Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
6/28/2022

Article 3. Biosolids Use Standards and Practices

9VAC25-32-490. Compliance with biosolids use practices of this chapter.

Article 3
Biosolids Use Standards and Practices

Guidelines set forth in 9VAC25-32-515 through 9VAC25-32-580 of this regulation specify minimum standards for biosolids use for land application, marketing and distribution, including biosolids quality and site specific management practices. Compliance with this chapter will not be required for facilities not including land application, distribution, or marketing, which have received the approval of the Commissioner of the State Department of Health and the State Water Control Board and for which operation has commenced as of January 1, 2008. Such operation of facilities is deemed to be commenced upon issuance of a certificate to operate in accordance with the Sewage Collection and Treatment Regulations (9VAC25-790). However, the board may impose standards and requirements that are more stringent than those contained in this regulation according to the provisions of 9VAC25-32-100 E, 9VAC25-32-315, and 9VAC25-32-560 B 3. Conformance to local land use zoning and planning should be resolved between the local government and the facility owner or permit holder. Applications submitted for facilities must demonstrate that the facility and biosolids use management practices will adequately safeguard public health and will comply with the certificate and permit requirements, as appropriate. Submissions that are in substantial compliance with this regulation and comply with any additional requirements as noted above will be approved. Justification for biosolids use proposals may be required for those portions of the submitted proposal that differ from these criteria. The owner or owner's agent shall identify and justify noncompliance with specific standards or "shall" criteria that the department identifies, or the applicant, in his judgment, believes to be substantial in nature. The department may request changes in designs that are not in substantial compliance with this regulation and that are not adequately justified by the applicant. The fact that significant work was accomplished on a specific permit application prior to adoption of this regulation shall be a consideration when evaluating applications.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-500. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-510. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-515. Notification of land application activity.

A. Written notification.

1. At least 100 days prior to commencing the first land application of biosolids at a permitted site, the permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the chief executive officer or designee for the local government where the site is located. 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 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 information 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 biosolids 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 biosolids will be staged within 24 hours.

B. 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 herein. 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 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 9VAC25-32-515 B 2 a;

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

e. The name, address, and telephone number of the wastewater treatment facility or facilities from which the biosolids will originate, including the name or title of a representative of the treatment facility who is knowledgeable about the land application operation.

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.

C. Handling of complaints.

1. Within 24 hours of receiving notification of a complaint, the permit holder shall commence investigation of said 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 his 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.

3. Localities receiving complaints concerning land application of biosolids shall notify the department and the permit holder within 24 hours of receiving the complaint.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013.

9VAC25-32-520. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-530. Land acquisition.

A. When an application to permit land application of biosolids is submitted to the department, the permit applicant shall ensure the continued availability of the land and protection from improper concurrent use during the utilization period.

B. Land acquisition requirements.

1. Permit holders shall use a unique control number assigned by the department as an identifier for fields permitted for land application.

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 apply 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 agreement;

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 board 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 regulation, 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. The written agreement shall be submitted to the department with the permit application.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

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.

9VAC25-32-540. Transport.

A. Transport routes should follow primary highways, shall avoid residential areas when possible, and shall comply with all Virginia Department of Transportation requirements and standards. Transport vehicles shall be sufficiently sealed to prevent leakage and spillage of biosolids. For biosolids with a solids content of less than 15%, totally closed watertight transport vehicles with rigid tops shall be provided to prevent spillage unless adequate justification is provided to demonstrate that such controls are unnecessary. The board may also require certain dewatered biosolids exceeding 15% solids content to be handled as liquid biosolids. The minimum information for biosolids transport that shall be supplied in the biosolids management plan is listed in 9VAC25-32-60 F.

B. The permit holder shall be responsible for the prompt cleanup and removal of biosolids spilled during transport. The operations manual shall include a plan for the prevention of spills during transport and for the cleanup and removal of spills. The permit holder shall ensure that its personnel, subcontractors or the drivers of vehicles transporting biosolids for land application shall be properly trained in procedures for spill removal and cleanup.

C. The permit holder shall take appropriate steps to prevent drag-out and track-out of dirt and debris or biosolids from land application sites onto public roads. Where material is transported onto a paved or public road surface, the road surface shall be cleaned thoroughly as soon as practicable, but no later than the end of each day.

