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What We Do

The Secretary of Natural Resources advises the Governor on natural resources issues and works to advance the Governor's top environmental priorities. The Secretary oversees five agencies that protect and restore the Commonwealth’s natural and historic resources. The Secretary's office and all of the natural resources agencies work together to uphold the provisions of Article XI of the Virginia Constitution:

To the end that the people have clean air, pure water, and the use and enjoyment for recreation of adequate public lands, waters, and other natural resources, it shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to conserve, develop, and utilize its natural resources, its public lands, and its historical sites and buildings.

Further, it shall be the Commonwealth's policy to protect its atmosphere, lands, and waters from pollution, impairment, or destruction, for the benefit, enjoyment, and general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth.

Featured News

Recent News

Newsroom
Governor Northam Launches “Clean Energy Virginia” Initiative to Drive Investment in Renewable Energy, Support Jobs of the Future
Governor Ralph Northam today launched Clean Energy Virginia, a new initiative to drive investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency and help meet the Commonwealth’s goals for clean energy production, which include powering 100 percent of Virginia’s electricity from carbon-free sources. This initiative comes on the heels of an historic General Assembly session in which the Governor signed legislation that will transform Virginia’s electric grid and create new business opportunities for the clean energy sector.
Governor Northam Applauds Historic Progress As New Laws Take Effect in Virginia
Governor Ralph Northam highlighted new laws that take effect today as Virginia begins a new fiscal year. The Governor worked closely with members of the General Assembly to take forward-looking and historic steps to protect vulnerable Virginians, increase equity, and position the Commonwealth for future growth and success.
Governor Northam Announces 20 New State Historical Highway Markers Highlighting Black History
In recognition of Juneteenth, Governor Ralph Northam today announced 20 newly approved state historical highway markers that address topics of national, state, and regional significance in Virginia’s African American history. The Virginia Board of Historic Resources approved the markers at its public quarterly meeting on June 18. Five of the 20 new markers were suggested by students across the Commonwealth in the Governor’s inaugural Black History Month Historical Marker Contest.
Governor Northam Unveils Updates to ConserveVirginia
Governor Ralph Northam today announced updates to ConserveVirginia, the Commonwealth’s data-driven land conservation strategy and multilayer mapping tool for identifying high value lands and conservation sites. ConserveVirginia 2.0 includes three significant changes that reinforce the Governor’s priorities on water quality and historic justice and equity.
Governor Northam Appoints Jehmal Hudson to State Corporation Commission
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the appointment of Jehmal T. Hudson to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC). The SCC serves as an independent branch of state government and oversees the Commonwealth’s utility regulation, insurance, and state-charged financial institutions. Hudson has served in a variety of roles at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for more than a decade and he is the first African American appointed to the judicial seat.
Governor Northam Hails General Assembly Session That Propels Virginia Forward
Governor Ralph Northam released the following statement on General Assembly action during today’s reconvened session.
Governor Northam Signs Clean Energy Legislation
Governor Ralph Northam is accelerating Virginia’s transition to clean energy by signing the Virginia Clean Economy Act and by amending the Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act that requires Virginia to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Virginia Receives Major Disaster Declaration from Federal Government for COVID-19
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia has received a Major Disaster Declaration to aid in the Commonwealth’s response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Governor Northam requested this federal disaster assistance on Monday, March 30.
Governor Northam Celebrates Groundbreaking for Coastal Resilience Project in the City of Norfolk
Governor Ralph Northam joined City of Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander and federal, state, and local partners to break ground on the Ohio Creek Watershed Project. The project is a collaborative effort to address the impacts of sea level rise in Hampton Roads.
Governor Northam Announces New Funding to Preserve Farmland
Governor Ralph Northam today announced $350,000 in grants from the Virginia Farmland Preservation Fund to help six localities protect their farm and forest land. The grants will be used as matching funds to permanently preserve working lands through local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs.
