BOS Supports Environmental Excellence


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

Feb. 26, 2007

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Supports Environmental Excellence

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, at its regular meeting today, took action to enhance air and water quality in the county. The actions directly support the Board of Supervisors’ environmental agenda outlined in “Environmental Excellence for Fairfax County - A 20-Year Vision.”

Adopted in 2004, the agenda identifies six areas of focus for environmental protection: growth and land use; air quality and transportation; water quality; solid waste; parks, trails and open space; and environmental stewardship. Information about the 2004 plan and the board’s fiscal year 2008 environmental agenda is available on the county’s Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/environment/eip/.

Virginia Air Quality State Implementation Plan

Pledging a permanent commitment to emissions-reducing behavior, the Board of Supervisors approved a letter to be sent to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (PDF) from Chairman Gerald E. Connolly. The letter affirms Fairfax County’s commitment to the Virginia Air Quality State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the eight-hour federal ozone standard.

Noting the air quality in the metropolitan region has improved, the letter acknowledges that more local measures are needed to meet national ambient air quality standards.

“Fairfax County has been a leader on air quality issues for years, and with the additional actions outlined today, we will continue to set the standard for years to come,” said Connolly.

Connolly outlined a number of the county’s voluntary control measures to be part of the state implementation plan: purchasing wind energy; lighting upgrades in county buildings; tree canopy requirements and tree planting initiatives; numerous green building projects; and Clean Air Partner membership.

In addition, the letter lists measures that demonstrate transportation conformity for the SIP, including hundreds of diesel retrofits for school buses, trucks and fire trucks; purchase of clean

diesel transit buses and change to ultra-low sulfur diesel for transit buses; horsepower reduction and engine idle shutdown for transit buses; bike racks on transit buses; and buying 60 additional hybrid vehicles.

The full text of the letter is attached to this release. For more information about air quality, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/airquality.

Watershed Management Plans

The Board of Supervisors also approved watershed management plans for the Difficult Run and Cub Run/Bull Run watersheds. The board’s environmental plan specifically calls for the implementation of new watershed management plans and stream protection strategies and provides insight and a vision for the implementation of the watershed management plans.

The watershed management plans offer a range of project options to reduce nutrient loadings and sediment in the streams, improve stream habitat and reduce the stormwater runoff peak flows into local streams. Plan recommendations are divided into two categories: structural and non-structural projects and policy/land use related recommendations. 

Structural projects include measures such as modifications to existing stormwater management facilities to improve water quality controls; new stormwater management facilities; low impact development practices; and stream restoration. Non-structural recommendations include practices such as developing educational and outreach materials, supporting volunteer monitoring groups and updating the county’s database of stormwater management facilities.

Based on results from the 2001 Fairfax County Stream Protection Strategy Baseline Study, more than 70 percent of the county’s streams are in fair to very poor condition. One of the primary objectives of the watershed planning initiative is to improve these conditions as well as addressing Fairfax County’s commitment to the Chesapeake Bay Program. 

Starting with the Little Hunting Creek Watershed Management Plan, the county embarked on a watershed planning initiative that will assess program needs for the next 25 years. The watershed planning initiative, which will result in 15 watershed management plans for the county, is a giant step forward in the process of restoring and preserving the county’s watersheds. The board demonstrated its commitment to water quality by dedicating one cent of real estate tax revenue in the fiscal year 2007 budget for stormwater program initiatives, including watershed planning and implementation.

Additional information about watershed planning is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/watersheds.

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For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.

Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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