SB1413: Fees for testing and monitoring of land application of industrial wastes.


VIRGINIA ACTS OF ASSEMBLY -- CHAPTER
An Act to amend and reenact §§ 62.1-44.3, 62.1-44.16, and 62.1-44.19:3 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 62.1-44.16:1, relating to fees for the land application of industrial wastes.
[S 1413]
Approved

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 62.1-44.3, 62.1-44.16, and 62.1-44.19:3 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 62.1-44.16:1 as follows:

§ 62.1-44.3. Definitions.

Unless a different meaning is required by the context, the following terms as used in this chapter shall have the meanings hereinafter respectively ascribed to them:

"Beneficial use" means both instream and offstream uses. Instream beneficial uses include, but are not limited to, the protection of fish and wildlife resources and habitat, maintenance of waste assimilation, recreation, navigation, and cultural and aesthetic values. The preservation of instream flows for purposes of the protection of navigation, maintenance of waste assimilation capacity, the protection of fish and wildlife resources and habitat, recreation, cultural and aesthetic values is an instream beneficial use of Virginia's waters. Offstream beneficial uses include, but are not limited to, domestic (including public water supply), agricultural uses, electric power generation, commercial, and industrial uses.

"Board" means the State Water Control Board.

"Certificate" means any certificate issued by the Board.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Establishment" means any industrial establishment, mill, factory, tannery, paper or pulp mill, mine, coal mine, colliery, breaker or coal-processing operations, quarry, oil refinery, boat, vessel, and every other industry or plant or works the operation of which produces industrial wastes or other wastes or which may otherwise alter the physical, chemical or biological properties of any state waters.

"Excavate" or "excavation" means ditching, dredging, or mechanized removal of earth, soil or rock.

"Industrial wastes" means liquid or other wastes resulting from any process of industry, manufacture, trade, or business or from the development of any natural resources.

"The law" or "this law" means the law contained in this chapter as now existing or hereafter amended.

"Member" means a member of the Board.

"Normal agricultural activities" means those activities defined as an agricultural operation in § 3.2-300 and any activity that is conducted as part of or in furtherance of such agricultural operation but shall not include any activity for which a permit would have been required as of January 1, 1997, under 33 U.S.C. § 1344 or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

"Normal silvicultural activities" means any silvicultural activity as defined in § 10.1-1181.1 and any activity that is conducted as part of or in furtherance of such silvicultural activity but shall not include any activity for which a permit would have been required as of January 1, 1997, under 33 U.S.C. § 1344 or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

"Other wastes" means decayed wood, sawdust, shavings, bark, lime, garbage, refuse, ashes, offal, tar, oil, chemicals, and all other substances except industrial wastes and sewage which may cause pollution in any state waters.

"Owner" means the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, including but not limited to sanitation district commissions and authorities and any public or private institution, corporation, association, firm, or company organized or existing under the laws of this or any other state or country, or any officer or agency of the United States, or any person or group of persons acting individually or as a group that owns, operates, charters, rents, or otherwise exercises control over or is responsible for any actual or potential discharge of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes to state waters, or any facility or operation that has the capability to alter the physical, chemical, or biological properties of state waters in contravention of § 62.1-44.5.

"Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, governmental body, municipal corporation, or any other legal entity.

"Policies" means policies established under subdivisions (3a) and (3b) of § 62.1-44.15.

"Pollution" means such alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of any state waters as will or is likely to create a nuisance or render such waters (a) harmful or detrimental or injurious to the public health, safety, or welfare or to the health of animals, fish, or aquatic life; (b) unsuitable with reasonable treatment for use as present or possible future sources of public water supply; or (c) unsuitable for recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other reasonable uses, provided that (i) an alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological property of state waters or a discharge or deposit of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes to state waters by any owner which by itself is not sufficient to cause pollution but which, in combination with such alteration of or discharge or deposit to state waters by other owners, is sufficient to cause pollution; (ii) the discharge of untreated sewage by any owner into state waters; and (iii) contributing to the contravention of standards of water quality duly established by the Board, are "pollution" for the terms and purposes of this chapter.

"Pretreatment requirements" means any requirements arising under the Board's pretreatment regulations including the duty to allow or carry out inspections, entry, or monitoring activities; any rules, regulations, or orders issued by the owner of a publicly owned treatment works; or any reporting requirements imposed by the owner of a publicly owned treatment works or by the regulations of the Board.

