PERSPECTIVES | IDEAS | COMMUNITY LEADERS | VIEWS
Nature and Environmental Services F BY CATHY HUDGINS
airfax County has a long history of commitment to a sustainable environment that affords a high quality of life for its citizens. The county vision for the environment integrates concerns about climate change, land use, transportation, water, waste management, parks and ecological resources, and energy. In 2004, the county’s Board of Supervisors defined a 20-year vision to conserve and protect the environment. This vision was updated in 2017. Supporting the Board of Supervisors in its vision is the Environmental Quality Advisory Council. The council meets monthly and each year submits its Annual Report on the Environment, which contains an update on the county’s environmental initiatives and announces new initiatives. Two recent initiatives of particular importance are Solarize Fairfax County and the Stream Physical Assessment.
SOLARIZE FAIRFAX COUNTY
Solarize Fairfax County is a program offered every spring since 2017 in partnership with the Local Energy Alliance Program and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. The program promotes and encourages renewable energy by facilitating the installation
Legend Subwatersheds to be Inspected (Feb - May 2019) County Border
Stormwater Planning Division, Watershed Assessment Branch Fairfax County Department of Public Works & Environmental Services 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Ste 449
of solar panels on residential and commercial buildings in the county. Bulk discounts are available on the installation of solar energy equipment. In addition to the equipment discount savings, a five-year solar equipment tax exemption is available, and the permit fee for installation is waived. The third Solarize Fairfax County campaign is scheduled for April 16 to June 14, 2019. An information session will be held at the North County Governmental Center in Reston on May 30 at 7:30 p.m.
STREAM PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT The county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services is
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doing a multi-year visual assessment of streams. Additional stormwater runoff from new development can cause streams to erode or widen over time. This visual assessment will help identify streams and stormwater infrastructure that need restoration and maintenance. This assessment is starting as a pilot program from February through May 2019. The areas of the county that are part of the pilot program have been identified on a map that can be found online at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ publicworks/spa. Postcards have been sent to residents whose properties will be inspected as part of the pilot program. Those who
receive a postcard and have questions or who desire to opt out of the program can call 703-324-5500, TTY 711, or send an email to SWPDmail@ fairfaxcounty.gov. Cathy Hudgins has represented the Hunter Mill District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors since 2000. As a long-time Restonian, she has been involved with local, county and state politics for over 30 years.
Reston Magazine a Reston Association publication @2019