An Executive Order directing Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality to conduct “a comprehensive review of DEQ’s permitting, monitoring, and enforcement activities across all program areas” was issued April 4 by Governor Ralph Northam. The Order directs the agency to:
- Review DEQ’s permitting, monitoring, and enforcement activities across the air, water, and solid waste programs.
- Evaluate every proposed federal regulatory or guidance modification released after January 20, 2017, regarding air, water, and solid waste to determine the impact on public health, drinking water supplies, and land and water protection.
- Work with stakeholders to improve communication with the public and the regulated community and provide more opportunities for proactive education, especially among underserved and lower income populations.
The DEQ is to conduct its review in consultation with the Secretary of Natural Resources, who oversees the agency, and is to provide a report to the Governor by April 30, 2019. The full text of the Executive Order is available here.
In a separate action, Governor Northam on April 2 reappointed David Paylor as Director of the DEQ. Paylor has worked in environmental regulation in Virginia since 1973 and has led the department since 2006 under both Democratic and Republican governors.