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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 70. Financial Assurance Regulations for Solid Waste Disposal, Transfer and Treatment Facilities
8/14/2020

9VAC20-70-210. Local Government Financial Test.

An owner or operator who satisfies the requirements of subdivisions 1 through 3 of this section may demonstrate financial assurance using the local government financial test up to the amount specified in subdivision 4 of this section.

1. Financial component.

a. The owner or operator shall satisfy the provisions of subdivision 1 a of this section, as applicable:

(1) If the owner or operator has outstanding, rated, general obligation bonds that are not secured by insurance, a letter of credit, or other collateral or guarantee, he shall supply the director with documentation demonstrating that the owner or operator has a current rating of Aaa, Aa, A, or Baa, as issued by Moody's, or AAA, AA, A, or BBB, as issued by Standard and Poor's on all such general obligation bonds; or

(2) If the owner or operator does not have outstanding, rated general obligation bonds, he shall satisfy each of the following financial ratios based on the owner's or operator's most recent audited annual financial statement:

(a) A ratio of cash plus marketable securities to total expenditures greater than or equal to 0.05; and

(b) A ratio of annual debt service to total expenditures less than or equal to 0.20.

b. The owner or operator shall prepare his financial statements in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for governments and have his financial statements audited by an independent certified public accountant or by the Auditor of Public Accounts.

c. An owner or operator is not eligible to assure his obligations under this section if he:

(1) Is currently in default on any outstanding general obligation bonds;

(2) Has any outstanding general obligation bonds rated lower than Baa as issued by Moody's or BBB as issued by Standard and Poor's;

(3) Operated at a deficit equal to 5.0% or more of total annual revenue in each of the past two fiscal years; or

(4) Receives an adverse opinion, disclaimer of opinion, or other qualified opinion from the independent certified public accountant or Auditor of Public Accounts auditing his financial statement as required under subdivision 1 b of this section. However, the director may evaluate qualified opinions on a case-by-case basis and allow use of the financial test in cases where the director deems the qualification insufficient to warrant disallowance of the test.

2. Public notice component. The local government owner or operator shall place a reference to the closure, post-closure care, or corrective action costs assured through the financial test into the next comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) after January 7, 1998, or prior to the initial receipt of waste at the facility, whichever is later. Disclosure shall include the nature and source of closure and post-closure requirements, the reported liability at the balance sheet date, the estimated total closure and post-closure care cost remaining to be recognized, the percentage of landfill capacity used to date, and the estimated landfill life in years. A reference to corrective action cost shall be placed in CAFR no later than 120 days after the corrective action remedy has been selected in accordance with 9VAC20-81-260. For the first year the financial test is used to assure costs at a particular facility, the reference may instead be placed in the operating record until issuance of the next available CAFR if timing does not permit the reference to be incorporated into the most recently issued CAFR or budget. For closure and post-closure care costs, conformance with Government Accounting Standards Board Statement 18 assures compliance with this public notice component.

3. Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

a. The local government owner or operator must submit to the department the following items and place copies of the items in the facility's operating record:

(1) An original letter signed by the local government's chief financial officer worded as specified in 9VAC20-70-290 G;

(2) The local government's independently audited year-end financial statements for the latest fiscal year, including the unqualified opinion of the auditor who must be an independent, certified public accountant or an appropriate state agency that conducts equivalent comprehensive audits;

(3) A report to the local government from the local government's independent certified public accountant (CPA) or the Auditor of Public Accounts based on performing an agreed upon procedures engagement relative to the financial ratios required by subdivision 1 a (2) of this section, if applicable, and the requirements of subdivisions 1 b, 1 c (3), and 1 c (4) of this section. The CPA or state agency's report shall state the procedures performed and the CPA or state agency's findings;

(4) A copy of the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) used to comply with subdivision 2 of this section or certification that the requirements of General Accounting Standards Board Statement 18 have been met; and

(5) A certification from the local government's chief executive officer stating in detail the method selected by the local government for funding closure and post-closure costs. If the method selected by the local government is a trust fund or similar mechanism, there shall be included a certification from the local government's chief financial officer indicating the current reserve obligated to closure and post-closure care cost. If the method selected by local governments is the use of annual operating budget and Capital Investment Funds, there shall be a certification from the local government's chief financial officer so indicating. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the local government from revising its plan for funding closure and post-closure care costs if such revision provides economic benefit to the local government and if such revision provides adequate means for funding closure and post-closure care cost. This certification shall be worded as specified in 9VAC20-70-290 H.

b. The items required in subdivision 3 a of this section shall be submitted to the department and placed in the facility operating record as follows:

(1) In the case of closure and post-closure care, either before January 7, 1998, or prior to the initial receipt of waste at the facility, whichever is later; or

(2) In the case of corrective action, not later than 120 days after the corrective action remedy is selected in accordance with the requirements of 9VAC20-81-260.

c. After the initial submission of the items, the local government owner or operator must update the information, place a copy of the updated information in the operating record, and submit the updated documentation described in subdivisions 3 a (1) through (6) of this section to the department within 180 days following the close of the owner or operator's fiscal year.

d. The local government owner or operator is no longer required to meet the requirements of subdivision 3 of this section when:

(1) The owner or operator substitutes alternate financial assurance as specified in this section; or

(2) The owner or operator is released from the requirements of this section in accordance with 9VAC20-70-111 E, 9VAC20-70-112 B, or 9VAC20-70-113 C.

e. A local government shall satisfy the requirements of the financial test at the close of each fiscal year. If the local government owner or operator no longer meets the requirements of the local government financial test it must, within 210 days following the close of the owner or operator's fiscal year, obtain alternative financial assurance that meets the requirements of this section, place a copy of the financial assurance mechanism in the operating record, and submit the original financial assurance mechanism to the director.

f. The director, based on a reasonable belief that the local government owner or operator may no longer meet the requirements of the local government financial test, may require additional reports of financial condition from the local government at any time. If the director finds, on the basis of such reports or other information, that the owner or operator no longer meets the requirements of the local government financial test, the local government shall provide alternate financial assurance in accordance with this article.

4. Calculation of costs to be assured. The portion of the closure, post-closure, and corrective action costs for which an owner or operator can assure under subdivision 1 of this section is determined as follows:

a. If the local government owner or operator does not assure other environmental obligations through a financial test, it may assure closure, post-closure, and corrective action costs that equal up to 43% of the local government's total annual revenue or the sum of total revenues of constituent governments in the case of regional authorities.

b. If the local government assures other environmental obligations through a financial test, including those associated with UIC facilities under 40 CFR 144.62, petroleum underground storage tank facilities under 9VAC25-590, polychlorinated biphenyls storage facilities under 40 CFR Part 761, and hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities under Part IX or X of the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (9VAC20-60), it shall add those costs to the closure, post-closure, and corrective action costs it seeks to assure under subdivision 1 of this section. The total shall not exceed 43% of the local government's total annual revenue.

c. The owner or operator shall obtain an alternate financial assurance mechanism for those costs that exceed the limits set in subdivisions 4 a and 4 b of this section.

Statutory Authority

§§ 10.1-1402 and 10.1-1410 of the Code of Virginia; §§ 1008(a)(3), 2002, and 4004(a) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; 40 CFR Part 258.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 14, Issue 6, eff. January 7, 1998; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 3, eff. November 21, 2001; Volume 27, Issue 22, eff. August 3, 2011; Volume 29, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2013; Volume 35, Issue 24, eff. September 5, 2019.

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