Environmental Actions Taken at Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Meeting

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)

Dec. 5, 2007

Environmental Actions Taken at Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Meeting

The Board of Supervisors took several actions during its last regular meeting of the year on Monday, Dec. 3, that build upon the county’s award-winning environmental agenda and further support its Cool Counties initiative.

Watershed Management
The board approved development of management plans for the remaining watersheds at Dogue Creek, Belle Haven and Four Mile Run. The county now has watershed management plans and stream protection strategies underway for all 30 watersheds. Watershed management plans have been completed for the most part or adopted by the Board of Supervisors for approximately 50 percent of the county’s land area. Development of the latest plans will include

  • Reviewing and documenting existing conditions
  • Public involvement
  • Development of hydrological and water quality models
  • Identification and prioritization of projects to improve the watershed

This watershed planning exercise and other related actions are being funded through the board’s dedication of the value of one penny from the county’s real estate tax rate for stormwater management, a practice that began in fiscal year 2006. In the past two years, this has amounted to more than $40 million for improving the county’s stormwater programs. Information on the county’s watershed planning project is available at www.fairfaxcounty-watersheds.net.

Air Quality
The board outlined Fairfax County’s commitment to the Virginia Air Quality State Implementation Plan (SIP) for Fine Particulate Matter, which will be reflected in a letter sent to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. These programs will be included in Virginia’s SIP. Through this action the board continues its commitment to help improve the region’s air quality and work toward the Washington metropolitan region meeting the Clean Air Act standards for fine particulate matter. The control measures, many of which already have been supported by the board and are currently being implemented, include:

The board approved an amendment to a service agreement relating to the generation and sale of electricity from Covanta Fairfax’s Energy/Resource Recovery Facility (E/RRF) located at the county’s I-95 landfill complex. The amendment also was approved by the Fairfax County Solid Waste Authority at a public hearing later in the day during the Board of Supervisors meeting. This will allow Covanta Fairfax, owner of the E/RRF that is overseen by the Fairfax County Division of Solid Waste Disposal and Resource Recovery, to exceed the 80 megawatt (MW) generating limit originally imposed on the facility. Under the amendment, Covanta will be authorized to generate in excess of 80 MW and eventually generate up to 98 MW of electricity, most of which will be sold to Dominion Power. The county will receive 50 percent of the revenues for energy produced over the current 80 MW limit, which will be used to offset other solid waste system costs at the facility. The county’s share of additional revenues may be as much as $250,000. Without the 80 MW limit, the recovery facility also will be able to more efficiently recover energy from the waste delivered by the county. In addition, the distributed generation of the 80+ MW will offer reliability benefits for the county in the already strained Northern Virginia electric grid. Following approval of the service agreement amendment, Covanta can apply for the approvals and certificates necessary to operate at more than 80 MW.

The Board of Supervisors’ environmental agenda, “Environmental Excellence for Fairfax County – A 20-Year Vision,” was adopted in 2004, and it 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. The 2004 plan and the board’s environmental improvement program were recognized by the National Association of Counties with an Achievement Award last year.

Fairfax County is one of the leaders of the national Cool Counties initiative, which was launched in July in partnership with the Sierra Club, to reduce local government emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Since 2003, the board has implemented more than $6 million worth of projects and programs to address air quality and global climate change.


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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