Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
4/14/2024

Article 1. General Requirements

9VAC25-31-420. Purpose and applicability.

Article 1
General Requirements

A. This part establishes standards, which consist of general requirements, pollutant limits, management practices, and operational standards, for the final use of biosolids or disposal of sewage sludge generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works. Standards are included in this part for biosolids applied to the land or sewage sludge placed on a surface disposal site. Also included in this part are pathogen and alternative vector attraction reduction requirements for biosolids applied to the land or sewage sludge placed on a surface disposal site.

B. In addition, the standards in this part include the frequency of monitoring and recordkeeping requirements when biosolids is applied to the land or sewage sludge is placed on a surface disposal site. Also included in this part are reporting requirements for Class I sludge management facilities, publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) with a design flow rate equal to or greater than one million gallons per day, and POTWs that serve 10,000 people or more.

C. Applicability.

1. This part applies to any person who prepares sewage sludge or biosolids, or applies biosolids to the land and to the owner/operator of a surface disposal site.

2. This part applies to biosolids applied to the land or sewage sludge placed on a surface disposal site.

3. This part applies to land where biosolids is applied and to a surface disposal site.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013.

9VAC25-31-430. [Reserved]. (Reserved)

9VAC25-31-440. Permits and direct enforceability.

A. The requirements in this part may be implemented through a permit issued to a treatment works treating domestic sewage, in accordance with this chapter. Treatment works treating domestic sewage shall submit a permit application in accordance with this chapter.

B. No person shall use biosolids or dispose of sewage sludge through any practice for which requirements are established in this part except in accordance with such requirements.

C. No person shall land apply Class B biosolids on any land in Virginia unless that land has been identified in an application to issue, reissue, or modify a permit and approved by the department.

D. No person shall land apply, market, or distribute biosolids in Virginia unless the biosolids source has been approved by the department.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 402 of the federal Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

9VAC25-31-450. Relationship to other regulations.

Disposal of sewage sludge in a municipal solid waste landfill unit that complies with the requirements in the Solid Waste Management Regulations (9VAC20-81) constitutes compliance with § 405(d) of the CWA. Any person who prepares sewage sludge that is disposed in a municipal solid waste landfill unit shall ensure that the sewage sludge meets the requirements in 9VAC20-81 concerning the quality of materials disposed in a municipal solid waste landfill unit.

Statutory Authority

§§ 62.1-44.15 and 62.1-44.18 of the Code of Virginia; § 402 of the Clean Water Act, 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403 and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2011.

9VAC25-31-460. Additional or more stringent requirements.

A. On a case-by-case basis, the department may impose requirements for the use of biosolids or disposal of sewage sludge in addition to or more stringent than the requirements in this part when necessary to protect public health and the environment from any adverse effect of a pollutant in the biosolids or sewage sludge.

B. Nothing in this part precludes the authority of another state agency, any political subdivision of Virginia, or an interstate agency with respect to the use of biosolids or disposal of sewage sludge.

C. For biosolids land application where, because of site-specific conditions, including soil type, identified during the permit application review process, the department determines that special requirements are necessary to protect the environment or the health, safety or welfare of persons residing in the vicinity of a proposed land application site, the department may incorporate in the permit at the time it is issued reasonable special conditions regarding setback distances, transportation routes, slope, material source, methods of handling and application, and time of day restrictions exceeding those required by this regulation. The permit applicant shall have at least 14 days in which to review and respond to the proposed conditions.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 402 of the federal Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2008; Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

9VAC25-31-470. Exclusions.

A. Treatment processes. This part does not establish requirements for processes used to treat domestic sewage or for processes used to treat sewage sludge prior to final use or disposal, except as provided in 9VAC25-31-710 and 9VAC25-31-720.

B. Selection of a use or disposal practice. This part does not require the selection of a sewage sludge use or disposal practice. The determination of the manner in which sewage sludge is used or disposed is a local determination.

