About Us

The Rivanna River Basin Commission (RRBC) was created in response to community upwelling of interest in and concern for the Rivanna River and its watershed that was documented in 1998 by the State of the Basin project spearheaded by the TJPDC. The report from that project included several recommendations that pointed to the creation of a basin-wide entity to coordinate protection and conservation work in the watershed.

Enabling legislation from the 2004 Virginia General Assembly described the role and structure of the Commission. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) raised approximately $400,000 from private donors expressly for launching the Commission, which became a reality when the counties of Greene, Fluvanna, and Albemarle and the City of Charlottesville joined.

The Commission started to meet in 2007, with staff support provided by TNC and fiscal agency by the Thomas Jefferson SWCD. A robust and engaged Technical Advisory Committee was also formed, comprised of “core-TAC members” (water resources, environmental, and planning staff appointed by their member local governments plus the TJ and Culpepper SWCD district managers) and “non-core TAC members” (local or regional technical experts in hydrology, sedimentation, stormwater, geomorphology, and water quality). The TAC has met 4 top 6 times per year since 2007 and, in 2008, recommended that the RRBC focus its watershed protection efforts on mitigating the harmful effects of altered hydrology that cause excessive and harmful sedimentation in area streams. A substantial grant from NFWF was proposed and secured to advance this recommendation at the locality and Rivanna watershed scales.

In 2009, RRBC hired Leslie Middleton as its first Executive Director. Also during this year, RRBC became its own fiscal agent, requiring the implementation of many organizational and administrative processes. During 2009-2010, Ms. Middleton and part-time administrative staff have provided Commission and TAC meeting support; NFWF grant program management, coordination with the localities, and implementation of project components; sought additional funding for Rivanna programs; and worked regionally and with state agencies to help prepare RRBC and its member localities for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.

§ 62.1-69.46. The Rivanna River Basin Commission; establishment; purpose.

A. The Rivanna River Basin Commission (the Commission) shall be established as an independent local entity without political subdivision status, and shall be established upon the passage of a resolution by three-fourths of the Rivanna River Basin’s localities, in which not less than three percent of the jurisdiction is found wholly or partially within the Rivanna River Basin, that commits them to participation in the Commission as described in this chapter. Localities located in the Rivanna River Basin include the Counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Orange and Nelson, and the City of Charlottesville. The resolution shall contain the following language:

“The (governing body) of this jurisdiction hereby agrees to become a member of and participate in the Rivanna River Basin Commission as described in Chapter 5.6 (§ 62.1-69.45 et seq.) of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.”

B. The purpose of the Commission shall be to provide guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water and natural resources of the Rivanna River Basin. The Commission shall be a forum in which local governments and citizens can discuss issues affecting the Basin’s water quality and quantity and other natural resources. Through promoting communication, coordination, and education, and by suggesting appropriate solutions to identified problems, the Commission shall promote activities by local, state, and federal governments, and by individuals, that foster resource stewardship for the environmental and economic health of the Basin.

2004, c. 394.

As defined by its statute, the Commission is comprised of two elected officials from each of the participating jurisdictions, one citizen appointee from each of the jurisdictions, and one representative each from the Culpeper and Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

The Commission is by statute an “independent local entity without political subdivision,” and as such is a public body bound to the laws of Virginia like other public bodies such as the Board of Supervisors and other Commissions, including the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, Conflict of Interest Act, and Public Procurement Policy.

The Commission is supported by staff (Executive Director, Program Manager, Program Assistant/GIS Specialist, and volunteers) and a Technical Advisory Committee.

Initial funding for the Rivanna River Basin Commission comes from a grant from the Nature Conservancy in Virginia that represents the generous contributions of private donors committed specifically to helping launch the River Basin Commission. Additional funding for specific projects of the Commission is obtained through state and federal grants. As an entity of local government, the Commission may receive funding and contributions from public and private sources.

The Commission started to meet in 2007, with staff support provided by TNC and fiscal agency by the Thomas Jefferson SWCD. A robust and engaged Technical Advisory Committee was also formed, comprised of “core-TAC members” (water resources, environmental, and planning staff appointed by their member local governments plus the TJ and Culpepper SWCD district managers) and “non-core TAC members” (local or regional technical experts in hydrology, sedimentation, stormwater, geomorphology, and water quality). The TAC has met 4 top 6 times per year since 2007 and, in 2008, recommended that the RRBC focus its watershed protection efforts on mitigating the harmful effects of altered hydrology that cause excessive and harmful sedimentation in area streams. A substantial grant from NFWF was proposed and secured to advance this recommendation at the locality and Rivanna watershed scales.

In 2009, RRBC hired Leslie Middleton as its first Executive Director. Also during this year, RRBC became its own fiscal agent, requiring the implementation of many organizational and administrative processes. During 2009-2010, Ms. Middleton and part-time administrative staff have provided Commission and TAC meeting support; NFWF grant program management, coordination with the localities, and implementation of project components; sought additional funding for Rivanna programs; and worked regionally and with state agencies to help prepare RRBC and its member localities for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.

The Rivanna River Basin Commission (RRBC) was created in response The Commission is comprised of elected officials and appointed citizen members that represent the localities of the Rivanna watershed. Elected officials are “appointed” by their governing bodies and serve out the duration of their elected terms. Citizens are appointed by the elected body of each locality to represent the citizens of that locality and serve four-year terms (renewable and staggered).

Albemarle County
Ann Mallek, Board of Supervisors
Bea LaPisto Kirtley, Board of Supervisors
Lonnie Murray, Appointed Citizen

City of Charlottesville
Michael Payne, City Councilor
Lloyd Snook, City Councilor
Jason Halbert, Appointed Citizen

Fluvanna County
Mozell Booker, Board of Supervisors
Tony O’Brien, Board of Supervisors
Marvin Moss, Appointed Citizen

Greene County
Dale Herring, Board of Supervisors
Abbey Heflin, Board of Supervisors
Alexander Rico Vidales, Appointed Citizen

Culpeper SWCD
Steve Morris

Thomas Jefferson SWCD
Angus Murdoch

New Commissioner’s Handbook
Newly appointed Commissioners are provided the following materials.

Organizational Timeline

Timeline