The year started ominously. Rumors circulated around the Virginia State Capitol that
there would be a record number of bills during the 2014 General Assembly session to
derail some aspect of Virginia’s new polluted runoff management program.
Virginia had spent years updating rules and
standards to reduce local polluted runoff.
Finally approved in 2011, the new program
was set to take effect July 2013 but was
delayed a year. Now, the legislative talk was
of stalling the program yet again, a move
that would set back implementation of the
state’s Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint
for restoring the Bay.
The final bill count was 16—plenty to keep
CBF’s Virginia staff busy during the session.
The bills fell generally into three categories—those seeking a delay for some or all
Virginia localities having to implement
runoff management programs; those asking
to exempt certain localities; and those that
would weaken the state’s new runoff program.
The bills gave rise to the “No Delay, No
Dilution, No Exemption!” mantra that CBF
and other conservation partners used to
inform legislators about the importance of
protecting local waters from polluted runoff.
Over the course of the 60-day, 2014 session,
CBF worked closely with legislators and
multiple stakeholders to ensure the runoff
bills provided critical protections for clean
water and met the needs of local governments. In the end, House Bill 1173 and
Senate Bill 423, sponsored respectively by
Delegate Keith Hodges and Senator Emmett
Hanger, met those criteria and were
approved by wide margins. Signed into law
by Governor McAuliffe, the legislation allows
Virginia’s new polluted runoff program to go
into effect on schedule July 1, 2014—with
no delays, dilution, or exemptions.
CBF also worked with Senator Richard
Stuart and Delegate Ed Scott to ensure
Virginia continues to responsibly manage
Atlantic menhaden, “the most important
fish in the sea.” Legislation extending the
state’s current management plan to July 1,
2016, passed overwhelmingly. The exten-
sion will allow the state’s current menhaden
management plan to continue in effect until
the 2016 General Assembly can consider
and adopt any changes that the Atlantic
States Marine Fisheries Commission may
The legislature remains divided over a new
state budget and as of press time had not
adopted a spending plan. However, CBF is
grateful that both the House and Senate
budget proposals include funding for agricul-
tural technical assistance and conservation
cost-share practices that reduce farm runoff.
And we are hopeful a final budget will pro-
vide a total of $50 million for the Stormwater
(polluted runoff) Local Assistance Fund to
offer matching grants to localities to make
runoff infrastructure improvements.
CBF greatly appreciates the efforts
of our many members and partners who
shared their voice and expertise with legislators and are helping save the Bay for
For more information about what is happening
in Virginia, visit cbf.org/Virginia.
program will help reduce
pollution and meet local
Over the course of the legislative session, CBF worked closely with multiple stakeholders and legislators
to ensure the polluted runoff bills provided critical protections for clean water and met the needs
of local governments.