C. Incineration of sewage sludge. This part does not establish requirements for sewage sludge fired in a sewage sludge incinerator or co-fired in an incinerator with other wastes or for the incinerator in which sewage sludge and other wastes are co-fired.

D. Sludge generated at an industrial facility. This part does not establish requirements for the use or disposal of sludge generated at an industrial facility during the treatment of industrial wastewater, including sewage sludge generated during the treatment of industrial wastewater combined with domestic sewage.

E. Hazardous sewage sludge. This part does not establish requirements for the use or disposal of sewage sludge determined to be hazardous in accordance with 40 CFR Part 261 or the Code of Virginia.

F. Sewage sludge with high PCB concentration. This part does not establish requirements for the use or disposal of sewage sludge with a concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) equal to or greater than 50 milligrams per kilogram of total solids (dry weight basis).

G. Incinerator ash. This part does not establish requirements for the use or disposal of ash generated during the firing of sewage sludge in a sewage sludge incinerator.

H. Grit and screenings. This part does not establish requirements for the use or disposal of grit (e.g., sand, gravel, cinders, or other materials with a high specific gravity) or screenings (e.g., relatively large materials such as rags) generated during preliminary treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works.

I. Drinking water treatment sludge. This part does not establish requirements for the use or disposal of sludge generated during the treatment of either surface water or ground water used for drinking water.

J. Commercial and industrial septage. This part does not establish requirements for the use or disposal of commercial septage, industrial septage, a mixture of domestic septage and commercial septage, or a mixture of domestic septage and industrial septage.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 402 of the federal Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. February 15, 2002; Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. February 15, 2012.

9VAC25-31-475. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2008; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2016.

9VAC25-31-480. Requirements for a person who prepares biosolids or sewage sludge.

A. Any person who prepares biosolids shall ensure that the applicable requirements in this part are met when biosolids is applied to the land.

B. Any person who prepares sewage sludge shall ensure that the applicable requirements in this part are met when the sewage sludge is placed on a surface disposal site.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013.

9VAC25-31-485. Requirements for a person who land apply biosolids.

A. No person shall land apply biosolids pursuant to a permit issued in accordance with this regulation unless an individual holding a valid certificate of competence as specified in the Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit Regulation, Article 5, Certification of Land Applicators, as set forth in 9VAC25-32-690 through 9VAC25-32-760, is onsite at all times during such land application.

B. When an application for a permit that authorizes the land application of biosolids is submitted to the department:

1. Permit holders shall use a DEQ control number, if previously assigned, identifying each land application field. If a DEQ control number has not been assigned, provide the site identification code used by the permit applicant to report activities and the site's location.

2. A written agreement shall be established between the landowner and permit applicant or permit holder to be submitted with the permit application, whereby the landowner shall consent to the application of biosolids on his property. The landowner agreement shall include:

a. A statement certifying that the landowner is the sole owner or one of multiple owners of the property or properties identified on the landowner agreements;

b. A statement certifying that no concurrent agreements are in effect for the fields to be permitted for biosolids application;

c. An acknowledgement that the landowner shall notify the permittee when land is sold or ownership transferred;

d. An acknowledgement that the landowner shall notify the permittee if any conditions change such that any component of the landowner agreement becomes invalid;

e. Permission to allow department staff on the landowner's property to conduct inspections;

f. An acknowledgement by the landowner of any site restrictions identified in the regulation;

g. An acknowledgement that the landowner has received a biosolids fact sheet approved by the department; and

h. An acknowledgement that the landowner shall not remove notification signs placed by the permit holder.

3. New landowner agreements, using the most current form provided by the department, shall be submitted to the department for proposed land application sites identified in each application for issuance or reissuance of a permit or the modification to add land to an existing permit that authorizes the land application of biosolids.

4. For permits modified in order to incorporate changes to this chapter, the permit holder shall, within 60 days of the effective date of the permit modification, advise the landowner by certified letter of the requirement to provide a new landowner agreement. The letter shall include instructions to the landowner for signing and returning the new landowner agreement and shall advise the landowner that the permit holder's receipt of such new landowner agreement is required prior to application of biosolids to the landowner's property.

