Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
10/29/2020

Article 6. Siting of Hazardous Waste Facilities.

§ 10.1-1433. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Applicant" means the person applying for a certification of site suitability or submitting a notice of intent to apply therefor.

"Application" means an application to the Board for a certification of site suitability.

"Certification of site suitability" or "certification" means the certification issued by the Board pursuant to this chapter.

"Criteria" means the criteria adopted by the Board, pursuant to § 10.1-1436.

"Fund" means the Technical Assistance Fund created pursuant to § 10.1-1448.

"Hazardous waste facility" or "facility" means any facility, including land and structures, appurtenances, improvements and equipment for the treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous wastes, which accepts hazardous waste for storage, treatment or disposal. For the purposes of this article, it does not include: (i) facilities which are owned and operated by and exclusively for the on-site treatment, storage or disposal of wastes generated by the owner or operator; (ii) facilities for the treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous wastes used principally as fuels in an on-site production process; (iii) facilities used exclusively for the pretreatment of wastes discharged directly to a publicly owned sewage treatment works.

"Hazardous waste management facility permit" means the permit for a hazardous waste management facility issued by the Director or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Host community" means any county, city or town within whose jurisdictional boundaries construction of a hazardous waste facility is proposed.

"On-site" means facilities that are located on the same or geographically contiguous property which may be divided by public or private right-of-way, and the entrance and exit between the contiguous properties is at a cross-roads intersection so that the access is by crossing, as opposed to going along, the right-of-way. On-site also means noncontiguous properties owned by the same person but connected by a right-of-way which the owner controls and to which the public does not have access.

"Operator" means a person who is responsible for the overall operation of a facility.

"Owner" means a person who owns a facility or a part of a facility.

"Storage" means the containment or holding of hazardous wastes pending treatment, recycling, reuse, recovery or disposal.

"Treatment" means any method, technique or process, including incineration or neutralization, designed to change the physical, chemical or biological character or composition of any hazardous waste to neutralize it or to render it less hazardous or nonhazardous, safer for transport, amenable to recovery or storage or reduced in volume.

1986, c. 492, § 10-288; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1434. Additional powers and duties of the Board.

A. In addition to its other powers and duties, with regard to hazardous waste the Board shall have the power and duty to:

1. Require that hazardous waste is treated, stored and disposed of properly;

2. Provide information to the public regarding the proper methods of hazardous waste disposal;

3. Establish procedures, where feasible, to eliminate or reduce the disproportionate burden which may be placed on a community in which is located a hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility, by any means appropriate, including mitigation or compensation;

4. Require that the Department compiles, maintains, and makes available to the public, information on the use and availability of conflict resolution techniques so that controversies and conflicts over the local impacts of hazardous waste facility siting decisions may be resolved by negotiation, mediation or similar techniques;

5. Encourage, whenever possible, alternatives to land burial of hazardous wastes, which will reduce, separate, neutralize, recycle, exchange or destroy hazardous wastes; and

6. Regulate hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities and require that the costs of long-term post-closure care and maintenance of these facilities is born by their owners and operators.

B. In addition to its other powers and duties, with regard to certification of hazardous waste facility sites the Board shall have the power and duty to:

1. Subject to the approval of the Governor, request the use of the resources and services of any state department or agency for technical assistance in the performance of the Board's duties;

2. Hold public meetings or hearings on any matter related to the siting of hazardous waste facilities;

3. Coordinate the preparation of and to adopt criteria for the siting of hazardous waste facilities;

4. Grant or deny certification of site approval for construction of hazardous waste facilities;

5. Promulgate regulations and procedures for approval of hazardous waste facility sites;

6. Adopt a schedule of fees to charge applicants and to collect fees for the cost of processing applications and site certifications; and

7. Perform any acts authorized by this chapter under, through or by means of its own officers, agents and employees, or by contract with any person.