"Pretreatment standards" means any standards of performance or other requirements imposed by regulation of the Board upon an industrial user of a publicly owned treatment works.

"Reclaimed water" means water resulting from the treatment of domestic, municipal, or industrial wastewater that is suitable for a direct beneficial or controlled use that would not otherwise occur. Specifically excluded from this definition is "gray water."

"Reclamation" means the treatment of domestic, municipal, or industrial wastewater or sewage to produce reclaimed water for a direct beneficial or controlled use that would not otherwise occur.

"Regulation" means a regulation issued under § 62.1-44.15 (10).

"Reuse" means the use of reclaimed water for a direct beneficial use or a controlled use that is in accordance with the requirements of the Board.

"Rule" means a rule adopted by the Board to regulate the procedure of the Board pursuant to § 62.1-44.15 (7).

"Ruling" means a ruling issued under § 62.1-44.15 (9).

"Sewage" means the water-carried human wastes from residences, buildings, industrial establishments or other places together with such industrial wastes and underground, surface, storm, or other water as may be present.

"Sewage treatment works" or "treatment works" means any device or system used in the storage, treatment, disposal, or reclamation of sewage or combinations of sewage and industrial wastes, including but not limited to pumping, power, and other equipment, and appurtenances, and any works, including land, that are or will be (i) an integral part of the treatment process or (ii) used for the ultimate disposal of residues or effluent resulting from such treatment. These terms shall not include onsite sewage systems or alternative discharging sewage systems.

"Sewerage system" means pipelines or conduits, pumping stations, and force mains, and all other construction, devices, and appliances appurtenant thereto, used for conducting sewage or industrial wastes or other wastes to a point of ultimate disposal.

"Special order" means a special order issued under subdivisions (8a), (8b), and (8c) of § 62.1-44.15.

"Standards" means standards established under subdivisions (3a) and (3b) of § 62.1-44.15.

"State waters" means all water, on the surface and under the ground, wholly or partially within or bordering the Commonwealth or within its jurisdiction, including wetlands.

"Wetlands" means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.

§ 62.1-44.16. Industrial wastes.

(1) A. Any owner who erects, constructs, opens, reopens, expands or employs new processes in or operates any establishment from which there is a potential or actual discharge of industrial wastes or other wastes to state waters shall first provide facilities approved by the Board for the treatment or control of such industrial wastes or other wastes.

Application for such discharge shall be made to the Board and shall be accompanied by pertinent plans, specifications, maps, and such other relevant information as may be required, in scope and details satisfactory to the Board.

(a) 1. Public notice of every such application shall be given by notice published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city where the certificate is applied for or by such other means as the Board may prescribe.

(b) 2. The Board shall review the application and the information that accompanies it as soon as practicable and making a ruling within a period of four months from the date the application is filed with the Board approving or disapproving the application and stating the grounds for conditional approval or disapproval. If the application is approved, the Board shall grant a certificate for the discharge of the industrial wastes or other wastes into state waters or for the other alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of state waters, as the case may be. If the application is disapproved, the Board shall notify the owner as to what measures, if any, the owner may take to secure approval.

(2) (a) B. Any owner operating under a valid certificate issued by the Board who fails to meet water quality standards established by the Board solely as a result of a change in water quality standards or in the law shall provide the necessary facilities approved by the Board within a reasonable time to meet such new requirements; provided, however, that such facilities shall be reasonable and practicable of attainment giving consideration to the public interest and the equities of the case. The Board may amend such certificate, or revoke it and issue a new one to reflect such facilities after proper hearing, with at least thirty days' notice to the owner of the time, place and purpose thereof. If such revocation or amendment of a certificate is mutually agreeable to the Board and the owner involved, the hearing and notice may be dispensed with.

(b) C. The Board shall revoke the certificate in case of a failure to comply with all such requirements and may issue a special order under subdivisions (8a), (8b), and (8c) of § 62.1-44.15 (8).

