For two years, the state of Virginia has been begging cattle farmers to keep animals out of streams on their property - offering to pay the full cost of fencing to prevent pollution of rivers and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.
Irvin White raises cattle in Central Virginia - calling recently weaned calves to the feeding trough as part of his evening routine. From the beginning, he’s seen good reason to fence his farms - to keep cows out of the streams where they like to drink and cool off when the weather turns warm. After all, those streams are loaded with bacteria.
Residents in one of the remaining rural areas of Fairfax County have stopped a plan to open a micro-brewery in their community. And in Spotsylvania there's controversy over whether biosolids – which are made partly from human waste – should be allowed as fertilizer on farm fields.
Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link onvpap.org.
A recent survey showed 28% of Virginians have a hard time getting fresh fruit and vegetables in their communities. What’s more, half of kids said they would head for a fast food restaurant or convenience store if given $5 for food.
To counter those problems, a group of teachers is taking Richmond kids to the farm, where they dance, sing and discover the wonders of compost.
Last week, 30 students began an unusual protest – riding bicycles along the path of a proposed natural gas pipeline.
Kendall King with the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition says protesters wanted to increase public awareness of plans for the 550-mile underground pipeline that would link fracking sites in West Virginia to customers in North Carolina.