Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 62.1. Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors
Chapter 21.1. Wastewater Infrastructure Policy
12/1/2021

Chapter 21.1. Wastewater Infrastructure Policy.

§ 62.1-223.1. State policy as to community and onsite wastewater treatment.

It is the policy of the Commonwealth to prioritize universal access to wastewater treatment that protects public health and the environment and supports local economic growth and stability. To further this policy, the Commonwealth endorses (i) public education about the importance of adequate wastewater treatment; (ii) collaboration among local, state, and federal government entities, including consistent collaboration and coordination of grant requirements and timelines; (iii) the prioritized, focused, and innovative use of state and federal funding to address needs determined pursuant to § 62.1-223.3; (iv) a preference for community-based and regional projects as opposed to cumulative and repetitive site-by-site individual solutions; (v) the use of integrated solutions across sewer and onsite wastewater treatment systems; and (vi) the incorporation of the effects of climate change into wastewater treatment regulatory and funding programs.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 382.

§ 62.1-223.2. (Expires July 1, 2030) Wastewater Infrastructure Policy Working Group.

A. The Wastewater Infrastructure Policy Working Group (the Working Group) is established as an advisory board within the meaning of § 2.2-2100 in the executive branch of state government. The purpose of the Working Group is to continually assess wastewater infrastructure needs in the Commonwealth and develop policy recommendations.

B. The Working Group shall have a total membership of four ex officio members. The Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, the State Health Commissioner, the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Executive Director of the Virginia Resources Authority, or their designees, shall serve ex officio with voting privileges. Members of the Working Group shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.

C. The Working Group shall invite participation in its meetings by the Virginia Association of Counties, the Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, the Virginia Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, the Virginia Association of Municipal Wastewater Agencies, the Virginia Rural Water Association, and SERCAP, Inc.

D. The Working Group shall have the following powers and duties:

1. Assess wastewater infrastructure needs in the Commonwealth and develop policy recommendations.

2. Promote public education about the importance of adequate wastewater treatment.

3. Encourage collaboration among local, state, and federal government entities, including consistent collaboration and coordination of grant requirements and timelines.

4. Endorse community-based and regional projects as opposed to cumulative and repetitive site-by-site individual solutions and integrated solutions across sewer and onsite wastewater treatment systems.

5. Support prioritized, focused, and innovative use of state and federal funding to address needs determined pursuant to § 62.1-223.3.

6. Prioritize universal access to wastewater treatment that protects public health and the environment and supports local economic growth and stability.

7. Support the incorporation of the effects of climate change into wastewater treatment regulatory and funding programs.

8. Submit an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly for publication as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports. The Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an annual executive summary of the interim activity and work of the Working Group no later than the first day of each regular session of the General Assembly. The executive summary shall be submitted as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

E. The Secretaries of Natural and Historic Resources, Commerce and Trade, and Health and Human Resources shall provide staff support to the Working Group. The Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William and Mary Law School shall advise the Working Group. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Working Group upon request.

F. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 30-19.1:9, the provisions of this section shall expire on July 1, 2030.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 382.

§ 62.1-223.3. Wastewater infrastructure needs assessment.

The Department of Environmental Quality (the Department), in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health and in consultation with stakeholders, including representatives of the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Resources Authority, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, the Virginia Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, the Center for Coastal Resources Management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Virginia Association of Municipal Wastewater Agencies, the Virginia Rural Water Association, SERCAP, Inc., local governments, and conservation organizations, shall determine every four years an estimate of the amount of wastewater infrastructure funding that is (i) necessary to implement the policy of the Commonwealth articulated in § 62.1-223.1 and (ii) not eligible to be covered by grant funding pursuant to the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Act of 1997 (§ 10.1-2117 et seq.). The Department shall report such estimate to the Governor and the General Assembly no later than July 1, 2023, and no later than July 1 every four years thereafter.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 382.