Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 14. Virginia Waste Management Act
10/27/2020

§ 10.1-1408.5. Special provisions regarding wetlands.

A. The Director shall not issue any solid waste permit for a new municipal solid waste landfill or the expansion of a municipal solid waste landfill that would be sited in a wetland, provided that this subsection shall not apply to subsection B or the (i) expansion of an existing municipal solid waste landfill located in the City of Danville or the City of Suffolk when the owner or operator of the landfill is an authority created pursuant to § 15.2-5102 that has applied for a permit under § 404 of the federal Clean Water Act prior to January 1, 1989, and the owner or operator has received a permit under § 404 of the federal Clean Water Act and the Virginia Water Resources and Wetlands Protection Program, Article 2.2 (§ 62.1-44.15:20 et seq.) of Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1, or (ii) construction of a new municipal solid waste landfill in Mecklenburg County and provided that the municipal solid waste landfills covered under clauses (i) and (ii) have complied with all other applicable federal and state environmental laws and regulations. It is expressly understood that while the provisions of this section provide an exemption to the general siting prohibition contained herein; it is not the intent in so doing to express an opinion on whether or not the project should receive the necessary environmental and regulatory permits to proceed. For the purposes of this section, the term "expansion of a municipal solid waste landfill" shall include the siting and construction of new cells or the expansion of existing cells at the same location.

B. The Director may issue a solid waste permit for the expansion of a municipal solid waste landfill located in a wetland only if the following conditions are met: (i) the proposed landfill site is at least 100 feet from any surface water body and at least one mile from any tidal wetland; (ii) the Director determines, based upon the existing condition of the wetland system, including, but not limited to, sedimentation, toxicity, acidification, nitrification, vegetation, and proximity to existing permitted waste disposal areas, roads or other structures, that the construction or restoration of a wetland system in another location in accordance with a Virginia Water Protection Permit approved by the State Water Control Board would provide higher quality wetlands; and (iii) the permit requires a minimum two-to-one wetlands mitigation ratio. This subsection shall not apply to the exemptions provided in clauses (i) and (ii) of subsection A.

C. Ground water monitoring shall be conducted at least quarterly by the owner or operator of any existing solid waste management landfill, accepting municipal solid waste, that was constructed on a wetland, has a potential hydrologic connection to such a wetland in the event of an escape of liquids from the facility, or is within a mile of such a wetland, unless the Director determines that less frequent monitoring is necessary. This provision shall not limit the authority of the Board or the Director to require that monitoring be conducted more frequently than quarterly. If the landfill is one that accepts only ash, ground water monitoring shall be conducted semiannually, unless more frequent monitoring is required by the Board or the Director. All results shall be reported to the Department.

D. This section shall not apply to landfills which impact less than two acres of nontidal wetlands.

E. For purposes of this section, "wetland" means any tidal wetland or nontidal wetland contiguous to any tidal wetland or surface water body.

F. There shall be no additional exemptions granted from this section unless (i) the proponent has submitted to the Department an assessment of the potential impact to wetlands, the need for the exemption, and the alternatives considered and (ii) the Department has made the information available for public review for at least 60 days prior to the first day of the next Regular Session of the General Assembly.

1999, c. 876; 2001, c. 767; 2005, c. 920; 2007, cc. 659, 813.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.