D. The permit holder shall promptly report offsite spills to the department, the chief executive officer or designee for the local government and the owner of the facility generating the biosolids. The report shall be made verbally as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after the discovery of the spill. After business hours notification may be provided by voicemail, facsimile or email.

E. A written report, which shall include a description of measures taken in response to the spill, shall be submitted by the permit holder to the department, the chief executive officer or designee for the local government, and the owner of the facility generating the biosolids within five working days of the spill. The report may be sent by first class mail, facsimile or email, or it may be hand delivered.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

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.

9VAC25-32-545. Staging of biosolids for land application.

A. Staging is the placement of biosolids on a permitted land application field, within the land application area, in preparation for commencing land application or during an ongoing application, at the field or an adjacent permitted field. Staging is not considered storage and shall not take the place of storage.

B. Staging requirements.

1. Staging of biosolids shall not commence unless the field meets the requirements for land application in accordance with Part IX (9VAC25-32-303 et seq.) of this regulation and field conditions are favorable for land application;

2. Biosolids may be staged for up to seven days from the first day biosolids are offloaded onto the staging area, with the following exceptions:

a. In areas of Karst topography, biosolids offloaded at a permitted land application field shall be land applied by the end of the business day;

b. In areas identified in the USDA soil survey as frequently flooded, biosolids offloaded at a permitted land application field shall be land applied by the end of the business day; or

c. Biosolids shall not be staged overnight on sites that have on-site storage;

3. If staged biosolids cannot be spread by the end of the seventh day of staging, the permittee shall take the following actions:

a. Biosolids shall be covered to prevent contact with precipitation;

b. The permittee shall notify the department in writing within 24 hours. Notification shall include the biosolids source or sources and amounts, location of the site, and reason for staging biosolids longer than seven days; and

c. Biosolids that have been staged for greater than seven days shall be spread or removed from the field as soon as field conditions become favorable for land application;

4. Staging shall be limited to the amount of biosolids specified in the nutrient management plan to be applied at the intended field;

5. Biosolids will be staged within the land application area of the field in which the biosolids will be applied or in a permitted field adjacent to the subject field, in a location selected to prevent runoff to waterways and drainage ditches;

6. Biosolids shall not be staged in the setback areas;

7. Biosolids shall not be staged overnight within 400 feet of an occupied dwelling unless reduced or waived through written consent of the occupant and landowner;

8. Biosolids shall not be staged overnight within 200 feet of a property line unless reduced or waived through written consent of the landowner;

9. Management practices, as described in the biosolids management plan, shall be utilized as appropriate to prevent pollution of state waters by staged biosolids;

10. Staged biosolids are to be inspected by the certified land applier daily. After precipitation events of 0.1 inches or greater inspections shall ensure that runoff controls are in good working order. Observed excessive slumping, erosion, or movement of biosolids is to be corrected within 24 hours. Any ponding at the site is to be corrected and any malodor shall be addressed in accordance with the odor control plan. The certified land applier shall maintain documentation of the inspections of staged biosolids; and

11. Staged biosolids shall be managed so as to prevent adverse impacts to water quality or public health.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 24, eff. September 1, 2013.

9VAC25-32-550. Storage facilities.

A. No person shall apply to the department for a permit, a variance, or a permit modification authorizing storage of biosolids without first complying with all requirements adopted pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:3 R of the Code of Virginia.

B. Two types of storage may be integrated into a complete biosolids management plan:

1. On-site storage, or

2. Routine storage. Only routine storage facilities shall be considered a facility under this regulation.

C. All on-site storage and routine storage facilities shall comply with the requirements of this section by 12 months from the effective date of this regulation.

D. On-site storage. On-site storage is the short-term storage of biosolids on a constructed surface within a site approved for land application at a location preapproved by the department. These stored biosolids shall be applied only to sites under the operational control of the same owner or operator of the site where the on-site storage is located. Requirements for on-site storage include the following:

1. The certified land applier shall notify the department within the same working day whenever it is necessary to implement on-site storage. Notification shall include the source or sources, location, and amounts;

2. A surface shall be constructed with sufficient strength to support operational equipment and with a maximum permeability of 10-7 cm/sec;

3. Storage shall be limited to the amount of biosolids specified in the nutrient management plan to be applied at sites under the operational control of the same owner or operator of the site where the on-site storage is located;