D. Any locality may adopt an ordinance that provides for the testing and monitoring of the land application of solid or semisolid industrial wastes within its political boundaries to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

E. The Board shall adopt regulations requiring the payment of a fee for the land application of solid or semisolid industrial wastes, pursuant to permits issued under this section, in localities that have adopted ordinances in accordance with subsection D. The person land applying industrial wastes shall (i) provide advance notice of the estimated fee to the generator of the industrial wastes unless notification is waived, (ii) collect the fee from the generator, and (iii) remit the fee to the Department of Environmental Quality as provided by regulation. The fee shall be imposed on each dry ton of solid or semisolid industrial wastes that is land applied in a locality in accordance with the regulations adopted by the Board. The regulations shall include requirements and procedures for:

1. Collection of fees by the Department of Environmental Quality;

2. The deposit of collected fees into the Sludge Management Fund established by subsection G of § 62.1-44.19:3; and

3. Disbursement of proceeds from the Sludge Management Fund by the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to subsection G of § 62.1-44.19:3.

F. The Department, in consultation with the Department of Health, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, shall establish and implement a program to train persons employed by those local governments that have adopted ordinances, pursuant to this section, to test and monitor the land application of industrial wastes. The program shall include, at a minimum, instruction in (i) the provisions of the Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit Regulation; (ii) land application methods and equipment, including methods and processes for preparation and stabilization of industrial wastes that are land applied; (iii) sampling and chain of custody control; (iv) preparation and implementation of nutrient management plans for land application sites; (v) complaint response and preparation of complaint and inspection reports; (vi) enforcement authority and procedures; (vii) interaction and communication with the public; and (viii) preparation of applications for reimbursement of local monitoring costs disbursed pursuant to subsection G of § 62.1-44.19:3. To the extent feasible, the program shall emphasize in-field instruction and practical training. Persons employed by local governments shall successfully complete such training before the local government may request reimbursement from the Board for testing and monitoring of land application of solid or semisolid industrial wastes performed by the person. The completion of training shall not be a prerequisite to the exercise of authority granted to local governments by any applicable provision of law.

The Department may:

1. Charge attendees a reasonable fee to recover the actual costs of preparing course materials and providing facilities and instructors for the program. The fee shall be reimbursable from the Fund established pursuant to subsection G of § 62.1-44.19:3; and

2. Request and accept the assistance and participation of other state agencies and institutions in preparing and presenting the course of training established by this subsection.

§ 62.1-44.16:1. Local enforcement of industrial waste permits.

A. Any locality that has adopted an ordinance for the testing and monitoring of the land application of industrial wastes pursuant to § 62.1-44.16 shall have the authority to order the abatement of any violation of § 62.1-44.16 or of any violation of any permit or certificate issued under that section. Such abatement order shall identify the activity constituting the violation, specify the provision of the Code of Virginia or permit condition violated by the activity, and order that the activity cease immediately.

B. In the event of any dispute concerning the existence of a violation, the activity alleged to be in violation shall be halted pending a determination by the Director, whose decision shall be final and binding unless reversed on judicial appeal pursuant to § 2.2-4026. Any person who fails or refuses to halt such activity may be compelled to do so by injunction issued by a court having competent jurisdiction. Upon determination by the Director that there has been a violation of § 62.1-44.16 or of any permit or certificate issued under that section and that such violation poses an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare, the Department shall commence appropriate action to abate the violation and immediately notify the chief administrative officer of any locality potentially affected by the violation. Neither the Board, the Commonwealth, nor any employee of the Commonwealth shall be liable for failing to provide the notification required by this section.

C. Local governments shall promptly notify the Department of all results from the testing and monitoring of the land application of industrial wastes performed by persons employed by local governments and any violation of § 62.1-44.16 or of any violation of any permit or certificate issued under that section, discovered by local governments.

§ 62.1-44.19:3. Prohibition on land application, marketing and distribution of sewage sludge without permit; ordinances; notice requirement; fees.

A. 1. No owner of a sewage treatment works shall land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge from such treatment works except in compliance with a valid Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit or valid Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit.

2. Sewage sludge shall be treated to meet standards for land application as required by Board regulation prior to delivery at the land application site. No person shall alter the composition of sewage sludge at a site approved for land application of sewage sludge under a Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit or a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Any person who engages in the alteration of such sewage sludge shall be subject to the penalties provided in Article 6 (§ 62.1-44.31 et seq.) of this chapter. The addition of lime or deodorants to sewage sludge that has been treated to meet land application standards shall not constitute alteration of the composition of sewage sludge. The Department may authorize public institutions of higher education to conduct scientific research on the composition of sewage sludge that may be applied to land.