Governor Northam Announces Plans to Protect Migratory Birds
Governor Ralph Northam today announced a comprehensive approach to address the loss of habitat for colonial nesting birds on the South Island of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT), and create a backstop against the federal government’s failure to protect migratory birds.
Governor Northam Celebrates Progress at Midpoint of Historic General Assembly Session
At the midpoint of the 2020 legislative session, Governor Ralph Northam marked historic progress towards a stronger, fairer, and more inclusive Virginia.
Newly Unveiled Historic Markers Honor Oliver Hill and Spottswood Robinson
Governor Ralph Northam today joined community members and state officials to unveil two new historic markers honoring renowned civil rights attorneys Oliver Hill and Spottswood Robinson. Family members were present for the historic occasion.
Governor Northam Encourages Virginians to Honor Black History Month
Governor Ralph Northam made the following statement on Black History Month, which is celebrated nationwide during February.
Governor Northam Announces ‘Black History Month Historical Marker Contest’
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the inaugural Black History Month Historical Marker Contest.
Governor Northam Applauds Deal to Jumpstart Offshore Wind Industry
Governor Ralph Northam today announced an agreement for Ørsted to lease a portion of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal for offshore wind staging materials and equipment. The agreement was ratified this morning by a unanimous vote of the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners.
Governor Northam Outlines Historic Justice and Equity Agenda
As the 2020 General Assembly session gets underway, Governor Ralph Northam today announced budget and legislative priorities for his historic justice and equity agenda.
Governor Northam Delivers State of the Commonwealth Address
Tonight, Governor Ralph Northam will deliver the annual State of the Commonwealth address. He will highlight the accomplishments from his second year in office and share his vision to continue building a stronger, fairer, and more equitable Virginia.
Governor and Legislative Leaders Launch Session United, Advance Common-Sense ‘Virginia 2020 Plan’
Governor Ralph S. Northam and legislative leaders today announced they will advance an 11-point ‘Virginia 2020 Plan’ of common-sense measures when the General Assembly convenes tomorrow.
Governor Northam Announces New Director of Virginia State Parks
Governor Ralph Northam today announced Melissa Baker as Virginia State Parks Director, the first woman to hold the position in the park system’s 83-year history.
Governor Ralph Northam Presents Historic 2020–2022 Budget
Governor Ralph Northam today presented his budget for Fiscal Years 2020–2022 to the Joint Money Committees of the General Assembly. His proposed budget is the most progressive in Virginia’s history, and makes significant investments in key priorities while maintaining strict fiscal responsibility.
Governor Northam to Protect Virginia’s Environment, Fight Climate Change, and Grow the Clean Energy Economy
Governor Ralph Northam said his budget will include $733 million in new funding for the environment and clean energy—including a half-billion-dollar capital investment.
Governor Northam Announces Land Conservation Grants to Protect 17,000 Acres
Governor Ralph Northam today announced $5.89 million in Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF) grants, which will fund a total of 19 conservation projects and protect more than 17,000 acres of land across the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam Announces Country’s Strongest Flood Protections for State-Owned Property
Virginia is taking new steps to address climate change, launching the country’s strongest flood protections for state-owned property, under Executive Order Forty-Five that Governor Ralph Northam signed yesterday.
Governor Northam Announces 315-Acre Expansion of Virginia’s Natural Area Preserves
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that during the month of October, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) added 242 acres to the Natural Area Preserve System, and conserved 63 acres of land through two open-space easements with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). These additions span four natural area preserves across the state that protect significant natural communities, supply vital habitat, protect rare species, improve water quality, and provide viewshed and development buffers. The land parcels were identified through ConserveVirginia, the data-driven land conservation strategy launched by Governor Northam in April.
Governor Northam Announces Largest State Renewable Energy Contract in the Nation
Governor Ralph Northam today announced a landmark agreement representing the largest contract that any state has negotiated to buy renewable energy to power state government. This historic state contract will ensure that by 2022, 30 percent of the electricity consumed by state agencies and institutions in Virginia comes from renewable sources, meeting an ambitious goal the Governor set forth last month in Executive Order Forty-Three.