5. The responsibility for obtaining and maintaining the agreements lies with the permit holder.

C. The permit holder shall ensure that the landowner agreement is still valid at the time of land application.

D. Notification requirements.

1. At least 100 days prior to commencing the first land application of biosolids at a permitted site the permittee shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the chief executive officer or his designee for the local government where the site is located. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the biosolids to be applied to the site. This requirement may be satisfied by the department's notice to the local government at the time of receiving the permit application if all necessary information is included in the notice or by providing a list of all available permitted sites in the locality at least 100 days prior to commencing the application at any site on the list. If the site is located in more than one county, the notice shall be provided to all jurisdictions where the site is located.

2. At least 14 days prior to commencing land application of biosolids at a permitted site, the permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the department and the chief executive officer or designee for the local government where the site is located unless they request in writing not to receive the notice. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the sewage sludge to be applied to the site.

3. Not more than 24 hours prior to commencing land application activities, including delivery of biosolids at a permitted site, the permittee shall notify in writing the department and the chief executive officer or designee for the local government where the site is located unless they request in writing not to receive the notice. This notification shall include identification of the biosolids source and shall include only sites where land application activities will commence within 24 hours or where the biosolids will be staged within 24 hours.

E. Evidence of financial responsibility shall be provided in accordance with requirements specified in Article 6 (9VAC25-32-770 et seq.) of Part IX (9VAC25-32-303 et seq.) of the Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) Permit Regulation.

F. Posting signs.

1. At least five business days prior to delivery of biosolids for land application on any site permitted under this regulation, the permit holder shall post signs at the site that comply with this section, are visible and legible from the public right-of-way in both directions of travel, and conform to the specifications in this subsection. The sign shall remain in place for at least five business days after land application has been completed at the site. The permit holder shall not remove the signs until at least 30 days after land application has been completed at the site.

a. A sign shall be posted at or near the intersection of the public right-of-way and the main site access road or driveway to the site used by the biosolids transport vehicles.

b. If the field is located adjacent to a public right-of-way, at least one sign shall be posted along each public road frontage beside the field to be land applied.

c. The department may grant a waiver to the requirements in this section, or require alternative posting options due to extenuating circumstances or where requirements conflict with local government ordinances and other requirements regulating the use of signs.

2. Upon the posting of signs at a land application site prior to commencing land application, the permittee shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the department and the chief executive officer or designee for the local government where the site is located unless they request in writing not to receive the notice. Notification shall be delivered to the department within 24 hours of the posting of the signs. The notice shall include the following:

a. The name and telephone number of the permit holder, including the name of a representative knowledgeable of the permit;

b. Identification by tax map number and the DEQ control number for sites on which land application is to take place;

c. The name or title and telephone number of at least one individual designated by the permit holder to respond to questions and complaints related to the land application project if not the permit holder identified in subdivision a of this subdivision; and

d. The approximate dates on which land application is to begin and end at the site.

3. The sign shall be made of weather-resistant materials and shall be sturdily mounted so as to be capable of remaining in place and legible throughout the period that the sign is required at the site. Signs required by this section shall be temporary, nonilluminated, and four square feet or more in area, and only contain the following information:

a. A statement that biosolids are being land applied at the site;

b. The name of the permit holder;

c. The telephone number of an individual designated by the permit holder to respond to complaints and inquiries; and

d. Contact information for the department, including a telephone number for complaints and inquiries.

4. The permit holder shall make a good faith effort to replace or repair any sign that has been removed from a land application site or that has been damaged so as to render any of its required information illegible prior to five business days after completion of land application.

G. Biosolids management plan.

1. The permit holder shall maintain and implement a biosolids management plan, which shall consist of three components:

a. The materials, including site booklets, developed and submitted at the time of permit application or permit modification adding a site to the permit in accordance with 9VAC25-31-100 Q;

b. Nutrient management plan for each site, in accordance with 9VAC25-31-505; and

c. Operation and maintenance (O&M) manual, developed and submitted to the department within 90 days of the effective date of the permit.