3. No person shall contract or propose to contract, with the owner of a sewage treatment works, to land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge in the Commonwealth, nor shall any person land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge in the Commonwealth without a current Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit authorizing land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge and specifying the location or locations, and the terms and conditions of such land application, marketing or distribution. The permit application shall not be complete unless it includes the landowner's written consent to apply sewage sludge on his property.

4. The land disposal of lime-stabilized septage and unstabilized septage is prohibited.

5. Beginning July 1, 2007, no application for a permit or variance to authorize the storage of sewage sludge shall be complete unless it contains certification from the governing body of the locality in which the sewage sludge is to be stored that the storage site is consistent with all applicable ordinances. The governing body shall confirm or deny consistency within 30 days of receiving a request for certification. If the governing body does not so respond, the site shall be deemed consistent.

B. The Board, with the assistance of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Health, shall adopt regulations to ensure that (i) sewage sludge permitted for land application, marketing, or distribution is properly treated or stabilized; (ii) land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge is performed in a manner that will protect public health and the environment; and (iii) the escape, flow or discharge of sewage sludge into state waters, in a manner that would cause pollution of state waters, as those terms are defined in § 62.1-44.3, shall be prevented.

C. Regulations adopted by the Board, with the assistance of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Health pursuant to subsection B, shall include:

1. Requirements and procedures for the issuance and amendment of permits, including general permits, authorizing the land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge;

2. Procedures for amending land application permits to include additional application sites and sewage sludge types;

3. Standards for treatment or stabilization of sewage sludge prior to land application, marketing or distribution;

4. Requirements for determining the suitability of land application sites and facilities used in land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge;

5. Required procedures for land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge;

6. Requirements for sampling, analysis, recordkeeping, and reporting in connection with land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge;

7. Provisions for notification of local governing bodies to ensure compliance with §§ 62.1-44.15:3 and 62.1-44.19:3.4;

8. Requirements for site-specific nutrient management plans, which shall be developed by persons certified in accordance with § 10.1-104.2 prior to land application for all sites where sewage sludge is land applied, and approved by the Department of Conservation and Recreation prior to permit issuance under specific conditions, including but not limited to, sites operated by an owner or lessee of a Confined Animal Feeding Operation, as defined in subsection A of § 62.1-44.17:1, or Confined Poultry Feeding Operation, as defined in § 62.1-44.17:1.1, sites where the permit authorizes land application more frequently than once every three years at greater than 50 percent of the annual agronomic rate, and other sites based on site-specific conditions that increase the risk that land application may adversely impact state waters;

9. Procedures for the prompt investigation and disposition of complaints concerning land application of sewage sludge, including the requirements that (i) holders of permits issued under this section shall report all complaints received by them to the Department and to the local governing body of the jurisdiction in which the complaint originates, and (ii) localities receiving complaints concerning land application of sewage sludge shall notify the Department and the permit holder. The Department shall maintain a searchable electronic database of complaints received during the current and preceding calendar year, which shall include information detailing each complaint and how it was resolved; and

10. Procedures for receiving and responding to public comments on applications for permits and for permit amendments authorizing land application at additional sites. Such procedures shall provide that an application for any permit amendments to increase the acreage authorized by the initial permit by 50 percent or more shall be treated as a new application for purposes of public notice and public hearings.

D. Prior to issuance of a permit authorizing the land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge, the Department shall consult with, and give full consideration to the written recommendations of the Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Such consultation shall include any public health risks or water quality impacts associated with the permitted activity. The Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Recreation may submit written comments on proposed permits within 30 days after notification by the Department.

E. Where, because of site-specific conditions, including soil type, identified during the permit application review process, the Department determines that special requirements are necessary to protect the environment or the health, safety or welfare of persons residing in the vicinity of a proposed land application site, the Department may incorporate in the permit at the time it is issued reasonable special conditions regarding buffering, transportation routes, slope, material source, methods of handling and application, and time of day restrictions exceeding those required by the regulations adopted under this section. Before incorporating any such conditions into the permit, the Department shall provide written notice to the permit applicant, specifying the reasons therefor and identifying the site-specific conditions justifying the additional requirements. The Department shall incorporate into the notice any written requests or recommendations concerning such site-specific conditions submitted by the local governing body where the land application is to take place. The permit applicant shall have at least 14 days in which to review and respond to the proposed conditions.