4. If malodors related to the stored biosolids are verified by the department at any occupied dwelling on surrounding property, the problem must be corrected within 48 hours. If the problem is not corrected within 48 hours, the biosolids must be removed from the storage site;

5. All biosolids stored on the on-site storage pad shall be land applied by the 45th day from the first day of on-site storage;

6. Biosolids storage shall be located to provide minimum visibility from adjacent properties;

7. Best management practices shall be utilized as appropriate to prevent contact with storm water run on or runoff;

8. Stored biosolids are to be inspected by the certified land applier at least every seven days and after precipitation events of 0.1 inches or greater to ensure that runoff controls are in good working order. Observed excessive slumping, erosion, or movement of biosolids is to be corrected within 24 hours. Any ponding or malodor at the storage site is to be corrected. The certified land applier shall maintain documentation of inspections of stored biosolids;

9. The department may prohibit or require additional restrictions for on-site storage in areas of Karst topography and environmentally sensitive sites; and

10. Storage of biosolids shall be managed so as to prevent adverse impacts to water quality or public health.

E. Routine storage. Routine storage is the long-term storage of biosolids at a facility not located at the site of the wastewater treatment plant, preapproved by the department and constructed specifically for the storage of biosolids to be applied at any permitted site. Routine storage facilities shall be provided for all land application projects if no alternative means of management is available during nonapplication periods. No person shall apply to the department for a permit, a variance, or a permit modification authorizing storage of biosolids without first complying with all requirements adopted pursuant to § 62.1-44.19:3 A 5 of the Code of Virginia. Plans and specifications for any surface storage facilities (pits, ponds, lagoons) or aboveground facilities (tanks, pads) shall be submitted as part of the minimum information requirements. The minimum information requirements include:

1. Location.

a. The facility shall be located at an elevation that is not subject to, or is otherwise protected against, inundation produced by the 100-year flood/wave action as defined by U.S. Geological Survey or equivalent information.

b. Storage facilities should be located to provide minimum visibility.

c. All storage facilities located offsite of property owned by the generator shall be provided with a minimum 750-feet setback area. The length of the setback area considered will be the distance measured from the perimeter of the storage facility. Residential uses, high-density human activities and activities involving food preparation are prohibited within the setback area. The board may reduce the setback requirements based on site-specific factors, such as facility size, topography, prevailing wind direction, and the inclusion of an effective windbreak in the overall design.

2. Design capacity.

a. The design capacity for storage of liquid biosolids shall be sufficient to store a minimum volume equivalent to 60 days or more average production of biosolids and the incidental wastewater generated by operation of the treatment works plus sufficient capacity necessary for: (i) the 25 year-24 hour design storm (incident rainfall and any runoff as may be present); (ii) net precipitation excess during the storage period; and (iii) an additional one foot freeboard from the maximum water level (attributed to the sum of the above factors) to the top berm elevation. Storage capacity of less than that specified above will be considered on a case-by-case basis only if sufficient justification warrants such a reduction.

b. If alternative methods of management cannot be adequately verified, contractors shall provide for a minimum of 30 days of in-state routine storage capacity for the average quantity of biosolids transported into Virginia from out-of-state treatment works generating at least a Class B biosolids.

3. Facility design.

a. All drawings and specifications shall be submitted in accordance with 9VAC25-790-160.

b. The biosolids shall be stored on an engineered surface with a maximum permeability of 10-7 cm/sec and of sufficient strength to support operational equipment.

c. Storage facilities designed to hold dewatered biosolids shall be constructed with a cover to prevent contact with precipitation.

d. Existing facilities permitted as routine storage facilities and designed to contain liquid biosolids may be used to store dewatered biosolids. The supernatant shall be managed as liquid biosolids in accordance with 9VAC25-32-550 E 5 d. Freeboard shall be maintained in accordance with 9VAC25-32-550 E 5 c. The department may require additional monitoring prior to land application.

e. Storage facilities shall be of uniform shape (round, square, rectangular) with no narrow or elongated portions.

f. The facilities shall also be designed to permit access of equipment necessary for loading and unloading biosolids, and shall be designed with receiving facilities to allow for even distribution of biosolids into the facility.

g. The design shall also provide for truck cleaning facilities.