Governor Northam Issues Statewide Drought Watch Advisory
Governor Ralph Northam today announced a statewide drought watch advisory for the Commonwealth of Virginia. A drought watch is intended to increase awareness of current conditions that are likely to precede a significant drought event. Localities, water suppliers, self-supplied water users, and all citizens are encouraged begin preparations for a potential drought.
Governor Northam Dedicates New State Forest in Rockingham County
Governor Ralph Northam today dedicated First Mountain State Forest in Rockingham County, the Commonwealth’s newest state forest, and joined the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Virginia’s state forests. A gift of 588 acres in Prince Edward County, near Farmville, to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1919 by Mr. Emmett D. Gallion marked the beginning of Virginia’s state forest system. First Mountain is the 25th state forest in Virginia.
Governor Northam Announces Four New Solar Projects
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued permits for the construction and operation of four new solar projects across the Commonwealth. These four projects are expected to generate 192 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which will offset carbon dioxide emissions by 459 million pounds, equivalent to driving more than 44,000 cars for a year.
Governor Northam Leads Tour of Virginia State Parks
Governor Ralph Northam today begins a five-day tour of Virginia’s state parks, during which he will kick off the Governor’s second annual fishing tournament for state employees, celebrate Public Lands Day, and meet with economic development officials and outdoor companies throughout the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam Announces $20 Million Electric School Bus Initiative
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia will dedicate $20 million from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Trust) to fund a new initiative aimed at accelerating the deployment of electric school buses across the Commonwealth. Governor Northam made the announcement during a Climate Week NYC event hosted by the United States Climate Alliance with the governors of California, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Washington.
Governor Ralph Northam Signs Executive Order to Expand Access to Renewable Energy, Support Clean Energy Jobs of the Future
Governor Ralph Northam has signed Executive Order Forty-Three, which establishes ambitious statewide goals and targets for clean energy deployment and expands upon the Commonwealth’s commitments to reduce our environmental impact, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and boost the clean energy economy in Virginia. Governor Northam made the announcement today at the Virginia Clean Energy Summit in Richmond.
Governor Northam Joins Regional Partners in Reaffirming Shared Goals for Chesapeake Bay Restoration
Governor Ralph Northam today joined representatives from the seven Chesapeake Bay watershed jurisdictions, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Oxon Hill, Maryland for the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council. In his remarks to the Council, Governor Northam emphasized the importance of the upholding the regional state-federal partnership that has shaped efforts to restore the water quality and living resource of the Chesapeake Bay watershed since its inception in the early 1980s.
Governor Northam Announces Release of Virginia’s Final Chesapeake Bay Restoration Plan
Governor Ralph Northam today released the final restoration plan for Virginia’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers. The clean-up plan, referred to as the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), will guide local, state, and federal actions through 2025 and is designed to meet the Commonwealth’s commitments to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution and restore the health of the Bay and its tributaries.
Commonwealth of Virginia and The Nature Conservancy Partner to Permanently Protect 22,856 Acres in Southwest Virginia
Governor Ralph Northam today announced a partnership between The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF), and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to permanently protect 22,856 acres of forest land in Russell County in southwest Virginia through the largest open space easement ever recorded in the Commonwealth.
Secretary Strickler Releases Report on Revitalizing Environmental Protection in Virginia
Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler today released the final report to Governor Ralph S. Northam on recommended actions for enhancing protection of air, water, and public health in Virginia, as required under Executive Order Number Six.
Governor Northam Announces Three New Solar Installations on State Facilities
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the installation of three new solar energy projects located at the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy office in Big Stone Gap, the Virginia Public Safety Training Center in Hanover, and the Haynesville Correctional Center on Virginia’s Northern Neck. These projects will produce power onsite and will offset energy costs for the agencies. Governor Northam first announced the planned installation of solar energy systems at several state facilities in December 2018. Last month, the Governor unveiled the new solar facility at the Department of Forestry’s headquarters in Charlottesville.
