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?
- 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.
- 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.