4. Monitoring. All biosolids storage facilities shall be monitored in accordance with the requirements of this regulation. Plans and specifications shall be provided for such a monitoring program in accordance with the minimum information specified in 9VAC25-32-60 F and 9VAC25-32-410.

5. Operation.

a. Only biosolids suitable for land application (Class A or B biosolids) shall be placed into permitted routine storage facilities.

b. Storage of biosolids located offsite or remote from the wastewater treatment works during the summer months shall be avoided whenever possible so that the routine storage facility remains as empty as possible during the summer months.

c. Storage facilities shall be operated in a manner such that sufficient freeboard is provided to ensure that the maximum anticipated high water elevation due to any and all design storm inputs is not less than one foot below the top berm elevation.

d. Complete plans for supernatant disposal shall be provided in accordance with 9VAC25-32-60 F. Plans for supernatant disposal may include transport to the sewage treatment works, mixing with the biosolids for land application or land application separately. However, separate land application of supernatant will be regulated as liquid biosolids; additional testing, monitoring and treatment (disinfection) may be required.

e. The facility site shall be fenced to a minimum height of five feet; gates and locks shall be provided to control access. The fence shall be posted with signs identifying the facility. The fence shall not be constructed closer than 10 feet to the outside edge of the facility or appurtenances, to allow adequate accessibility.

f. If malodors related to the stored biosolids are verified by the department at any occupied dwelling on surrounding property, the malodor must be corrected within 48 hours.

6. Closure. An appropriate plan of closure or abandonment shall be developed by the permittee when the facility ceases to be utilized and approved by the board. Such plans may also be reviewed by the Department of Health.

7. Recordkeeping. A manifest system shall be developed, implemented and maintained and be available for inspection during operations as part of the overall daily recordkeeping for the project (9VAC25-32-60 F).

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

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.

9VAC25-32-560. Biosolids utilization methods.

A. Requirements applicable to land application of biosolids.

1. All biosolids application rates, application times and other site management operations shall be restricted as specified in the biosolids management plan. The biosolids management plan shall include a nutrient management plan as required by 9VAC25-32-410 and prepared by a certified nutrient management planner as stipulated in regulations promulgated pursuant to § 10.1-104.2 of the Code of Virginia.

2. Biosolids shall be treated to meet standards for land application as required by Part IX (9VAC25-32-303 et seq.) of this chapter prior to delivery at the land application site. No person shall alter the composition of biosolids at a site approved for land application of biosolids under a Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit. Any person who engages in the alteration of such biosolids shall be subject to the penalties provided in Article 6 (§ 62.1-44.31 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The addition of lime or deodorants to biosolids that have been treated to meet standards for land application as required by Part IX (9VAC25-32-303 et seq.) of this chapter shall not constitute alteration of the composition of biosolids. The board may authorize public institutions of higher education to conduct scientific research on the composition of biosolids that may be applied to land.

B. Agricultural use. Agricultural use of biosolids is the land application of biosolids to cropland or pasture land to obtain agronomic benefits as a plant nutrient source and soil conditioner.

1. Biosolids treatment. As a minimum, biosolids that are applied to the land or incorporated into the soil shall be treated by a Class II pathogen treatment process and shall be treated or managed to provide an acceptable level of vector attraction reduction.

2. Site soils.

a. Depth to bedrock or restrictive layers shall be a minimum of 18 inches.

b. Biosolids application shall not be made during times when the seasonal high water table of the soil is within 18 inches of the ground surface. If Natural Resources Conservation Service soil survey information regarding depth of seasonal water table is not available, the water table depth shall be determined by soil characteristics or water table observations. If the soil survey or such evidence indicates that the seasonal water table can be less than 18 inches below the average ground surface, soil borings shall be conducted within seven days prior to land application operations during periods of high water table for the soil series present to verify the actual water table depth. The use of soil borings and water table depth verification may be required for such sites from November to May (during seasonal high water table elevations) of each year depending on soil type. Constructed channels (agricultural drainage ditches) may be utilized to remove surface water and lower the water table as necessary for crop production and site management.

c. The pH of the biosolids and soil mixture shall be 6.0 or greater at the time of each biosolids application if the biosolids cadmium concentration is greater than or equal to 21 mg/kg. The soil pH must be properly tested and recorded prior to land application operations during which a pH change of one-half unit or more may occur within the zone of incorporation (i.e., use of biosolids containing lime or other alkaline additives at 10% or more of dry solid weight).

d. When soil test pH is less than 5.5 S.U., the land shall be supplemented with lime at the recommended agronomic rate prior to or during biosolids application if the biosolids to be land applied have not been alkaline stabilized.

e. When soil test potassium levels are less than 38 parts per million (Mehlich I analytical procedure or equivalent), the land shall be supplemented with potash at the recommended agronomic rate prior to or during biosolids application.

