Virginia’s Water Resource Law: A System of Exemptions and Preferences Challenging the Future of Public Health, the Environment, and Economic Development

Virginia’s Water Resource Law: A System of Exemptions and Preferences Challenging the Future of Public Health, the Environment, and Economic Development

Jefferson D. Reynolds *

There is plenty of water in Virginia. The problem is there are plenty of people, too. As population growth in the Commonwealth continues to place higher demands on water resources, competition among users naturally rises. Water for energy production, agriculture, domestic, industry, and other uses becomes more difficult to allocate, resulting in winners and losers based on availability of supply. Although Virginia has adopted a permitting framework[1] to improve water resource management, exemptions and preferential treatment provided to riparian landowners and historic users in the Virginia Code are increasingly problematic.[2] These classes benefit from preferred legal status for water without regard to water availability, effects on other users, or whether it is being put to the most beneficial use.

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* Director, Division of Enforcement for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. LL.M. (Environment), 1995, George Washington University; J.D., 1990, Hamline University School of Law. Member, State Bars of Virginia and New Mexico. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect any policy or legal position of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality or any other agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Special thanks to Lara Dresser, J.D., M.L.S, for the thoughtful insights and supporting research that made this article possible.

        [1].    Va. Code Ann. § 62.1-44.2 to -44.34:28 (Repl. Vol. 2014).

        [2].    See id. § 62.1-82 (Repl. Vol. 2014) (Water Power Development); id. § 62.1-243 (Surface Water Management Areas); id. § 62.1-44.15:22 (Surface Water Withdrawals); id. § 62.1-259 to -270 (Groundwater Management Areas and Withdrawals).

 

Virginia’s Water Resource Law: A System of Exemptions and Preferences Challenging the Future of Public Health, the Environment, and Economic Development

Socioeconomic Integration and the Greater Richmond School District: The Feasibility of Interdistrict Consolidation

Barry Gabay *

Stark disparities in public education within the Greater Richmond area are commonplace and have been for over a century. Richmond Public Schools primarily consist of an impoverished student body attending dilapidated schools. Meanwhile Richmond’s bordering suburban counties, Chesterfield and Henrico, generally enjoy state-of-the-art learning facilities attended by far more economically diverse student bodies. Today’s inequities can only be understood with recognition of a history of institutionalized segregation in the Richmond area—a history that is ingrained within the municipal offices, along the public transportation system, and, especially, inside the schools. The problem is that in the Richmond area, a child’s place of residence, rather than his academic aptitude, greatly determines his educational ceiling, and the setup of local governments within Virginia inflames the problem.

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* J.D., 2015, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A., 2009, University of South Carolina. The author is intimately familiar with Richmond Public Schools, having received the majority of his pre-collegiate education from schools in the system and graduating from the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, Virginia. This comment was inspired by the lifelong dedication of the author’s parents, Barry B. Gabay and Downy Roberts-Gabay, to the students of Richmond Public Schools, and it benefitted from the guidance of the Rev. Benjamin Campbell, Professor Kimberly Robinson at the University of Richmond School of Law, and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia’s Water Resource Law: A System of Exemptions and Preferences Challenging the Future of Public Health, the Environment, and Economic Development

Police Body Cameras: Implementation with Caution, Forethought, and Policy

Dru S. Letourneau *

On August 9, 2014, Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, on a Ferguson, Missouri street.[1] The incident immediately ignited protests in the Ferguson area.[2] Several of these demonstrations included rioting, looting, and violence.[3] In response, officials used force, military-style tactics, and military-grade weapons.[4] In November 2014, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called the National Guard to attempt to restore order and keep the peace.[5]

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* J.D. Candidate 2016, University of Richmond School of Law. B.A., 2013, University of Virginia. I am grateful to have this opportunity to publish and would like to thank the entire University of Richmond Law Review staff and editors for their work to make it possible. A special thank you to my grandfather, the Honorable Maurice L. Ealy, Magistrate and Clerk of Court for the City of Virginia Beach, and my father, Steven P. Letourneau, Esq., for establishing and cultivating my interest in the legal world. Finally, I would like to thank my grandmother, Elizabeth J. Ealy, and my mother, Cynthia E. Letourneau, for their unconditional and unwavering support, guidance, and inspiration.

[1].    Ralph Ellis, Jason Hanna & Shimon Prokupecz, Missouri Governor Imposes Curfew in Ferguson, Declares Emergency, CNN (Aug. 16, 2014, 7:09 PM), http://www.cnn.com/ 2014/08/16/us/missouri-teen-shooting/.

[2].    See id.

[3].   See id.

[4].    See id.

[5].    Jack Healy et al., Ferguson, Still Tense, Grows Calmer, N.Y. Times (Nov. 26, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/27/us/michael-brown-darren-wilson-ferguson-prot ests.html?_r=0.

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