DEQ; authority to issue and enforce permits, etc. related to air and water pollution. (HB1332)

Introduced By

Del. Steve Landes (R-Weyers Cave) with support from co-patrons Del. Frank Hall (D-Richmond), Del. Chris Peace (R-Mechanicsville), and Sen. Phil Puckett (D-Tazewell)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Department of Environmental Quality; State Air Pollution Control Board and State Water Control Board. Vests the authority to issue and enforce permits (including general permits), licenses, and certificates related to air and water pollution with the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality. As a result of this change, restrictions on board membership have been lifted to allow broader participation from members affiliated with industry. A process has been established to provide for public hearings when there is substantial public interest in the permit, there are significant legal or factual issues that are both germane to the draft permit and within the Departments jurisdiction, and the public hearing could provide additional information. After a public hearing, the Director may convene a meeting before the Board when there are significant legal or factual issues that are both germane to the draft permit and within the Departments jurisdiction, such issues are capable of resolution by the exercise of the Directors authority, and the Directors ability to address and resolve those issues would be enhanced by the Boards participation and advice. The Board may make recommendations to the Director, who may incorporate such conditions into the permit if they: (i) are within the statutory authority of the Department; (ii) were not addressed by the Department in preparing the draft permit; (iii) either provide substantial additional protection to the environment, public health, or natural resources or provide substantially the same level of protection in a more effective or efficient manner; (iv) are consistent with the statutory and regulatory program under which the permit is issued; (v) are technologically and economically feasible; and (vi) do not unfairly or unreasonably burden the applicant with costs or delays that would, in the Directors judgment, be disproportionate to the benefits reasonably to be expected from them. Additionally, the membership of the State Air Pollution Control Board is increased from five to seven. Amends § 10.1-1184, § 10.1-1185, § 10.1-1301, § 10.1-1302, § 10.1-1304, § 10.1-1322, § 10.1-1322.01, § 10.1-1401, § 62.1-44.15:02, § 62.1-44.26, § 62.1-44.8, § 62.1-44.9, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Passed

History

  • 01/09/2008 Committee
  • 01/09/2008 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 083242592
  • 01/09/2008 Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
  • 01/25/2008 Impact statement from DPB (HB1332)
  • 01/25/2008 Assigned ACNRsub: #2 Natural Resource
  • 02/08/2008 Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/08/2008 Committee substitute printed 083279592-H1
  • 02/09/2008 Read first time
  • 02/11/2008 Read second time
  • 02/11/2008 Committee substitute agreed to 083279592-H1
  • 02/11/2008 Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB1332H1
  • 02/12/2008 Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (98-Y 0-N)
  • 02/12/2008 VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/12/2008 Communicated to Senate
  • 02/13/2008 Constitutional reading dispensed
  • 02/13/2008 Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
  • 02/21/2008 Impact statement from DPB (HB1332H1)
  • 02/25/2008 Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources (15-Y 0-N)
  • 02/26/2008 Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)
  • 02/27/2008 Read third time
  • 02/27/2008 Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)
  • 03/03/2008 Enrolled
  • 03/03/2008 Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1332ER)
  • 03/03/2008 Impact statement from DPB (HB1332ER)
  • 03/03/2008 Signed by Speaker
  • 03/04/2008 Signed by President
  • 03/11/2008 G Approved by Governor-Chapter 557 (effective 7/1/08)
  • 03/17/2008 G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0557)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB423.

Comments

Eileen Levandoski writes:

Check out the Virginian-Pilot editorial ("Citizen role vital on pollution boards"). It's a big thumbs-down to this legislation! Good for the Pilot!

http://hamptonroads.com/2008/01/citizen-role-vital-pollution-boards

Angela, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

oppose - citizen boards

Bill Tanger writes:

This is a power grab by the governor to take away any citizen authority in permitting. The citizen boards are the ones with real world expertise in diverse fields, like business, mining, farming, fisheries. Citizens should have some authority in these matters. They are the experts, not the bureaucrats.

D Holmes writes:

Voting on the poll is a good start, but if you really want to make a difference - CONTACT YOUR Representative and the Governor. Tell them to OPPOSE both the House and Senate Version. These bills are just bad policy. By stripping permitting and regulatory authority from the Boards, the proponents are trying to eliminate meaningful citizen participation on the most critical environmental.

D Holmes writes:

Voting on the poll is a good start, but if you really want to make a difference - CONTACT YOUR Representative and the Governor. Tell them to OPPOSE both the House and Senate Version. These bills are just bad policy. By stripping permitting and regulatory authority from the Boards, the proponents are trying to eliminate meaningful citizen participation on the most critical environmental issues.