1986, c. 492, §§ 10-287, 10-290; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1435. Certification of site approval required; "construction" defined; remedies.

A. No person shall construct or commence construction of a hazardous waste facility without first obtaining a certification of site approval by the Board in the manner prescribed herein. For the purpose of this section, "construct" and "construction" mean (i) with respect to new facilities, the significant alteration of a site to install permanent equipment or structures or the installation of permanent equipment or structures; (ii) with respect to existing facilities, the alteration or expansion of existing structures or facilities to initially accommodate hazardous waste, any expansion of more than fifty percent of the area or capacity of an existing hazardous waste facility, or any change in design or process of a hazardous waste facility that will, in the opinion of the Board, result in a substantially different type of facility. Construction does not include preliminary engineering or site surveys, environmental studies, site acquisition, acquisition of an option to purchase or activities normally incident thereto.

B. Upon receiving a written request from the owner or operator of the facility, the Board may allow, without going through the procedures of this article, any changes in the facilities which are designed to:

1. Prevent a threat to human health or the environment because of an emergency situation;

2. Comply with federal or state laws and regulations; or

3. Demonstrably result in safer or environmentally more acceptable processes.

C. Any person violating this section may be enjoined by the circuit court of the jurisdiction wherein the facility is located or the proposed facility is to be located. Such an action may be instituted by the Board, the Attorney General, or the political subdivision in which the violation occurs. In any such action, it shall not be necessary for the plaintiff to plead or prove irreparable harm or lack of an adequate remedy at law. No person shall be required to post any injunction bond or other security under this section. No action may be brought under this section after a certification of site approval has been issued by the Board, notwithstanding the pendency of any appeals or other challenges to the Board's action. In any action under this section, the court may award reasonable costs of litigation, including attorney and expert witness fees, to any party if the party substantially prevails on the merits of the case and if in the determination of the court the party against whom the costs are awarded has acted unreasonably.

1986, c. 492, § 10-291; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1436. Site approval criteria.

A. The Board shall promulgate criteria for approval of hazardous waste facility sites. The criteria shall be designed to prevent or minimize the location, construction, or operation of a hazardous waste facility from resulting in (i) any significant adverse impact on the environment and natural resources, and (ii) any significant adverse risks to public health, safety or welfare. The criteria shall also be designed to eliminate or reduce to the extent practicable any significant adverse impacts on the quality of life in the host community and the ability of its inhabitants to maintain quiet enjoyment of their property. The criteria shall ensure that previously approved local comprehensive plans are considered in the certification of hazardous waste facility sites.

B. To avoid, to the maximum extent feasible, duplication with existing agencies and their areas of responsibility, the criteria shall reference, and the Board shall list in the draft and final certifications required hereunder, the agency approvals required and areas of responsibility concerning a site and its operation. The Board shall not review or make findings concerning the adequacy of those agency approvals and areas of responsibility.

C. The Board shall make reasonable efforts to reduce or eliminate duplication between the criteria and other applicable regulations and requirements.

D. The criteria may be amended or modified by the Board at any time.

1986, c. 492, § 10-292; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1437. Notice of intent to file application for certification of site approval.

A. Any person may submit to the Board a notice of intent to file an application for a certification of site approval. The notice shall be in such form as the Board may prescribe by regulation. Knowingly falsifying information, or knowingly withholding any material information, shall void the notice and shall constitute a felony punishable by confinement in the penitentiary for one year or, in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than twelve months, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

Any state agency filing a notice of intent shall include therein a statement explaining why the Commonwealth desires to build a hazardous waste facility and how the public interest would be served thereby.

B. Within forty-five days of receipt of such a notice, the Board shall determine whether it is complete. The Board shall reject any incomplete notice, advise the applicant of the information required to complete it, and allow reasonable time to correct any deficiencies.

