Get Ready to Be Counted During the 2020 Census!

The Census will occur on April 1, 2020 and for the first time, will allow responses to be collected online, in addition to by phone and by mail. This will insure that every household has the opportunity to respond and provide important population measures. The Census results, collected once a decade, help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities every year. Businesses use Census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores. Residents use the Census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.
As the Census date approaches, communities are forming Complete Count Committees (CCCs) that will create strategies and work with nonprofit and civic organizations that serve hard to count populations. The City of Harrisonburg is hosting a Census workshop to address collection challenges and solutions on Monday, June 24, at 5:30 pm in Hart Classroom 255 at Hotel Madison. These collaborative efforts will help insure that the most accurate data possible is collected. Visit the 2020 Census website for more information.

CERT Focuses on Community Resiliency

Over the past 16 years, the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been focused on community education, preparedness, and safety. At the foundation of the program is a seven-week training course, offered in the fall and spring, to prepare volunteers on how to assist with community emergencies and mitigation education. The most recent training course was completed on May 23rd. Today, CERT has trained over 1,000 volunteers in our region.
This year, CERT volunteers assisted Augusta County Fire-Rescue install free smoke alarms in mobile homes and at mobile home parks throughout Augusta County. CERT volunteers also promoted the program and its safety precautions at the “Touch-a-Truck” event sponsored by Augusta County Fire-Rescue, the Dooms Fire Department’s Kids Fun Day, and the Green Valley Book Fair’s Safety Day. To learn more about how to get involved with this active volunteer team and gain helpful emergency response insights, subscribe to the Resiliency Newsletter or contact the CSPDC.

50 Years of Environmental Planning

In 1972, the CSPDC undertook a regional water, sewer, and solid waste inventory and plan that revealed various levels of inadequacies in the present and future abilities of jurisdictions in the region to provide services. Many of the jurisdictions lacked the financial resources to upgrade existing systems and provide for future needs. Also, in 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required a detailed Water Quality Management Plan which resulted in even more comprehensive analysis and planning for the District. These early planning efforts by the CSPDC helped our jurisdictions with decision-making tools and identification of resources to protect and preserve and shape the development of the region. Since then, the CSPDC has continued to provide environmental planning services to the region to improve the quality of life for its citizens.
During Fiscal Year 1997, the CSPDC was involved with two significant regional environmental projects which encouraged local participation. The first project was the Wellhead Protection Program, where the CSPDC received a grant from the EPA through the VA Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to develop the program, evaluate regional groundwater assets and vulnerability, provide models for wellhead protection strategies, and more.
The second project was the Potomac Tributary Strategy for the Southern Shenandoah Region, where the CSPDC facilitated a regional response to the Virginia Nutrient Reduction Strategy for the Southern Shenandoah Basin. The strategy was developed as a result of the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Act which included a commitment to reduce loads of phosphorus and nitrogen entering the Bay by 40% by 2000.
In 2018, DEQ began phase III of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP III). Virginia is required to submit a plan to EPA that ensures pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay are in place no later than 2025. DEQ contracted with the CSPDC, and other Bay PDCs across the state, to work with localities and stakeholders in the region with identifying Best Management Practices (BMPs) and programmatic actions, and explore ways to implement BMPs.