2. The biosolids management plan and all of its components shall be incorporated as an enforceable part of the permit.

3. The O&M manual shall include at a minimum:

a. Equipment maintenance and calibration procedures and schedules;

b. Storage facility maintenance procedures and schedules;

c. Sampling schedules for:

(1) Required monitoring; and

(2) Operational control testing;

d. Sample collection, preservation and analysis procedures, including laboratories and methods used; and

e. Instructions for recording and reporting all monitoring activities.

4. Current VPDES permit holders who land apply biosolids may use their existing VPDES O&M plan addressing land application to satisfy the requirements of this section if the existing plan addresses all of the required minimum components identified in this section.

H. Handling of complaints.

1. Within 24 hours of receiving notification of a complaint, the permit holder shall commence investigation of the complaint and shall determine whether the complaint is substantive. The permit holder shall confirm receipt of all substantive complaints by phone, email, or facsimile to the department, the chief executive officer or designee for the local government of the jurisdiction in which the complaint originates, and the owner of the treatment facility from which the biosolids originated within 24 hours after receiving the complaint.

2. For the purposes of this section, a substantive complaint shall be deemed to be any complaint alleging a violation of these regulations, state law, or local ordinance; a release of biosolids to state waters or to a public right-of-way or to any location not authorized in the permit; or failure to comply with the nutrient management plan for the land application site.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 402 of the federal Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2008; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

9VAC25-31-490. Sampling and analysis.

A. Representative samples of biosolids that is applied to the land, or placed on a surface disposal site shall be collected and analyzed.

B. Methods in the materials listed below or in 40 CFR Part 136 shall be used to analyze samples of biosolids and calculation procedures in the materials shall be used to calculate the percent volatile solids reduction for biosolids.

1. Enteric viruses.

ASTM Designation: D 4994-89, "Standard Practice for Recovery of Viruses From Wastewater Sludges," Annual Book of ASTM Standards: Section 11 - Water and Environmental Technology, ASTM, Philadelphia, PA., 1992.

2. Fecal coliform.

Part 9221 E. or Part 9222 D., "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater," 18th Edition, American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C., 1992.

3. Helminth ova.

Yanko, W.A., "Occurrence of Pathogens in Distribution and Marketing Municipal Sludges," EPA 600/1-87-014, 1987. PB 88-154273/AS, National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia.

4. Inorganic pollutants.

"Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods," EPA Publication SW-846, Third Edition as amended by Final Updates I, II, IIA, IIB, III, IIIA, IIIB, IVA and IVB. PB88-239223, National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia.

5. Salmonella sp. bacteria.

Part 9260 D., "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater," 18th Edition, American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C., 1992; or

Kenner, B.A. and H.P. Clark, "Detection and enumeration of Salmonella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa," J. Water Pollution Control Federation, 46(9):2163-2171, 1974.

6. Specific oxygen uptake rate.

Part 2710 B., "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater," 18th Edition, American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C., 1992.

7. Total, fixed, and volatile solids.

Part 2540 G., "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater," 18th Edition, American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C., 1992.

8. Percent volatile solids reduction calculation.

"Environmental Regulations and Technology - Control of Pathogens and Vector Attraction in Sewage Sludge," EPA-625/R-92/013, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio, Revised July 2003.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. February 15, 2012; Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013.

9VAC25-31-500. Definitions.

In addition to the definitions given in Part I (9VAC25-31-10 et seq.) of this chapter, the following definitions apply to Part VI (9VAC25-31-420 et seq.) of this chapter. Where the same term is defined in both parts, the definition of Part VI of this chapter applies to the use of the term in Part VI of this chapter.

"Active sewage sludge unit" means a sewage sludge unit that has not closed.

"Aerobic digestion" means the biochemical decomposition of organic matter in sewage sludge into carbon dioxide and water by microorganisms in the presence of air.