C. Upon receipt of the notice, the Board, at the applicant's expense, shall:

1. Deliver or cause to be delivered a copy of the notice of intent together with a copy of this article to the governing body of each host community and to each person owning property immediately adjoining the site of the proposed facility; and

2. Have an informative description of the notice published in a newspaper of general circulation in each host community once each week for four successive weeks. The description shall include the name and address of the applicant, a description of the proposed facility and its location, the places and times where the notice of intent may be examined, the address and telephone number of the Board or other state agency from which information may be obtained, and the date, time and location of the initial public briefing meeting on the notice.

1986, c. 492, § 10-293; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1438. Powers of governing body of host community; technical assistance.

A. The governing body of a host community shall have the power to:

1. Hire and pay consultants and other experts on behalf of the host community in matters pertaining to the siting of the facility;

2. Receive and disburse moneys from the fund, and any other moneys as may be available; and

3. Enter into a contract, which may be assignable at the parties' option, binding upon the governing body of the host community and enforceable against it and future governing bodies of the host community in any court of competent jurisdiction, with an applicant by signing a siting agreement pursuant to § 10.1-1442.

B. The Board shall make available to the governing body from the fund a reasonable sum of money to be determined by the Board. This shall be used by the governing body to hire consultants to provide it with technical assistance and information necessary to aid the governing body in its review of the siting proposal, negotiations with the applicant and the development of a siting agreement.

Unused moneys from the fund shall be returned to the Board. The governing body shall provide the Board with a certified accounting statement of any moneys expended from the fund.

C. The governing body of the host community may appoint a local advisory committee to facilitate communication and the exchange of information among the local government, the community, the applicant and the Board.

D. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this article, the governing body of a host community may notify the Board, within fifteen days after the briefing meeting pursuant to § 10.1-1439, that it has elected to waive further participation under the provisions of this article. After receiving notification from the host community, the Board may issue certification of site approval without further participation by the host community under the provisions of this section and § 10.1-1442. Nothing shall prevent a host community from submitting comments on the application or participating in any public hearing or meeting held pursuant to this chapter, nor shall the host community be precluded from enforcing its regulations and ordinances as provided by subsection G of § 10.1-1446.

1986, c. 492, § 10-294; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1439. Briefing meetings.

A. Not more than seventy-five nor less than sixty days after the delivery of the notice of intent to the host community, the Board shall conduct a briefing meeting in or in reasonable proximity to the host community. A quorum of the Board shall be present. Notice of the date, time, place and purpose of the briefing session shall be prepared by the Board and shall accompany the notice of intent delivered pursuant to subdivision C 1 of § 10.1-1437 and shall be included in the notice published pursuant to subdivision C 2 of § 10.1-1437.

At least one representative of the applicant shall be present at the briefing meeting.

The Board shall adopt procedures for the conduct of briefing meetings. The briefing meeting shall provide information on the proposed site and facility and comments, suggestions and questions thereon shall be received.

B. The Board may conduct additional briefing meetings at any time in or near a host community, provided that at least fifteen days in advance of a meeting, notice of the date, time, place and purpose of the meeting is delivered in writing to the applicant, each member of the governing body and to all owners of property adjoining the proposed site.

C. A stenographic or electronic record shall be made of all briefing meetings. The record shall be available for inspection during normal business hours.

1986, c. 492, § 10-295; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1440. Impact analysis.

A. The applicant shall submit to the Board a draft impact analysis for the proposed facility within ninety days after the initial briefing meeting. At the applicant's expense, copies of the draft impact analysis shall be furnished as follows: five to the host community, and one to each person owning property adjoining the site of the proposed facility. At least one copy shall be made available at a convenient location in the host community for public inspection and copying during normal business hours.

B. The draft impact analysis shall include a detailed assessment of the project's suitability with respect to the criteria and other information the Board may require by regulation.