B. Y. Calvert, III writes:

This is bad news for the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Bob Burnley writes:

The changes proposed in this bill will not accelerate the clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay, will not improve air quality in the Shenandoah Natinal Park, will not reduce the amount of garbage imported into our state every day. They will reduce your opportunities to participate in the development and implementation of Virginia's environmentalpolicy. The system that's been in place in Virginia for over 60 years has been proven to work. The proposed system is an untested and unproven experiment and your environment is the loser when the experiment fails.

Bob Burnley writes:

This bill is an attempt to fix a problem that does not exist. It will turn over management of Virginia's environment to special interests whose special interest is not protecting environmental quality. Please call your Senator and Delegate and urg them to oppose this bill.

Marsha Merrell writes:

Please preserve the Water and Air Citizen Boards abilities to issue and deny permits.

Shelton Miles writes:

This bill, if passed, will remove meaningful public input and transparent decision making, will restrict the access of small business & the public to the decision maker(s), will politicize the process of environmental regulation, and will make it more difficult for citizens and small business interests and localities to appeal decisions of the executive bureaucracy.

Shelton Miles writes:

By vesting so much authority in the hands of a single politically appointed bureaucrat who serves at the pleasure of another, this bill will undermine fact-based environmental decision making. It also would negatively impact meaningful public participation, remove transparency from the decision making process, and effectively remove the one affordable means of appeal which small business, localities, and citizens have--appeal to citizen boards that have the authority to right wrongs.

Jane Morriss writes:

Checks and balances are always wise insurance against human fallibilities. Who is behind this push to change a system that is not a problem ?

Martha Ellen Wingfield writes:

Citizen participation is key in government, please do not take away the power of the boards!

Bob Hicks writes:

This is an examle of attempting to put the "fox in charge of the henhouse". This legislation would remove Virginia citizens from vital input in the process, essentially giving those interests that need public scrutiny a free rein. It ain't broke, so don't try to fix it.

John Heerwald writes:

Citizen participation is fundamental to our form of government. Removing regulatory authority from these boards and placing it in the hands of a single individual appointed by the Governor, effectively eliminates citizen input on issues vital to the protection of Virginia's environment and is fundamentally bad public policy.

Va. Conservation Network, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Citizens - Oppose - Companion to SB 423

Kelly Place writes:

These bills are an attempt to circumvent the process due to permit denials for a couple of flawed projects that could not pass review or comply with the law. The King William Reservoir and the City of Newport News are the main proponents for this bill which damages the citizen's rights to have transparent and accountable government.

They want to establish a rubber stamp permitting regime where citizens would never have the same access to the decision makers that big polluters would have.

The bill's suggested compromise of an appeals process for the Director's permit decisions is a SHAM. The bill allows the permit decision maker the authority to decide whether his own decision can be appealed.

This is the worst peice of legislation in recent years and would promote corruption, malfeasance and impropriety.

Connie writes:

Phillip Puckett has betrayed his constituents and his obligation to protect his mountain heritage by sponosring this bill. Could this have anything to do with it?:
http://www.vpap.org/cands/cand_donorlist.cfm?ToKey=COM00380&CycleID=2007&CycleType=Regular

CLARE JONES writes:

It is of the utmost importance that citizens have the right to be involved in these decisions about our communities and that directly affect us. We will not have decisions made, permits approved and be trampled by big polluting corporations, when this is our country too.

Bob Richardson writes:

WE now should SUPPORT this bill with the new language. New language has been substituted that now strengthens Water and Air Board authority. From www.vcnva.org mailing this past Thursday 2/7/08.

The conservation community has succeeded in replacing the original language of HB 1332 and SB 423 with language that would strengthen the citizen boards, preserve the Water and Air boards’ permitting authority, and strengthen requirements meant to keep permit holders off the boards. The bills are now supported by a coalition of conservation organizations, and will be heard tomorrow (2/8/08) in the House Natural Resources Committee tomorrow and Senate Natural Resources committee on Monday (2/11/08). This great victory will be due to your efforts, as we have heard the citizen outcry was overwhelming! We will continue to update you as this legislation moves forward.

Bob Richardson writes:

WE now should SUPPORT this bill with the new language. New language has been substituted that now strengthens Water and Air Board authority. From www.vcnva.org mailing this past Thursday 2/7/08.

The conservation community has succeeded in replacing the original language of HB 1332 and SB 423 with language that would strengthen the citizen boards, preserve the Water and Air boards’ permitting authority, and strengthen requirements meant to keep permit holders off the boards. The bills are now supported by a coalition of conservation organizations, and will be heard tomorrow (2/8/08) in the House Natural Resources Committee tomorrow and Senate Natural Resources committee on Monday (2/11/08). This great victory will be due to your efforts, as we have heard the citizen outcry was overwhelming! We will continue to update you as this legislation moves forward.