"Agricultural land" means land on which a food crop, a feed crop, or a fiber crop is grown. This includes range land and land used as pasture.

"Agronomic rate" means the whole sludge application rate (dry weight basis) designed: (i) to provide the amount of nitrogen needed by the food crop, feed crop, fiber crop, cover crop, or vegetation grown on the land and (ii) to minimize the amount of nitrogen in the biosolids that passes below the root zone of the crop or vegetation grown on the land to the groundwater.

"Anaerobic digestion" means the biochemical decomposition of organic matter in sewage sludge into methane gas and carbon dioxide by microorganisms in the absence of air.

"Annual pollutant loading rate " or "APLR" means the maximum amount of a pollutant that can be applied to a unit area of land during a 365-day period.

"Annual whole sludge application rate" or "AWSAR" means the maximum amount of biosolids (dry weight basis) that can be applied to a unit area of land during a 365-day period.

"Apply biosolids" or "biosolids applied to the land" means land application of biosolids.

"Aquifer" means a geologic formation, group of geologic formations, or a portion of a geologic formation capable of yielding groundwater to wells or springs.

"Base flood" means a flood that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year (i.e., a flood with a magnitude equaled once in 100 years).

"Bulk biosolids" means biosolids that are not sold or given away in a bag or other container for application to the land.

"Class I sludge management facility" means any publicly owned treatment works (POTW) required to have an approved pretreatment program under this chapter and any treatment works treating domestic sewage classified as a Class I sludge management facility by the department because of the potential for its biosolids use or sewage sludge disposal practice to affect public health and the environment adversely.

"Contaminate an aquifer" means to introduce a substance that causes the maximum contaminant level for nitrate in the Virginia Water Quality Standards or in 40 CFR 141.62(b) to be exceeded in groundwater or that causes the existing concentration of nitrate in groundwater to increase when the existing concentration of nitrate in the groundwater exceeds the maximum contaminant level for nitrate in the Virginia Water Quality Standards or 40 CFR 141.62(b).

"Cover" means soil or other material used to cover sewage sludge placed on an active sewage sludge unit.

"Cumulative pollutant loading rate" means the maximum amount of an inorganic pollutant that can be applied to an area of land.

"Density of microorganisms" means the number of microorganisms per unit mass of total solids (dry weight) in the biosolids or sewage sludge.

"Displacement" means the relative movement of any two sides of a fault measured in any direction.

"Domestic septage" means either liquid or solid material removed from a septic tank, cesspool, portable toilet, Type III marine sanitation device, or similar treatment works that receives only domestic sewage. Domestic septage does not include liquid or solid material removed from a septic tank, cesspool, or similar treatment works that receives either commercial wastewater or industrial wastewater and does not include grease removed from a grease trap at a restaurant.

"Domestic sewage" means waste and wastewater from humans or household operations that is discharged to or otherwise enters a treatment works.

"Dry tons" means dry weight established as representative of land applied biosolids and expressed in units of English tons.

"Dry weight" means the measured weight of a sample of sewage sludge or biosolids after all moisture has been removed in accordance with the standard methods of testing and often represented as percent solids.

"Dry weight basis" means calculated on the basis of having been dried at 105°C until reaching a constant mass (i.e., essentially 100% solids content).

"Exceptional quality biosolids" means biosolids that have received an established level of treatment for pathogen control and vector attraction reduction and contain known levels of pollutants, such that they may be marketed or distributed for public use in accordance with this regulation.

"Fault" means a fracture or zone of fractures in any materials along which strata on one side are displaced with respect to strata on the other side.

"Feed crops" means crops produced primarily for consumption by animals.

"Fiber crops" means crops such as flax and cotton.

"Field" means an area of land within a site where land application is proposed or permitted.

"Final cover" means the last layer of soil or other material placed on a sewage sludge unit at closure.

"Food crops" means crops produced primarily for consumption by humans. These include, but are not limited to, fruits, vegetables, and tobacco.