F. The Board shall adopt regulations prescribing a fee to be charged to all permit holders and persons applying for permits and permit modifications pursuant to this section. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Sludge Management Fund. The fee for the initial issuance of a permit shall be $5,000. The fee for the reissuance, amendment, or modification of a permit for an existing site shall not exceed $1,000 and shall be charged only for permit actions initiated by the permit holder. Fees collected under this section shall be exempt from statewide indirect costs charged and collected by the Department of Accounts and shall not supplant or reduce the general fund appropriation to the Department.

G. There is hereby established in the treasury a special fund to be known as the Sludge Management Fund, hereinafter referred to as the Fund. The fees required by this section and by subsection E of § 62.1-44.16 shall be transmitted to the Comptroller to be deposited into the Fund. The income and principal of the Fund shall be used only and exclusively (i) for the Department's direct and indirect costs associated with the processing of an application to issue, reissue, amend, or modify any permit to land apply, distribute, or market sewage sludge, or industrial wastes, the administration and management of the Department's sewage sludge and industrial wastes land application program programs, including but not limited to, monitoring and inspecting, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation's costs for implementation of the sewage sludge application program, and (ii) to reimburse localities with duly adopted ordinances providing for the testing and monitoring of the land application of sewage sludge or solid or semisolid industrial wastes. The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of the moneys deposited in the Fund. No part of the Fund, either principal or interest earned thereon, shall revert to the general fund of the state treasury.

H. All persons holding or applying for a permit authorizing the land application of sewage sludge shall provide to the Board written evidence of financial responsibility, which shall be available to pay claims for cleanup costs, personal injury, and property damages resulting from the transportation, storage or land application of sewage sludge. The Board shall, by regulation, establish and prescribe mechanisms for meeting the financial responsibility requirements of this section.

I. Any county, city or town may adopt an ordinance that provides for the testing and monitoring of the land application of sewage sludge within its political boundaries to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

J. The Department, upon the timely request of any individual to test the sewage sludge at a specific site, shall collect samples of the sewage sludge at the site prior to the land application and submit such samples to a laboratory. The testing shall include an analysis of the (i) concentration of trace elements, (ii) coliform count, and (iii) pH level. The results of the laboratory analysis shall be (a) furnished to the individual requesting that the test be conducted and (b) reviewed by the Department. The person requesting the test and analysis of the sewage sludge shall pay the costs of sampling, testing, and analysis.

K. At least 100 days prior to commencing land application of sewage sludge at a permitted site, the permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the chief executive officer or his designee for the local government where the site is located. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the sewage sludge to be applied to the site. This requirement may be satisfied by providing a list of all available permitted sites in the locality at least 100 days prior to commencing the application at any site on the list. This requirement shall not apply to any application commenced prior to October 10, 2005. If the site is located in more than one county, the notice shall be provided to all jurisdictions where the site is located.

L. The permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the Department at least 14 days prior to commencing land application of sewage sludge at a permitted site. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the sewage sludge to be applied to the site.

M. The Department shall randomly conduct unannounced site inspections while land application of sewage sludge is in progress at a sufficient frequency to determine compliance with the requirements of this section, § 62.1-44.19:3.1, or regulations adopted under those sections.

N. Surface incorporation into the soil of sewage sludge applied to cropland may be required when practicable and compatible with a soil conservation plan meeting the standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

O. The Board shall develop regulations specifying and providing for extended buffers to be employed for application of sewage sludge (i) to hay, pasture, and forestlands; or (ii) to croplands where surface incorporation is not practicable or is incompatible with a soil conservation plan meeting the standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Such extended buffers may be included by the Department as site specific permit conditions pursuant to subsection E, as an alternative to surface incorporation when necessary to protect odor sensitive receptors as determined by the Department or the local monitor.

P. The Board shall adopt regulations requiring the payment of a fee for the land application of sewage sludge, pursuant to permits issued under this section. The person land applying sewage sludge shall (i) provide advance notice of the estimated fee to the generator of the sewage sludge unless notification is waived, (ii) collect the fee from the generator, and (iii) remit the fee to the Department as provided for by regulation. The fee shall be imposed on each dry ton of sewage sludge that is land applied in the Commonwealth. The regulations shall include requirements and procedures for:

1. Collection of fees by the Department;

2. Deposit of the fees into the Fund; and

3. Disbursement of proceeds by the Department pursuant to subsection G.

Q. The Department, in consultation with the Department of Health, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, shall establish and implement a program to train persons employed by those local governments that have adopted ordinances, pursuant to this section, to test and monitor the land application of sewage sludge. The program shall include, at a minimum, instruction in: (i) the provisions of the Virginia Biosolids Use Regulations; (ii) land application methods and equipment, including methods and processes for preparation and stabilization of sewage sludge that is land applied; (iii) sampling and chain of custody control; (iv) preparation and implementation of nutrient management plans for land application sites; (v) complaint response and preparation of complaint and inspection reports; (vi) enforcement authority and procedures; (vii) interaction and communication with the public; and (viii) preparation of applications for reimbursement of local monitoring costs disbursed pursuant to subsection G. To the extent feasible, the program shall emphasize in-field instruction and practical training. Persons employed by local governments shall successfully complete such training before the local government may request reimbursement from the Board for testing and monitoring of land application of sewage sludge performed by the person. The completion of training shall not be a prerequisite to the exercise of authority granted to local governments by any applicable provision of law.

The Department may:

1. Charge attendees a reasonable fee to recover the actual costs of preparing course materials and providing facilities and instructors for the program. The fee shall be reimbursable from the Fund established pursuant to this section; and

2. Request and accept the assistance and participation of other state agencies and institutions in preparing and presenting the course of training established by this subsection.

R. Localities, as part of their zoning ordinances, may designate or reasonably restrict the storage of sewage sludge based on criteria directly related to the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens and the environment. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, a locality may by ordinance require that a special exception or a special use permit be obtained to begin the storage of sewage sludge on any property in its jurisdiction, including any area that is zoned as an agricultural district or classification. Such ordinances shall not restrict the storage of sewage sludge on a farm as long as such sludge is being stored (i) solely for land application on that farm and (ii) for a period no longer than 45 days. No person shall apply to the State Health Commissioner or the Department of Environmental Quality for a permit, a variance, or a permit modification authorizing such storage without first complying with all requirements adopted pursuant to this subsection.

2. That the State Water Control Board shall promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this act to be effective no later than January 1, 2016. The State Water Control Board's initial adoption of regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act shall be exempt from the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia, except that the Department of Environmental Quality shall utilize a regulatory advisory panel to assist in the development of necessary regulations and shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the regulations prior to adoption.

3. That upon the effective date of this act, the fee imposed on each dry ton of solid or semisolid industrial waste that is land applied pursuant to subsection E of § 62.1-44.16 of the Code of Virginia, as created by this act, shall be $5 until altered, amended, or rescinded by the State Water Control Board.


SENATE BILL NO. 1413
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
on January 29, 2015)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Senator Dance)
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 62.1-44.3, 62.1-44.16, and 62.1-44.19:3 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 62.1-44.16:1, relating to fees for the land application of industrial wastes.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 62.1-44.3, 62.1-44.16, and 62.1-44.19:3 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 62.1-44.16:1 as follows:

§ 62.1-44.3. Definitions.

Unless a different meaning is required by the context, the following terms as used in this chapter shall have the meanings hereinafter respectively ascribed to them:

"Beneficial use" means both instream and offstream uses. Instream beneficial uses include, but are not limited to, the protection of fish and wildlife resources and habitat, maintenance of waste assimilation, recreation, navigation, and cultural and aesthetic values. The preservation of instream flows for purposes of the protection of navigation, maintenance of waste assimilation capacity, the protection of fish and wildlife resources and habitat, recreation, cultural and aesthetic values is an instream beneficial use of Virginia's waters. Offstream beneficial uses include, but are not limited to, domestic (including public water supply), agricultural uses, electric power generation, commercial, and industrial uses.

"Board" means the State Water Control Board.

"Certificate" means any certificate issued by the Board.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Establishment" means any industrial establishment, mill, factory, tannery, paper or pulp mill, mine, coal mine, colliery, breaker or coal-processing operations, quarry, oil refinery, boat, vessel, and every other industry or plant or works the operation of which produces industrial wastes or other wastes or which may otherwise alter the physical, chemical or biological properties of any state waters.

"Excavate" or "excavation" means ditching, dredging, or mechanized removal of earth, soil or rock.

"Industrial wastes" means liquid or other wastes resulting from any process of industry, manufacture, trade, or business or from the development of any natural resources.

"The law" or "this law" means the law contained in this chapter as now existing or hereafter amended.

"Member" means a member of the Board.