Governor Northam Addresses Removal of Arch and References to Jefferson Davis Memorial Park at Fort Monroe
Governor Ralph Northam today held a press conference to discuss the removal of letters that spelled “Jefferson Davis Memorial Park” on an iron archway and the renaming of the park at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia.
Governor Northam Announces New Office of Outdoor Recreation
During an event held at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, Governor Northam today announced the creation of an Office of Outdoor Recreation to lead efforts to promote the outdoor recreation industry in Virginia and recruit new outdoor businesses to the Commonwealth. The outdoor recreation industry contributes nearly $22 billion annually to the Virginia economy, and employs more than 197,000 Virginians. Virginia will be the 15th state in the nation to establish an office or task force dedicated to strengthening the outdoor industry, and the third on the East Coast.
Governor Northam Announces Launch of James River Buffer Program
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the launch of the James River Buffer Program, a partnership between the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and the James River Association (JRA) to establish over 900 acres of “riparian forested buffers” in the Middle James region of the river. This initiative to restore river and streamside forest buffers springs from the Virginia Environmental Endowment’s (VEE) James River Water Quality Improvement Program grant awarded to VDOF ($750,000) and the JRA ($1.45 million).
Governor Northam Announces Installation of New Solar Facility at Virginia Department of Forestry
Governor Northam today announced the installation of a new 120 kilowatt rooftop solar facility at the Virginia Department of Forestry’s (VDOF) headquarters that will offset energy usage and energy costs for the agency. Governor Northam made the announcement at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the project that was held at the building located in Charlottesville.
Governor Northam Announces Record $73 Million in Funding for Improved Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the availability of $73 million to protect water and soil health through the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program, which represents the largest-ever investment of state funding to assist farmers implementing conservation practices. The program has been updated to provide greater flexibility and reduce barriers to farmer participation.
Governor Northam Announces Land Acquisition for Chickahominy Tribe
Governor Ralph Northam today announced an important land acquisition by the Chickahominy Tribe. The 105-acre site, known as Chickahominy on the Powhatan, along the James River was purchased with the assistance of a grant from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF) to acquire the property. At the same time, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) has signed an easement with the tribe to permanently protect the site. The land, upriver from historic Jamestown Island, will be protected from development and will create a location to showcase the culture, history, and traditions of the Chickahominy Tribe.
Governor Northam Meets with Virginia Congressional Delegation
Governor Ralph Northam today met with members of Virginia’s bipartisan congressional delegation for the second annual gathering since he took office in 2018.
Governor Northam Announces Dedication of Over $12 Million for Electric Transit Buses
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that more than $12 million in state funding will be allocated to deploy electric transit buses in three Virginia localities, using nearly $9 million from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Trust) that the Commonwealth received as part of its settlement with Volkswagen. In total, 17 electric buses and charging infrastructure will be deployed by local transit systems in Alexandria, Blacksburg, and Hampton Roads.
Virginia Land Conservation Foundation Announces Revised Criteria to Align Conservation Initiatives
Governor Ralph Northam announced today that the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF) Board of Directors adopted new grant criteria and announced that grant applications are being accepted for the fiscal year 2020 grant cycle. A total of $5.27 million in grant funding is available for land acquisitions and protections in four categories: farmland and forest preservation, historic area preservation, natural area protection, and open spaces and parks.
Virginia Announces Three New Solar Projects in Halifax and Orange Counties
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued permits for the construction and operation of three new solar projects in Halifax and Orange counties. These new solar projects are expected to generate more than 200 megawatts (MW) combined, which is enough electricity to power more than 25,000 homes.
Governor Northam Proclaims Dam Safety Awareness Day in Virginia
Governor Ralph Northam has proclaimed May 31, 2019 as Virginia Dam Safety Awareness Day in Virginia, encouraging individuals and communities across the Commonwealth to understand risk and to take steps to prevent dam failures.
Governor Northam Signs Executive Order Transferring Virginia Museum of Natural History to Secretary of Education
Governor Ralph Northam today signed Executive Order Thirty-One, transferring responsibility and oversight of the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) from the Secretary of Natural Resources to the Secretary of Education.