3. Management practices.

a. Site specific application rates shall not exceed the rates established in the nutrient management plan nor result in exceedance of the cumulative trace element loading rates specified in 9VAC25-32-356 Table 3.

b. Agricultural use of stabilized septage shall be in accordance with the same requirements as biosolids.

c. Infequent application. If biosolids are applied to a field only once in a three-year period, biosolids may be applied such that the total crop needs for nitrogen is not exceeded during a one-year crop rotation period including the production and harvesting of two crops in succession within a consecutive 12-month growing season. The infrequent application rate may be restricted (i) down to 10% of the maximum cumulative loading rate (9VAC25-32-356 Table 3) for cadmium and lead or (ii) to account for all sources of nutrients applied to the site, including existing residuals.

d. Operations.

(1) Field management. The application rate of all application equipment shall be routinely measured as described in a biosolids management plan. Liquid biosolids shall not be applied at rates exceeding 14,000 gallons per acre, per application. Sufficient drying times shall be allowed between subsequent applications. Application vehicles shall be suitable for use on agricultural land. Pasture and hay fields shall be grazed or clipped to a height of approximately six inches prior to biosolids application. Biosolids shall be applied such that uniform application is achieved. If application methods do not result in a uniform distribution of biosolids, additional operational methods shall be employed following application such as dragging with a pasture harrow, followed by clipping if required, to achieve a uniform distribution of the applied biosolids.

(2) Surface incorporation may be required on cropland by the department, or the local monitor with approval of the department, to mitigate malodors when incorporation is practicable and compatible with a soil conservation plan or contract meeting the standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(3) Slopes above 15%. Biosolids shall not be applied to site slopes exceeding 15%. This restriction may be waived by the department for the establishment and maintenance of perennial vegetation or based on site specific criteria and BMPs in place in the field.

(4) Biosolids application timing and slope restrictions shall conform to criteria contained in regulations promulgated pursuant to § 10.1-104.2 of the Code of Virginia.

(5) Snow. Biosolids may only be applied to snow-covered ground if the snow cover does not exceed one inch and the snow and biosolids are incorporated within 24 hours of application. If snow melts during biosolids application, incorporation is not necessary.

e. Setback distances.

(1) Setback distances. The land application of biosolids shall not occur within the following minimum setback distance requirements (Table 1 of this section):

TABLE 1

MINIMUM SETBACK DISTANCE REQUIREMENTS

Adjacent Feature

Minimum Setback Distance (Feet) to Land Application Area

Occupied dwelling

2001,2,3

Odor sensitive receptors (without injection or same day incorporation)

4003

Odor sensitive receptors (with injection or same day incorporation)

200

Property lines

1002,4

Property lines of publicly accessible sites5

200

Water supply wells or springs

100

Public water supply reservoirs

400

All segments of streams and tributaries designated as a Public Water Supply under the Water Quality Standards

100

Surface waters without a vegetated buffer

100

Surface waters with a 35-foot vegetated buffer

35

Agricultural drainage ditches

10

All improved roadways

10

Rock outcrops

25

Open sinkholes

100

Limestone rock outcrops and closed sinkholes6

50

1The setback distance to occupied dwellings may be reduced or waived upon written consent of the occupant and landowner of the dwelling.

2The department shall grant to any landowner or resident in the vicinity of a biosolids land application site an extended setback of up to 200 feet from their property line and up to 400 feet from their occupied dwelling upon request from their physician based on medical reasons. In order for an extended setback request to be granted, the request must be submitted to the department in writing on a form provided by the department. A request must be received by the department no later than 48 hours before land application commences on the field affected by the extended setback, and communicated to the permittee no later than 24 hours before land application commences on the field affected by the extended setback. The department may extend a setback distance within 48 hours of land application if requested by the Virginia Department of Health in connection with the landowner or resident's physician.