"Forest" means a tract of land thick with trees and underbrush.

"Groundwater" means water below the land surface in the saturated zone.

"Holocene time" means the most recent epoch of the Quaternary period, extending from the end of the Pleistocene epoch to the present.

"Industrial wastewater" means wastewater generated in a commercial or industrial process.

"Land application" means in regard to biosolids, the distribution of biosolids by spreading or spraying on the surface of the land, injecting below the surface of the land, or incorporating into the soil with a uniform application rate for the purpose of fertilizing the crops and vegetation or conditioning the soil. Sites approved for land application of biosolids in accordance with this chapter are not to be considered to be treatment works. Bulk disposal of stabilized sludge in a confined area, such as in landfills, is not land application. For the purpose of this chapter, the use of biosolids in agricultural research and the distribution and marketing of exceptional quality biosolids are not land application.

"Land application area" means, in regard to biosolids, the area in the permitted field, excluding the setback distances, where the biosolids may be applied.

"Land applier" means someone who land applies biosolids pursuant to a valid permit from the department as set forth in this chapter and 9VAC25-32-690 through 9VAC25-32-760.

"Land with a high potential for public exposure" means land that the public uses frequently. This includes, but is not limited to, a public contact site and a reclamation site located in a populated area (e.g., a construction site located in a city).

"Land with a low potential for public exposure" means land that the public uses infrequently. This includes, but is not limited to, agricultural land, forest, and a reclamation site located in an unpopulated area (e.g., a strip mine located in a rural area).

"Leachate collection system" means a system or device installed immediately above a liner that is designed, constructed, maintained, and operated to collect and remove leachate from a sewage sludge unit.

"Liner" means soil or synthetic material that has a hydraulic conductivity of 1 X 10-7 centimeters per second or less.

"Local monitor" means a person or persons employed by a local government to perform the duties of monitoring the operations of land appliers pursuant to a local ordinance.

"Local ordinance" means an ordinance adopted by counties, cities, or towns in accordance with § 62.1-44.19:3 of the Code of Virginia.

"Lower explosive limit for methane gas" means the lowest percentage of methane gas in air, by volume that propagates a flame at 25°C and atmospheric pressure.

"Monthly average" means the arithmetic mean of all measurements taken during the month.

"Municipality" means a city, town, county, district, association, or other public body (including an intermunicipal Agency of two or more of the foregoing entities) created by or under state law; an Indian tribe or an authorized Indian tribal organization having jurisdiction over sewage sludge management; or a designated and approved management agency under § 208 of the CWA, as amended. The definition includes a special district created under state law, such as a water district, sewer district, sanitary district, utility district, drainage district, or similar entity, or an integrated waste management facility as defined in § 201(e) of the CWA, as amended, that has as one of its principal responsibilities the treatment, transport, use, or disposal of biosolids or sewage sludge.

"Odor sensitive receptor" means, in the context of land application of biosolids, any health care facility, such as hospitals, convalescent homes, etc. or a building or outdoor facility regularly used to host or serve large groups of people such as schools, dormitories, or athletic and other recreational facilities.

"Other container" means either an open or closed receptacle. This includes, but is not limited to, a bucket, a box, a carton, and a vehicle or trailer with a load capacity of one metric ton or less.

"Pasture" means land on which animals feed directly on feed crops such as legumes, grasses, grain stubble, or stover.

"Pathogenic organisms" means disease-causing organisms. These include, but are not limited to, certain bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and viable helminth ova.

"Person who prepares biosolids" means either the person who generates biosolids during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works or the person who derives a material from sewage sludge.

"pH" means the logarithm of the reciprocal of the hydrogen ion concentration measured at 25° Celsius or measured at another temperature and then converted to an equivalent value at 25° Celsius.

"Place sewage sludge or sewage sludge placed" means disposal of sewage sludge on a surface disposal site.