Virginia Opposes Trump Administration Efforts to Push Offshore Drilling and Undermine Coastal Protections
The Commonwealth of Virginia today submitted comments opposing federal efforts to weaken the ability of states to protect their coastlines and related ocean resources from the negative impacts of offshore oil and gas drilling operations. Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler submitted the comments in response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for Procedural Changes to the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued on March 11, 2019.
Governor Northam Announces $1.5 Million in Funding for RISE Coastal Community Resilience Challenge Winners
Governor Ralph Northam today announced $1.5 million in funding for six business winners of the first-ever RISE Coastal Community Resilience Challenge. The winners will each receive between $160,000 and $310,000 to develop innovative products, services, and workforce development programs to help coastal communities adapt to climate change. These approaches will be demonstrated in the Hampton Roads region with the goal of building economically viable businesses and solutions that are scalable to other communities.
Governor Northam Announces Launch of ConserveVirginia
Governor Ralph Northam has officially launched ConserveVirginia, Virginia’s first in the nation, data-driven, statewide, land conservation strategy that identifies high value lands and conservation sites across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Governor Northam Announces Release of Virginia’s Draft Chesapeake Bay Restoration Plan
Governor Ralph Northam today released for public review and comment a new restoration plan for Virginia’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The plan, referred to as the Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan, will guide local, state, and federal actions through 2025 and is designed to achieve the Commonwealth’s commitments to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution.
Governor Northam Announces Environmental Excellence Award Winners
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the winners of the 2019 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards, which were presented at the annual Environment Virginia Symposium held at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. Earlier in the week, Governor Northam addressed the environmental conference, highlighting the progress made over the last year in protecting Virginia’s environment and natural resources.
Governor Northam Signs Historic Coal Ash Clean Up Legislation
Governor Ralph Northam has signed legislation to clean up more than 27 million cubic yards of coal ash from unlined ponds in Virginia, after a historic bipartisan agreement that was supported by Democratic and Republican members of both the House and Senate.
Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation Limiting Commonwealth’s Ability to Combat Vehicle Pollution
Governor Northam today vetoed House Bill 2269, which would prohibit the Commonwealth from entering into a regional program to reduce carbon dioxide air pollution from vehicles and other transportation sources unless authorized by two-thirds of the General Assembly. This measure violates the Virginia Constitution and would significantly undercut efforts to reduce air pollution and combat climate change.
Governor Northam Vetoes Legislation Limiting Commonwealth’s Ability to Combat Power Plant Pollution
Governor Northam today vetoed House Bill 2611, which would prohibit the Commonwealth from entering into a regional program to reduce carbon dioxide air pollution from power plants unless authorized by two-thirds of the General Assembly. This measure violates the Virginia Constitution and would significantly undercut efforts to reduce air pollution and combat climate change.
Governor Northam Announces First Virginia Flood Awareness Week
Governor Ralph Northam has issued a proclamation designating March 10–16, 2019 as the first Virginia Flood Awareness Week. All Virginians are encouraged to learn the dangers associated with flooding and protect their families, businesses, and communities by getting flood insurance.
Governor Northam and Legislative Leaders Announce Bipartisan Agreement on Coal Ash Clean Up
Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox, and a bipartisan group of legislators today announced a historic agreement to clean up large coal ash ponds in Chesapeake City and the counties of Prince William, Chesterfield, and Fluvanna.
Governor Northam Announces Over $600,000 in Farmland Preservation Grants
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the recipients of fiscal year 2019 farmland preservation grants. Six localities have been awarded a total of $633,831 from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) Office of Farmland Preservation. The funds will be used to permanently preserve working farmland through local Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) programs. PDR programs compensate landowners who work with localities to preserve their land permanently by voluntarily securing a perpetual conservation easement.