3Setback distances may be extended beyond 400 feet where an evaluation by the Virginia Department of Health determines that a setback in excess of 400 feet is necessary to prevent specific and immediate injury to the health of an individual.

4The setback distance to property lines may be reduced or waived upon written consent of the landowner.

5Publicly accessible sites are open to the general public and routinely accommodate pedestrians and include, but are not limited to, schools, churches, hospitals, parks, nature trails, businesses open to the public, and sidewalks. Temporary structures, public roads or similar thoroughfares are not considered publicly accessible.

6A closed sinkhole does not have an open conduit to groundwater. The setback from a closed sinkhole may be reduced or waived by the department upon evaluation by a professional soil scientist.

(2) In cases where more than one setback distance is involved, the most restrictive distance governs.

(3) Waivers. Waivers from adjacent property residents and landowners may only be used to reduce setback distances from occupied dwellings and property lines.

(4) Extended setback distances. The department may increase setback requirements based on site specific features, such as agricultural drainage features and site slopes.

f. Voluntary extensions of setback distances. If a permit holder negotiates a voluntary agreement with a landowner or resident to extend setback distances or add other more restrictive criteria than required by this regulation, the permit holder shall document the agreement in writing and provide the agreement to the department. Voluntary setback increases or other management criteria will not become an enforceable part of the land application permit unless the permit holder modifies the biosolids management plan to include the additional restriction.

g. Extension of setback distances with phosphorus index. If the application rate included in a nutrient management plan for a biosolids land application site is dependent upon an extended setback distance calculated using the phosphorus index, the phosphorus index calculations shall be included in the nutrient management plan. The extended setback distance shall be an enforceable part of the permit.

C. Forestland (Silviculture). Silvicultural use includes application of biosolids to timber and fiber production land, as well as federal and state forests. The forestland may be recently cleared and planted, young plantations (two-year-old to five-year-old trees), or established forest stands.

1. Biosolids standards. Refer to the standards of this article.

2. Site suitability.

a. Site suitability requirements shall conform to the requirements contained in subdivision B 2 of this section.

b. Notwithstanding the requirements of subdivision B 2 of this section the soil pH shall be managed at the natural soil pH for the types of trees proposed for growth.

c. Notwithstanding the requirements of subdivision B 2 of this section the soil test potassium level is not required to be at a minimum level at the time of biosolids application.

3. Management practices.

a. Application rates. Biosolids application rates shall be in accordance with the biosolids management plan. The biosolids management plan shall include information provided by the Virginia Department of Forestry.

b. Operations.

(1) Field management.

(a) High pressure spray shall not be utilized if public activity is occurring within 1,500 feet downwind of the application site. Public access to the site shall be controlled following application in accordance with Article 3 (9VAC25-32-490 et seq.) of this part.

(b) Biosolids application vehicles shall have adequate ground clearance to be suitable for silvicultural field use.

(c) Application scheduling included in the biosolids management plan shall take into account rainfall and periods of freezing conditions.

(d) Monitoring requirements shall be site specific and may include groundwater, surface water or soils, for frequent application sites.

(2) Setbacks. Setbacks shall conform to those for agricultural utilization. Refer to Table 1 of this section.

D. Reclamation of disturbed land.

1. Biosolids standards. Refer to the standards of this article.

2. Site suitability. Site suitability requirements shall conform to the requirements contained in subdivision B 2 of this section. Exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

3. Management practices.

a. Application rates. The biosolids application rates shall be established in the biosolids management plan in consultation with the Virginia Department of Energy, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The nutrient management plan shall be approved by the Department of Conservation and Recreation prior to permit issuance where land application is proposed at greater than agronomic rates.

b. Vegetation selection. The land shall be seeded with grass and legumes even when reforested. The biosolids management plan shall include information on the seeding mixture and a detailed seeding schedule.

c. Operations.

(1) The soil pH shall be maintained at 6.0 or above if the cadmium level in the biosolids applied is at or above 21 mg/kg. during the first year after the initial application. Soil samples should be analyzed by a qualified laboratory. The application rate shall be limited by the most restrictive cumulative trace element loading (9VAC25-32-356 Table 3).

(2) Surface material shall be turned or worked prior to the surface application of liquid biosolids.

