Curious About the Streams Near You?

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Check out this great interactive map and find out more about your local stream conditions! The County has recently completed a highly informative interactive map that allows you to fill in your address and find out answers to questions such … Continue reading

Board Suspends Discussion on Chesapeake Bay Protection Ordinance

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On Tuesday, May 17th,  the Board of Supervisors voted to suspend discussions on the stream protection ordinance known as Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance (CBPO). Jim Burton had previously signaled his intent to oppose the ordinance because he felt too many … Continue reading

LATEST! Summary of Draft Stream Protections

On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011, the Board of Supervisors finished reviewing the matrix of 40+ issues that were raised during public input and stakeholder discussions of the proposed stream protection called the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance (CBPO).

The Board has been responsive to public sentiment in crafting stream protections that are Loudoun-specific and decided to:

  • Reduce the buffer width (RPA) to 75 ft on either side of the perennial streams indicated in green on the County’s draft map.
  • Adopt the grandfathering practice set by Fairfax County and also not require compliance that would require major changes in previously approved development plans.
  • Maintain equal protection for areas targeted for dense development  like Rt 28 and other development corridors.

In previous meetings the Board addressed several issues raised by the public to:

  • Eliminate the misunderstood county-wide Resource Management Area.
  • Approve amendments to the Erosion Control Ordinance to require sediment controls with 2500 sf of construction disturbance and 10,000 sf of construction-related disturbance for farm buildings.
  • Approve amendments to the Codified Ordinance to require 5 year pump-out of conventional systems, while keeping the existing requirement for documentation of yearly inspection/maintenance as needed for non-conventional systems.
  • Provide a 150 sq. ft. cumulative exemption for small structures like sheds or gazebos in the stream buffer area, and a 500 sq. ft. exemption for playsets.
  • Eliminate the misunderstood and confusing yellow map tool intended to help locate unidentified perennial streams.
  • Exempt residents from erosion control measures for septic tank lines and drainage field repair.
  • Remove buffers adjacent to all existing ponds.
  • Allow 2,500 sq. ft. or 5,000 sq. ft. of land disturbance/impervious area (based on the amount of a parcel covered by RPA), in the landward portion of the RPA by Administrative Waiver with adequate mitigation. Without mitigation, an RPA Exception would be required.
  • Allow existing structures (including businesses) located in the RPA, 2,500 sq. ft. of disturbance in the 50 feet closest to the stream with an Administrative Waiver including a minor water quality impact assessment (no consultant or engineer required).
After revisions to the draft ordinance language are complete, the Board of Supervisors has directed that landowners affected by the RPA will get notice letters.  According to the schedule proposed by staff, public notice of the proposed draft regulation will be advertised in the newspaper twice before the Board votes to adopt the draft.  Final action is tentatively planned for the second Board meeting in July.
Developing this ordinance is only one of many steps that the Board has taken to protect our streams.  The County also has plans to work with residents on a pilot watershed program which among other things could highlight voluntary measures homeowners could take to improve our streams.

Check out this program for D.C. residents to help achieve clean waters.

Healthy, Safer Families and Communities

Arsenic and rocket fuel in our water. Gender-altering hormones and medications in our rivers and streams. PCBs, dioxins and pesticides in breast milk. Lead in children’s toys and women’s lipstick. Hazardous ingredients in air fresheners, development disrupting chemicals in plastic baby bottles and dangerous fumes from vinyl shower curtains. Our world is awash in chemicals and pollutants that pose health risks to our families, our communities and our environment.

A healthy environment should not be a luxury, yet our homes and communities are increasingly contaminated by chemicals and fumes from countless everyday objects. Rapidly accumulating scientific evidence suggests many of these chemicals and fumes are not innocuous, and some are absolutely hazardous. This is more than an environmental issue-this is also a health and justice issue.

Many common chemicals and pollutants have already been linked to rising rates of asthma, cancer and heart conditions. And, as technology advances, new products are developed almost daily. It is our responsibility-and in our best interest-to ensure these new products are safe for our families, our communities and our environment. We work with local and national groups to pursue environmental justice by holding polluters accountable and engaging elected officials. Together, we present a strong, unified voice for environmental justice in communities and neighborhoods across the United States.

Working Towards Healthier Families and Communities

Collectively, our actions will help guarantee a healthier future for our families and our communities. To reach this goal of a healthier tomorrow, we must:

  • Take the precautionary approach, proving new products and chemicals are safe before using them.
  • Require all chemicals be tested for negative health and environmental effects.
  • Identify chemical ingredients in products, allowing consumers to make informed decisions.
  • Develop stronger right-to-know rules on chemical use, storage, emissions and disposal.
  • Pursue environmental injustices and hold polluters accountable.