SB1277: Onsite treatment works; Department of Health oversight of requirements for review.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 32.1-163.6 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
§ 32.1-163.6. Professional engineering of onsite treatment works.
A. Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, for
purposes of permit approval, the Board, Commissioner, and Department of Health
shall accept treatment works designs from individuals licensed as professional
engineers pursuant to Chapter 4 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Title 54.1. The designs
shall (i) be compliant with standard engineering practice
and performance requirements established by the Board and those horizontal
setback requirements necessary to protect the public health and the environment,
(ii) reflect that degree of skill and care ordinarily exercised by licensed
members of the engineering profession practicing at the time of performance, (iii) be appropriate
for the particular soil characteristics of the site, and (iv) and (iii)
ensure that the treatment works will meet or exceed the discharge, effluent,
and surface and ground water quality standards for systems otherwise permitted
pursuant to the regulations implementing this chapter.
B. The Department may conduct such review of the work and
field analysis as deemed necessary to
the public health and integrity of the Commonwealth's environment ascertain the
accuracy of the soil and physical characteristics of the site as reported.
C. Within 21 calendar days from the date of application for treatment works sized at 1,000 gallons per day or smaller, and within 60 calendar days from the date of application for treatment works sized at more than 1,000 gallons per day, the Department shall (i) issue the requested approval, or (ii) set forth in writing the specific reasons for denial.
D. The Department shall establish an engineering design review
panel to review the Department's decision to disapprove an onsite sewage system
design. The Commissioner shall appoint
individuals licensed as professional engineers pursuant to Chapter 4 (§ 54.1-400
et seq.) of Title 54.1 with expertise in onsite sewage systems to serve on the
engineering design review panel with (i) one representing the
Department of Health, (ii) one representing the Department of Environmental
Quality, (iii) one representing the Virginia Society of
Professional Engineers, and (iv) (ii)
one representing the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia. If a state agency is unable to provide a
representative in accordance with this subsection, the Commissioner shall appoint
another individual licensed as a professional engineer pursuant to Chapter 4 (§
54.1-400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 with expertise in onsite sewage systems. The
members of the design review panel shall appoint a member to serve as Chairman.
The design review panel shall be designated a subordinate, as defined in §
2.2-4001, and shall meet as necessary.
E. When the Department denies an application pursuant to
subsection D, the owner may appeal that decision in accordance with §
32.1-164.1. Alternatively, the owner, or the professional engineer responsible
for an onsite sewage system design with the owner's written consent, may
request an informal fact-finding conference before the engineering design
review panel established in subsection D. The request must (i) be in writing,
(ii) be received by the Commissioner within 30 days of the professional
engineer's receipt of the Department's denial, and (iii) cite the reason or
reasons for the request. The informal fact-finding conference shall be held
within 45 calendar days of the request. The proceedings of the engineering
design review panel shall be governed by the provisions of the Administrative
Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). Within 30 days following its receipt of the
engineering design review panel's written
shall consider the recommendations of the engineering design review panel and approve
the application or re-affirm its
the Department's denial based on the requirements of subsection A.
F. When the
denies an application following review by the engineering design review panel,
the owner may appeal that decision in accordance with § 32.1-164.1.
G. This section shall not be construed to require an owner to seek review by the engineering design review panel before appealing a permit denial pursuant to § 32.1-164.1.
H. This section shall not be construed to prohibit any locality from adopting or enforcing any ordinance duly enacted pursuant to Chapter 21 (§ 15.2-2100 et seq.) of Title 15.2.
I. All treatment works designs permitted pursuant to this section shall comply with operation, maintenance, and monitoring requirements as set forth in regulations implementing this chapter.