(3) Unless the applied biosolids are determined to be Class A or have been documented as subjected to Class I treatment, crops intended for direct human consumption shall not be grown for a period of three years following the date of the last biosolids application. No animals whose products are intended for human consumption may graze the site or obtain feed from the site for a period of six months following the date of the last biosolids application.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

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; Errata, 30:3 VA.R. 329 October 7, 2013; Volume 38, Issue 3, eff. October 27, 2021.

9VAC25-32-570. Distribution and marketing.

A. Exceptional quality. Distribution or marketing provides for the sale or distribution of exceptional quality biosolids or mixtures of exceptional quality biosolids with other materials such that the mixture achieves the Class A pathogen control, vector attraction reduction and pollutant control standards. Distribution or marketing of Class A biosolids that have been mixed with inert materials may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Use of such mixtures for agricultural purposes shall be evaluated through proper testing or research programs designed to assess the suitability of the material for such use. Exceptional quality biosolids marketed as fertilizers or soil conditioners must meet the following conditions:

1. The biosolids product must be registered with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in accordance with the provisions of § 3.2-3607 of the Code of Virginia.

2. The biosolids product must be processed to meet Class A pathogen requirements as specified in 9VAC25-32-675 A.

3. The biosolids product must meet one of the vector attraction reduction requirements as specified in 9VAC25-32-685 B 1 through B 8.

4. The biosolids product must meet the ceiling concentrations specified in 9VAC25-32-356 - Table 2.

5. The biosolids product must meet the pollutant concentrations specified in 9VAC25-32-356 - Table 4.

6. Additional parameters may be required for screening purposes such as organic chemicals, aluminum (mg/kg), water soluble boron (mg/kg), calcium (mg/kg), chlorides (mg/l), manganese (mg/kg), sulfur (mg/kg), and those pollutants for which removal credits are granted.

B. Bulk distribution. Exceptional quality biosolids may be distributed and marketed in either bulk amounts (unpacked) or as a bagged product. The following requirements shall apply to distribution and marketing of biosolids products:

1. Any permit holder who distributes or markets exceptional quality biosolids shall comply with the reporting requirements of §§ 3.2-3609 and 3.2-3610 of the Code of Virginia. The records shall be maintained for five years and made available to the department upon request.

2. Bulk quantities of exceptional quality biosolids shall be land applied in accordance with a nutrient management plan prepared by a certified nutrient management planner as stipulated in regulations promulgated pursuant to § 10.1-104.2 of the Code of Virginia, except under the following conditions:

a. The percent solids of the biosolids is equal to or greater than 90% based on moisture content and total solids, or

b. A blended product derived from biosolids is utilized for a purpose other than land application at agricultural operations.

3. Within 30 days after land application at the site has commenced, the permit holder shall provide a copy of the plan to the farm operator of the site and the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

C. Approval of biosolids sources. Only exceptional quality biosolids produced from a sludge processing facility approved by the board can be distributed and marketed.

D. Information furnished to all users. Labeling requirements shall be addressed in a biosolids management plan. Either a label shall be affixed to the bag or other container in which exceptional quality biosolids is sold or given away for application to the land, or an information sheet shall be provided to the person who receives exceptional quality biosolids. The label or information sheet shall contain the following information:

1. The name and address of the person who prepared the exceptional quality biosolids;

2. A statement that application of the exceptional quality biosolids to the land is prohibited except in accordance with the instructions on the label or information sheet;

3. The annual whole sludge application rate for the biosolids that does not cause any of the annual pollutant loading rates in Table 5 of 9VAC25-32-356 to be exceeded; and

4. Information required in accordance with regulations promulgated under § 3.2-3601 of the Code of Virginia and with the labeling provisions of § 3.2-3611 of the Code of Virginia.

E. Recordkeeping.

1. The person who prepares exceptional quality biosolids shall develop the following information and shall retain the information for five years:

a. The concentration of each pollutant listed in Table 4 of 9VAC25-32-356 in the biosolids;

b. The following certification statement:

"I certify, under penalty of law, that the information that will be used to determine compliance with the Class A pathogen requirements in 9VAC25-32-675 A and the vector attraction reduction requirement in (insert one of the vector attraction reduction requirements in 9VAC25-32-685 B 1 through B 8) was prepared under my direction and supervision in accordance with the system designed to ensure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate this information. I am aware that there are significant penalties for false certification including the possibility of fine and imprisonment.";

c. A description of how the Class A pathogen requirements in 9VAC25-32-675 A are met; and

d. A description of how one of the vector attraction reduction requirements in 9VAC25-32-685 B 1 through B 8 is met.