C. The Board, at the applicant's expense, shall cause notice of the filing of the draft impact analysis to be made in the manner provided in § 10.1-1447 within ten days of receipt. The notice shall include (i) a general description of the analysis, (ii) a list of recipients, (iii) a description of the places and times that the analysis will be available for inspection, (iv) a description of the Board's procedures for receiving comments on the analysis, and (v) the addresses and telephone numbers for obtaining information from the Board.

D. The Board shall allow forty-five days after publication of notice for comment on the draft impact analysis. No sooner than thirty and no more than forty days after publication of notice of the draft impact analysis, the Board shall conduct a public meeting on the draft impact analysis in or near the host community. The meeting shall be for the purpose of explaining, answering questions and receiving comments on the draft impact analysis. A representative of the governing body and a representative of the applicant shall be present at the meeting.

E. Within ten days after the close of the comment period, the Board shall forward to the applicant a copy of all comments received on the draft impact analysis, together with its own comments.

F. The applicant shall prepare and submit a final impact analysis to the Board after receiving the comments. The final impact analysis shall reflect the comments as they pertain to each of the items listed in subsection B of this section. Upon request, a copy of the final impact analysis shall be provided by the applicant to each of the persons who received the draft impact analysis.

G. This section shall not apply when the host community has elected to waive participation under subsection D of § 10.1-1438.

1986, c. 492, § 10-296; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1441. Application for certification of site approval.

A. At any time within six months after submission of the final impact analysis, the applicant may submit to the Board an application for certification of site approval. The application shall contain:

1. Conceptual engineering designs for the proposed facility;

2. A detailed description of the facility's suitability to meet the criteria promulgated by the Board, including any design and operation measures that will be necessary or otherwise undertaken to meet the criteria; and

3. A siting agreement, if one has been executed pursuant to subsection C of § 10.1-1442, or, if none has been executed, a statement to that effect.

B. The application shall be accompanied by whatever fee the Board, by regulation, prescribes pursuant to § 10.1-1434.

C. The Board shall review the application for completeness and notify the applicant within fifteen days of receipt that the application is incomplete or complete.

If the application is incomplete, the Board shall advise the applicant of the information necessary to make the application complete. The Board shall take no further action until the application is complete.

If the application is complete, the Board shall direct the applicant to furnish copies of the application to the following: five to the host community, one to the Director, and one to each person owning property adjoining the proposed site. At least one copy of the application shall be made available by the applicant for inspection and copying at a convenient place in a host community during normal business hours.

D. The Board shall cause notice of the application to be made in the manner provided in § 10.1-1447 and shall notify each governing body that upon publication of the notice the governing body shall conclude all negotiations with the applicant within thirty days of publication of the notice. The applicant and the governing body may, by agreement, extend the time for negotiation to a fixed date and shall forthwith notify the Board of this date. The Board may also extend the time to a fixed date for good cause shown.

If the host community has waived participation under the provisions of subsection D of § 10.1-1438, the Board shall, at the time that notice of the application is made, request that the governing body submit, within thirty days of receiving notice, a report meeting the requirements of subdivision 2 of subsection E of this section.

E. At the end of the period specified in subsection D of this section, a governing body shall submit to the Board and to the applicant a report containing:

1. A complete siting agreement, if any, or in case of failure to reach full agreement, a description of points of agreement and unresolved points; and

2. Any conditions or restrictions on the construction, operation or design of the facility that are required by local ordinance.

F. If the report is not submitted within the time required, the Board may proceed as specified in subsection A of § 10.1-1443.

G. The applicant may submit comments on the report of the governing body at any time prior to the issuance of the draft certification of site approval.

H. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if the host community has notified the Board, pursuant to subsection D of § 10.1-1438, that it has elected to waive further participation hereunder, the Board shall so notify the applicant within fifteen days of receipt of notice from the host community, and shall advise the applicant of the time for submitting its application for certification of site approval. The applicant shall submit its application within the time prescribed by the Board, which time shall not be less than ninety days unless the applicant agrees to a shorter time.

1986, c. 492, § 10-297; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1442. Negotiations; siting agreement.

