Over the last week Virginia has inaugurated a new Governor and kicked off the 2018 General Assembly Session. The James River Association would like to welcome Governor Northam and all of our representatives, new and old, to America’s Best River Town along the banks of America’s Founding River. Legislators will be in town for a 60 day session where a wide variety of issues will be discussed. James River Association staff will be working hard during session to make sure that the river’s voice is heard on issues that are important to protecting the James and connecting people to it. Our key issues for the session are outlined below. If you would like to help us reach our goals for protecting the river and connecting people to it, join our Action Network to stay up-to-date on what you can do to help.

Virginia Needs Consistent Investments in Clean Water
• Agricultural practices provide the biggest bang for the buck in pollution reductions. We need $62 million per year in order to meet our goals.
• Stormwater is the greatest challenge to future river and Bay health. As the only growing pollution source, we need $50 million per year to curb this problem.
• Protecting land from future development is an important way to prevent pollution. We need $20 million per year to preserve Virginia landscapes.
• Providing leadership at the state level in Environment Education is key to educating future generations on the value of clean water. We must maintain the two positions provided for in the budget.

Providing Authority to Protect Our River
• Proper long-term closure of coal ash ponds along the James River is necessary to prevent further contamination and the Department of Environmental Quality must be given this authority.
• Protecting mature trees is an important way to prevent sediment from entering our waterways and providing localities with this authority is an important local development tool.
• Localities must maintain strong stormwater programs in order to protect our waterways from impacts from development.