2. The person who derives the material that meets the criteria of exceptional quality biosolids shall develop the following information and shall retain the information for five years:

a. The concentration of each pollutant listed in Table 4 of 9VAC25-32-356 in the material;

b. The following certification statement:

"I certify, under penalty of law, that the information that will be used to determine compliance with the Class A pathogen requirements in 9VAC25-32-675 A and the vector attraction reduction requirement in (insert one of the vector attraction reduction requirements in 9VAC25-32-685 B 1 through B 8) was prepared under my direction and supervision in accordance with the system designed to ensure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate this information. I am aware that there are significant penalties for false certification including the possibility of fine and imprisonment.";

c. A description of how the Class A pathogen requirements in 9VAC25-32-675 A are met; and

d. A description of how one of the vector attraction reduction requirements in 9VAC25-32-685 B 1 through B 8 is met.

3. If the requirements in 9VAC25-32-356 B 4 b are met when biosolids is sold or given away in a bag or other container for application to the land, the person who prepares the biosolids that is sold or given away in a bag or other container shall develop the following information and shall retain the information for five years:

a. The annual whole sludge application rate for the biosolids that does not cause the annual pollutant loading rates in Table 5 of 9VAC25-32-356 to be exceeded;

b. The concentration of each pollutant listed in Table 5 of 9VAC25-32-356 in the biosolids;

c. The following certification statement:

"I certify, under penalty of law, that the information that will be used to determine compliance with the management practices in 9VAC25-32-570 E and F, the Class A pathogen requirement in 9VAC25-32-675 A, and the vector attraction reduction requirement in (insert one of the vector attraction reduction requirements in 9VAC25-32-685 B 1 through B 8) was prepared under my direction and supervision in accordance with the system designed to ensure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate this information. I am aware that there are significant penalties for false certification including the possibility of fine and imprisonment.";

d. A description of how the Class A pathogen requirements in 9VAC25-32-675 A are met; and

e. A description of how one of the vector attraction reduction requirements in 9VAC25-32-685 B 1 through B 8 is met.

F. An annual report shall be submitted to the department that includes the following information:

1. Total amount in dry tons of exceptional quality biosolids distributed in a bag or other container per year;

2. Total amount in dry tons of exceptional quality biosolids distributed in bulk; and

3. Total amount in dry tons of exceptional quality biosolids distributed from each approved source.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

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.

9VAC25-32-580. Sludge disposal.

Permits for sludge disposal practices will be issued through other state and federal regulations and are not subject to this regulation. Such practices may include:

1. Incineration. Emission quality control requirements will be established in accordance with state and federal regulations. The generated ash is required to be properly managed in accordance with local, state and federal regulations. Applicable regulatory requirements in addition to this regulation may involve permits issued by the appropriate state and federal agencies. Setback distance requirements will be established on a site specific basis in accordance with the applicable regulations.

2. Landfill. Management of stabilized sludge suitable for topdressing of completed landfill areas will be subject to state and federal regulations. Codisposal of sludge within municipal solid waste landfills is subject to state and federal regulation. Codisposal requirements have included:

a. Stabilization treatment of sludges.

b. Dewatering of sludges by methods designed to achieve a suspended solids level of 20% or more, or a treated sludge sample passes the paint filter test standards for free water.

c. A nonhazardous declaration from the owner.

3. Lagooning (surface disposal). When these facilities are closed by burying the wastes in place, they may be considered to be surface disposal sites. A closure plan shall be provided to the appropriate agencies.

4. Dedicated sites. The primary purpose of surface disposal sites is to allow frequent long-term sludge application at a single location at amounts that exceed agronomic rates but not for the purpose of reclaiming disturbed soils. Sludge disposal operations on dedicated sites will be subject to local, state and federal regulations including site management practices. Permits will be issued through state and federal regulations to protect public health and the quality of state waters. Any dedicated site may be subject to local zoning requirements and may be recorded as a dedicated site in the appropriate circuit court deed book by filing a Sludge Disposal Site Dedication Form.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

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.

9VAC25-32-590. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-600. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-610. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-620. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-630. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-640. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-650. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

9VAC25-32-660. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

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

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