Governor Northam Announces Legislative Proposals to Improve Environmental Quality and Strengthen Protection of Virginia’s Natural Resources
Today, Governor Ralph Northam announced a legislative package focused on improving environmental quality and management of natural resources in Virginia. The package includes the Coastal Protection Act, the Water Quality and Safety Act, the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund Amendments Act, and two bills designed to reduce conflicts between shellfish growers and other users of tidal waters.
Secretary of Natural Resources Receives Report from Clam and Oyster Aquaculture Work Group
Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler has received the final report of the “Clam and Oyster Aquaculture Work Group,” which developed consensus-based recommendations to resolve conflicts among the shellfish industry, local governments, boaters, waterfront property owners, and the conservation community. The report describes the work group’s deliberations since August to identify and understand competing uses of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia rivers, and seaside waters and develop legislative and regulatory consensus solutions.
Governor Northam Announces Solar Projects on State Facilities
Governor Ralph Northam announced today the planned installation of solar energy systems at three state agency facilities. Charlottesville-based Sun Tribe Solar submitted the winning bid for solar energy installations at the Virginia Department of Forestry headquarters in Charlottesville, the Virginia Public Safety Training Center in Hanover, and Haynesville Correctional Center on Virginia’s Northern Neck.
Governor Northam, Administration Officials Praise Bipartisan Approval of Federal Farm Bill
Governor Ralph Northam, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring, and Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler today applauded Congressional approval of the federal Farm Bill, which recently passed the United States House and Senate with strong bipartisan support.
Governor Northam Proposes Major Investments to Protect Virginia’s Water Quality and Accelerate Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
Governor Ralph Northam today announced his proposed budget will feature major investments in the protection of Virginia’s natural resources, the first installment of a historic commitment to water quality needs and consistent clean water funding. The governor’s funding strategy would accelerate Virginia’s progress towards its 2025 targets for reduction in the Chesapeake Bay and ensure that the Commonwealth meets its cleanup goals.
Governor Northam Announces Department of Forestry to Receive Federal Grant to Assist in Water Quality Efforts
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is providing a grant of $850,000 for a regional multi-state proposal led by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for water quality efforts in several localities within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), in cooperation with other key partners such as local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, will lead these efforts in the Shenandoah Valley through riparian forest buffers and other innovative livestock stream exclusion practices.
Virginia Enters Agreement to Regulate Coal Combustion Residuals at Chesapeake Energy Center
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia has reached an agreement to ensure that coal combustion residuals (CCR or “coal ash”) at a major dump site in Chesapeake will not threaten water quality or public health. The Northam Administration, through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), has executed a Memorandum of Agreement with Dominion Energy dealing with coal ash at Dominion’s Chesapeake Energy Center (CEC).
Governor Northam Celebrates Grand Opening of Virginia’s 38th State Park
Governor Ralph Northam today officially opened Widewater State Park in Stafford County, the Commonwealth’s 38th state park. Widewater State Park covers 1,100 acres, including two miles of water frontage along the Potomac River and Aquia Creek.
Governor Northam Issues Groundbreaking Executive Order to Increase Virginia’s Resilience to Sea Level Rise and Natural Hazards
During the 6th Annual Conference of the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at the College of William & Mary Law School, Governor Ralph Northam today signed a sweeping executive order to bolster Virginia’s resilience to sea level rise and natural hazards. Executive Order Twenty Four lays out a series of actions the Commonwealth will undertake to limit the impact of flooding, extreme weather events, and wildfires.
Governor Northam Announces Virginia Investment in Electric Transit
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia will invest $14 million, or 15 percent, of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust to fund the deployment of all-electric transit buses across Virginia. Governor Northam made the announcement during remarks at the Governor’s Transportation Conference and Innovation Summit in Norfolk today. The four-day conference is the annual gathering of transportation professionals in the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam Signs Executive Order Establishing Conservation Cabinet
Governor Ralph Northam today issued Executive Order Twenty Two, establishing the Governor’s Conservation Cabinet, a new initiative to better protect Virginia’s vulnerable natural resources and improve environmental quality across the Commonwealth.