"Pollutant" means an organic substance, an inorganic substance, a combination of organic and inorganic substances, or a pathogenic organism that, after discharge and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation, or assimilation into an organism either directly from the environment or indirectly by ingestion through the food chain, could, on the basis of information available to the department, cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutations, physiological malfunctions (including malfunction in reproduction), or physical deformations in either organisms or offspring of the organisms.

"Pollutant limit" means a numerical value that describes the amount of a pollutant allowed per unit amount of biosolids (e.g., milligrams per kilogram of total solids); the amount of a pollutant that can be applied to a unit area of land (e.g., kilograms per hectare); or the volume of a material that can be applied to a unit area of land (e.g., gallons per acre).

"Public contact site" means land with a high potential for contact by the public. This includes, but is not limited to, public parks, ball fields, cemeteries, and golf courses.

"Qualified groundwater scientist" means an individual with a baccalaureate or post-graduate degree in the natural sciences or engineering who has sufficient training and experience in groundwater hydrology and related fields, as may be demonstrated by state registration, professional certification, or completion of accredited university programs, to make sound professional judgments regarding groundwater monitoring, pollutant fate and transport, and corrective action.

"Range land" means open land with indigenous vegetation.

"Reclamation site" means drastically disturbed land that is reclaimed using biosolids. This includes, but is not limited to, strip mines and construction sites.

"Run-off" means rainwater, leachate, or other liquid that drains overland on any part of a land surface and runs off of the land surface.

"Seismic impact zone" means an area that has a 10% or greater probability that the horizontal ground level acceleration of the rock in the area exceeds 0.10 gravity once in 250 years.

"Sewage sludge" means solid, semi-solid, or liquid residue generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works. Sewage sludge includes, but is not limited to, domestic septage; scum or solids removed in primary, secondary, or advanced wastewater treatment processes; and a material derived from sewage sludge. Sewage sludge does not include ash generated during the firing of sewage sludge in a sewage sludge incinerator or grit and screenings generated during preliminary treatment of domestic sewage in a treatment works.

"Sewage sludge unit" means land on which only sewage sludge is placed for final disposal. This does not include land on which sewage sludge is either stored or treated. Land does not include surface waters.

"Sewage sludge unit boundary" means the outermost perimeter of an active sewage sludge unit.

"Site" means the area of land within a defined boundary where an activity is proposed or permitted.

"Specific oxygen uptake rate (SOUR)" means the mass of oxygen consumed per unit time per unit mass of total solids (dry weight basis) in the sewage sludge.

"Store or storage of sewage sludge" means the placement of sewage sludge on land on which the sewage sludge remains for two years or less. This does not include the placement of sewage sludge on land for treatment.

"Surface disposal site" means an area of land that contains one or more active sewage sludge units.

"Total solids" means the materials in sewage sludge that remain as residue when the sewage sludge is dried at 103°C to 105°C.

"Treat or treatment of sewage sludge" means the preparation of sewage sludge for final use or disposal. This includes, but is not limited to, thickening, stabilization, and dewatering of sewage sludge. This does not include storage of sewage sludge.

"Treatment works" means either a federally owned, publicly owned, or privately owned device or system used to treat (including recycle and reclaim) either domestic sewage or a combination of domestic sewage and industrial waste of a liquid nature.

"Unstable area" means land subject to natural or human-induced forces that may damage the structural components of an active sewage sludge unit. This includes, but is not limited to, land on which the soils are subject to mass movement.

"Unstabilized solids" means organic materials in sewage sludge that have not been treated in either an aerobic or anaerobic treatment process.

"Use" means to manage or recycle a processed waste product in a manner so as to derive a measurable benefit as a result of such management.

"Vector attraction" means the characteristic of biosolids or sewage sludge that attracts rodents, flies, mosquitoes, or other organisms capable of transporting infectious agents.

"Volatile solids" means the amount of the total solids in sewage sludge lost when the sewage sludge is combusted at 550°C in the presence of excess air.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 402 of the federal Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 27, 2000; Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. February 15, 2002; Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. February 15, 2012; Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

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