnik at 703. 746.4065.
The City Received Five-Year Renewal of Its Combined Sewer System Permit
The City of Alexandria has received a 5 year renewal of its permit to operate Combined Sewer System. In 2011, the City applied to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) for its Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination Permit, which regulates discharges from the City’s Combined Sewer System (CSS). The City’s Combined Sewer System, a legacy infrastructure built in 19th and early 20th century, is a combination of storm and sanitary sewer systems serving approximately 540 acres in Old Town.
As part of the City’s Eco-City Alexandria initiative, and in coordination with VDEQ, this new permit ensures regulatory requirements are met and the environment is protected. Under the permit negotiated by the City with VDEQ, the City will be updating its Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) over the next three years, and implementing several additional projects to improve water quality in Hunting Creek, Potomac River, and Chesapeake Bay. The LTCP to be developed will identify the strategy, projects, schedule, additional infrastructure investments and long-term impacts on the community and will be implemented no later than 2035. In addition to developing the LTCP, the permit also requires the City to implement several important construction projects within the five year permit cycle. These projects are needed to improve the system and to continue to reduce the impacts.
The City plans to start planning and implementation of several new and expanded initiatives required under the new CSS permit, including the following:
- Update the LTCP within three years from the issuance of the permit.
- Construction projects to improve sewer system performance, and improve water quality.
- Develop and implement green infrastructure pilot projects within the CSS.
- Continue implementing CSS Area Reduction Plan that requires developers to separate sewers in the CSS as redevelopment occurs.
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 www.alexandriava.gov/GenOn.
- 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 http://www.alexandriava.gov/gbrc.
- 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
Awards and Accomplishments
- More News & Events
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.