Governor Ralph Northam Unveils 2018 Virginia Energy Plan
Governor Ralph Northam today released the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, which provides a strategic vision for the Commonwealth’s energy policy over the next 10 years. With a focus on modernizing the electric grid and promoting innovative technologies, the plan sets goals for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles.
Northam Administration Finalizes Agreement for Construction of Tangier Island Jetty
Governor Ralph Northam this week announced completion of a project partnership agreement between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) to launch the design and construction of the Tangier Island Jetty in Accomack County. This federal and state funded infrastructure project will protect the western portion of the navigation channel and harbor for the Town of Tangier and the associated seafood industry infrastructure.
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam to Celebrate Public Lands Week
Governor Ralph Northam and members of his administration will celebrate Public Lands Week, which begins with National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 22. Established in 1993 as a day of volunteer service to help restore the country’s public lands, this year marks the 25th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day. The celebration will conclude on Sunday, September 29 with the 2nd annual Virginia Public Lands Day, showcasing the public lands of Virginia and honoring the Commonwealth’s natural heritage.
Northam Administration Takes New Steps to Fight Climate Change, Ocean Acidification
Governor Ralph Northam this week announced a series of actions to help Virginia better address the impacts of carbon pollution from fossil fuels. Governor Northam has directed the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to identify ways to improve environmental protection in the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam Sends Delegation to Reaffirm Virginia’s Commitment to Reducing Carbon Pollution and Adapting to Climate Change
This week, Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler will lead a delegation representing the Commonwealth of Virginia at the Global Climate Action Summit to reaffirm Governor Northam’s commitment to combating climate change and sea level rise.
Governor Northam Secures Long-Term Partnership for Protection of Virginia’s Coastal Resources
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the Commonwealth of Virginia sought and received authorization from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to continue the Commonwealth’s partnership with the agency through the Virginia Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program in perpetuity.
Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler Convenes Work Group to Promote Sustainable Growth of Virginia’s Clam and Oyster Economy
Today, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler convened the Aquaculture Work Group to develop consensus-based recommendations to promote the sustainable growth of Virginia’s clam and oyster aquaculture industries. The work group is comprised of leaders from the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates, as well as diverse representatives from the shellfish industry, local governments, waterfront property owners, and the conservation community.
Governor Northam Announces Selection of EVgo to Develop Statewide Public Electric Vehicle Charging Network
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a Notice of Intent to Award a contract to EVgo Services, LLC, to develop a statewide public electric vehicle (EV) charging network. This contract is awarded from funding that the Commonwealth was allocated through the Volkswagen mitigation settlement, and it will serve as a forward looking program that will help to meet driver needs as electric vehicle adoption rates continue to increase.
Governor Northam Announces Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Demonstration Project
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Dominion Energy is filing for State Corporation Commission (SCC) approval to proceed with construction of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) demonstration project. Dominion Energy is partnering with Ørsted, a Denmark-based energy company, to build the demonstration project, consisting of two six-megawatt wind turbines located approximately 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.
EPA Assessment of Virginia’s Efforts on Chesapeake Bay Restoration Shows Progress
Governor Ralph Northam today released the following statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 evaluation of Virginia’s milestone achievements in restoring the Chesapeake Bay. Virginia achieved its mid-point, or 2017, goals for reducing both nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, with additional effort identified for the sediment pollution goals.
Governor Northam Announces New Solar Project in Henrico County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a permit for Urban Grid Solar to construct and operate a new solar facility, Briel Farm Solar, LLC, on approximately 230 acres in Henrico County. The 20 megawatt (MW) project will supply enough electricity to power more than 5,000 homes.
Governor Northam Joins Coastal Governors Urging Congress to Reject Offshore Drilling Legislation
Today, Governor Ralph Northam signed a letter with a coalition of Governors from coastal states, urging Congressional leadership to reject legislation that would punish states for seeking to block offshore drilling and protect their coasts.