A. The governing body or its designated representatives and the applicant, after submission of notice of intent to file an application for certification of site approval, may meet to discuss any matters pertaining to the site and the facility, including negotiations of a siting agreement. The time and place of any meeting shall be set by agreement, but at least forty-eight hours' notice shall be given to members of the governing body and the applicant.

B. The siting agreement may include any terms and conditions, including mitigation of adverse impacts and financial compensation to the host community, concerning the facility.

C. The siting agreement shall be executed by the signatures of (i) the chief executive officer of the host community, who has been so directed by a majority vote of the local governing body, and (ii) the applicant or authorized agent.

D. The Board shall assist in facilitating negotiations between the local governing body and the applicant.

E. No injunction, stay, prohibition, mandamus or other order or writ shall lie against the conduct of negotiations or discussions concerning a siting agreement or against the agreement itself, except as they may be conducted in violation of the provisions of this chapter or any other state or federal law.

1986, c. 492, § 10-298; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1443. Draft certification of site approval.

A. Within thirty days after receipt of the governing body's report or as otherwise provided in subsection F of § 10.1-1441, the Board shall issue or deny a draft certification of site approval.

When application is made pursuant to subsection H of § 10.1-1441, the Board shall issue or deny draft certification of site approval within ninety days after receipt of the completed application.

B. The Board may deny the application for certification of site approval if it finds that the applicant has failed or refused to negotiate in good faith with the governing body for the purpose of attempting to develop a siting agreement.

C. The draft certification of site approval shall specify the terms, conditions and requirements that the Board deems necessary to protect health, safety, welfare, the environment and natural resources.

D. Copies of the draft certification of site approval, together with notice of the date, time and place of public hearing required under § 10.1-1444, shall be delivered by the Board to the governing body of each host community, and to persons owning property adjoining the site for the proposed facility. At least one copy of the draft certification shall be available at a convenient location in the host community for inspection and copying during normal business hours.

1986, c. 492, § 10-299; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1444. Public hearing on draft certification of site approval.

A. The Board shall conduct a public hearing on the draft certification not less than fifteen nor more than thirty days after the first publication of notice. A quorum of the Board shall be present. The hearing shall be conducted in the host community.

B. Notice of the hearing shall be made at the applicant's expense and in the manner provided in § 10.1-1447. It shall include:

1. A brief description of the terms and conditions of the draft certification;

2. Information describing the date, time, place and purpose of the hearing;

3. The name, address and telephone number of an official designated by the Board from whom interested persons may obtain access to documents and information concerning the proposed facility and the draft application;

4. A brief description of the rules and procedures to be followed at the hearing and the time for receiving comments; and

5. The name, address and telephone number of an official designated by the Board to receive written comments on the draft certification.

C. The Board shall designate a person to act as hearing officer for the receipt of comments and testimony at the public hearing. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in an expeditious and orderly fashion, according to such rules and procedures as the Board shall prescribe.

D. A transcript of the hearing shall be made and shall be incorporated into the hearing record.

E. Within fifteen days after the close of the hearing, the hearing officer shall deliver a copy of the hearing record to each member of the Board. The hearing officer may prepare a summary to accompany the record, and this summary shall become part of the record.

1986, c. 492, § 10-300; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1445. Final decision on certification of site approval.

A. Within forty-five days after the close of the public hearing, the Board shall meet within or near the host community and shall vote to issue or deny the certification of site approval. The Board may include in the certification any terms and conditions which it deems necessary and appropriate to protect and prevent injury or adverse risk to health, safety, welfare, the environment and natural resources. At least seven days' notice of the date, time, place and purpose of the meeting shall be made in the manner provided in § 10.1-1447. No testimony or evidence will be received at the meeting.