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Engages Local Communities in Chesapeake Bay Restoration
Governor Ralph Northam today kicked off a new phase of Virginia’s efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. Working with local communities, elected officials and technical experts, Virginia will prepare a third phase of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan to ensure that pollution control measures to reduce excess nutrients and soil runoff are in place no later than 2025.
Governor Northam Announces Recipients of 2018 Governor’s Awards for Public Service
Governor Ralph Northam today announced the recipients of the 2018 Governor’s Public Service Awards during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion. The awards honor state employees in seven categories who have demonstrated exemplary service to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
State Historical Highway Marker Honoring Richard and Mildred Loving to be Dedicated in Caroline County
A historical marker will be dedicated this weekend in Caroline County in honor of county natives Richard and Mildred Loving whose lawsuit, Loving v. Virginia, challenged Virginia’s 1924 Racial Integrity Act and resulted in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1967 that overturned all state laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
Governor Northam Issues Proclamation Recognizing Dam Safety Awareness Day in Virginia
Governor Ralph Northam has issued a proclamation recognizing May 31 as Dam Safety Awareness Day in Virginia.
The Commonwealth of Virginia Issues a Request for Proposals to Support Offshore Wind Industry Development
Governor Ralph Northam announced today that the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) has posted a Request For Proposals (RFP) seeking qualified contractors to help deploy strategies that will strengthen Virginia’s position in attracting the offshore wind supply chain and service industry to the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam Designates May 6 – 12 as Virginia Public Service Week
Governor Ralph Northam has proclaimed the week of May 6 – 12, 2018 as Public Service Week in Virginia to celebrate the commitment and dedication of 713,000 individuals who serve the Commonwealth in federal, state and local jobs.
Virginia Rejects EPA Proposal to Weaken National Standards for Coal Ash Disposal
In written comments to Administrator Scott Pruitt, the administration of Governor Ralph Northam urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to refrain from any regulatory revisions that would weaken the protections afforded...
Governor Northam Announces New, Innovative Land Conservation Strategy
Governor Ralph Northam today announced a new land conservation strategy that will focus resources on preserving lands with the highest conservation value for the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam Urges Virginians to Buy Flood Insurance by May 1
Governor Ralph Northam is urging Virginians to purchase flood insurance or renew their policies on or before May 1, a month before the official start of hurricane season.
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Signs Executive Order to Enhance Protection of Virginia’s Air, Water, and Public Health
Governor Ralph Northam today signed Executive Order 6, which instructs the Department of Environmental Quality to update outdated regulations, strengthen enforcement of Virginia’s environmental standards, identify the causes of permitting delays,
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Announces Virginia State Parks Stimulate More Than $226 Million in Visitor Spending in 2017
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia State Parks helped stimulate more than $226 million in visitor spending in 2017, including $104 million by out-of-state visitors.
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Statement on Single Public Meeting in Virginia to Discuss Offshore Drilling Plan
Governor Ralph Northam released the following statement today reiterating his opposition to the Trump administration’s plans to expand offshore drilling off of all U.S. waters and calling on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to host
Governor Northam Urges General Assembly to Protect Virginia’s Fishing Resources and Industries
Today Governor Ralph Northam introduced legislation that would bring Virginia into compliance with management decisions made by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) with respect to menhaden fishing.
First Lady Pam Northam Announces Findings of New Report Showing Historic Preservation Tax Credits Boost Virginia’s Economy
During an annual legislative reception hosted last week, First Lady Pam Northam highlighted the findings of two just-completed studies that show the sustained and substantial contribution preservation makes to Virginia’s economy through the
Governor Northam Announces New Solar Project in Gloucester County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a permit for Strata Solar Development to construct and operate a new solar facility, Gloucester Solar, LLC, in Gloucester County. The 19.8 megawatt (MW)
Governor Northam Statement on Rate Freeze Repeal Legislation
Governor Ralph Northam released the following statement on pending legislation to repeal the freeze on utility.
Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor-elect Ralph Northam today announced key appointments for senior leadership positions within his administration
Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor-elect Ralph Northam today announced his selections for Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and Secretary of Natural Resources.