B. The Board shall grant the certification of site approval if it finds:

1. That the terms and conditions thereof will protect and prevent injury or unacceptable adverse risk to health, safety, welfare, the environment and natural resources;

2. That the facility will comply and be consistent with the criteria promulgated by the Board; and

3. That the applicant has made reasonable and appropriate efforts to reach a siting agreement with the host community including, though not limited to, efforts to mitigate or compensate the host community and its residents for any adverse economic effects of the facility. This requirement shall not apply when the host community has waived participation pursuant to subsection D of § 10.1-1438.

C. The Board's decision to grant or deny certification shall be based on the hearing record and shall be accompanied by the written findings of fact and conclusions upon which the decision was based. The Board shall provide the applicant and the governing body of the host community with copies of the decision, together with the findings and conclusions, by certified mail.

D. The grant or denial of certification shall constitute final action by the Board.

1986, c. 492, § 10-301; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1446. Effect of certification.

A. Grant of certification of site approval shall supersede any local ordinance or regulation that is inconsistent with the terms of the certification. Nothing in this chapter shall affect the authority of the host community to enforce its regulations and ordinances to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the terms and conditions of the certification of site approval. Grant of certification shall not preclude or excuse the applicant from the requirement to obtain approval or permits under this chapter or other state or federal laws. The certification shall continue in effect until it is amended, revoked or suspended.

B. The certification may be amended for cause under procedures and regulations prescribed by the Board.

C. The certification shall be terminated or suspended (i) at the request of the owner of the facility; (ii) upon a finding by the Board that conditions of the certification have been violated in a manner that poses a substantial risk to health, safety or the environment; (iii) upon termination of the hazardous waste facility permit by the Director or the EPA Administrator; or (iv) upon a finding by the Board that the applicant has knowingly falsified or failed to provide material information required in the notice of intent and application.

D. The facility owner shall promptly notify the Board of any changes in the ownership of the facility or of any significant changes in capacity or design of the facility.

E. Nothing in the certification shall constitute a defense to liability in any civil action involving private rights.

F. The Commonwealth may not acquire any site for a facility by eminent domain prior to the time certification of site approval is obtained. However, any agency or representative of the Commonwealth may enter upon a proposed site pursuant to the provisions of § 25.1-203.

G. The governing body of the host community shall have the authority to enforce local regulations and ordinances to the extent provided by subsection A of this section and the terms of the siting agreement. The local governing body may be authorized by the Board to enforce specified provisions of the certification.

1986, c. 492, § 10-302; 1988, c. 891; 2003, c. 940.

§ 10.1-1447. Public participation; notice.

A. Public participation in the development, revision and implementation of regulations and programs under this chapter shall be provided for, encouraged and assisted by the Board.

B. Whenever notice is required to be made under the terms of this chapter, unless the context expressly and exclusively provides otherwise, it shall be disseminated as follows:

1. By publication once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the area to be affected by the subject of the notice;

2. By broadcast over one or more radio stations within the area to be affected by the subject of the notice;

3. By mailing to each person who has asked to receive notice; and

4. By such additional means as the Board deems appropriate.

C. Every notice shall provide a description of the subject for which notice is made and shall include the name and telephone number of a person from whom additional information may be obtained.

1986, c. 492, § 10-303; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1448. Technical Assistance Fund.

A special fund, to be known as the Technical Assistance Fund, is created in the Office of the State Treasurer. The Fund shall consist of appropriations made to the Fund by the General Assembly. The Board shall make moneys from the Fund available to any host community for the purposes set out in subsection C of § 10.1-1438.

1986, c. 492, § 10-304; 1988, c. 891.

§ 10.1-1449. Siting Dedicated Revenue Fund.

There is hereby established in the state treasury a special dedicated revenue fund to be designated as the "Siting Dedicated Revenue Fund," which shall consist of fees and other payments made by applicants to process applications for site certification as provided in § 10.1-1434, and other moneys appropriated thereto, gifts, grants, and the interest accruing thereon.

1986, c. 602, § 10-304.1; 1988, c. 891.

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