"Normal agricultural activities" means those activities defined as an agricultural operation in § 3.2-300 and any activity that is conducted as part of or in furtherance of such agricultural operation but shall not include any activity for which a permit would have been required as of January 1, 1997, under 33 U.S.C. § 1344 or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

"Normal silvicultural activities" means any silvicultural activity as defined in § 10.1-1181.1 and any activity that is conducted as part of or in furtherance of such silvicultural activity but shall not include any activity for which a permit would have been required as of January 1, 1997, under 33 U.S.C. § 1344 or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

"Other wastes" means decayed wood, sawdust, shavings, bark, lime, garbage, refuse, ashes, offal, tar, oil, chemicals, and all other substances except industrial wastes and sewage which may cause pollution in any state waters.

"Owner" means the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, including but not limited to sanitation district commissions and authorities and any public or private institution, corporation, association, firm, or company organized or existing under the laws of this or any other state or country, or any officer or agency of the United States, or any person or group of persons acting individually or as a group that owns, operates, charters, rents, or otherwise exercises control over or is responsible for any actual or potential discharge of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes to state waters, or any facility or operation that has the capability to alter the physical, chemical, or biological properties of state waters in contravention of § 62.1-44.5.

"Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, governmental body, municipal corporation, or any other legal entity.

"Policies" means policies established under subdivisions (3a) and (3b) of § 62.1-44.15.

"Pollution" means such alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of any state waters as will or is likely to create a nuisance or render such waters (a) harmful or detrimental or injurious to the public health, safety, or welfare or to the health of animals, fish, or aquatic life; (b) unsuitable with reasonable treatment for use as present or possible future sources of public water supply; or (c) unsuitable for recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other reasonable uses, provided that (i) an alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological property of state waters or a discharge or deposit of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes to state waters by any owner which by itself is not sufficient to cause pollution but which, in combination with such alteration of or discharge or deposit to state waters by other owners, is sufficient to cause pollution; (ii) the discharge of untreated sewage by any owner into state waters; and (iii) contributing to the contravention of standards of water quality duly established by the Board, are "pollution" for the terms and purposes of this chapter.

"Pretreatment requirements" means any requirements arising under the Board's pretreatment regulations including the duty to allow or carry out inspections, entry, or monitoring activities; any rules, regulations, or orders issued by the owner of a publicly owned treatment works; or any reporting requirements imposed by the owner of a publicly owned treatment works or by the regulations of the Board.

"Pretreatment standards" means any standards of performance or other requirements imposed by regulation of the Board upon an industrial user of a publicly owned treatment works.

"Reclaimed water" means water resulting from the treatment of domestic, municipal, or industrial wastewater that is suitable for a direct beneficial or controlled use that would not otherwise occur. Specifically excluded from this definition is "gray water."

"Reclamation" means the treatment of domestic, municipal, or industrial wastewater or sewage to produce reclaimed water for a direct beneficial or controlled use that would not otherwise occur.

"Regulation" means a regulation issued under § 62.1-44.15 (10).

"Reuse" means the use of reclaimed water for a direct beneficial use or a controlled use that is in accordance with the requirements of the Board.

"Rule" means a rule adopted by the Board to regulate the procedure of the Board pursuant to § 62.1-44.15 (7).

"Ruling" means a ruling issued under § 62.1-44.15 (9).

"Sewage" means the water-carried human wastes from residences, buildings, industrial establishments or other places together with such industrial wastes and underground, surface, storm, or other water as may be present.

"Sewage treatment works" or "treatment works" means any device or system used in the storage, treatment, disposal, or reclamation of sewage or combinations of sewage and industrial wastes, including but not limited to pumping, power, and other equipment, and appurtenances, and any works, including land, that are or will be (i) an integral part of the treatment process or (ii) used for the ultimate disposal of residues or effluent resulting from such treatment. These terms shall not include onsite sewage systems or alternative discharging sewage systems.

"Sewerage system" means pipelines or conduits, pumping stations, and force mains, and all other construction, devices, and appliances appurtenant thereto, used for conducting sewage or industrial wastes or other wastes to a point of ultimate disposal.

"Special order" means a special order issued under subdivisions (8a), (8b), and (8c) of § 62.1-44.15.

"Standards" means standards established under subdivisions (3a) and (3b) of § 62.1-44.15.

"State waters" means all water, on the surface and under the ground, wholly or partially within or bordering the Commonwealth or within its jurisdiction, including wetlands.

"Wetlands" means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.

 

§ 62.1-44.16. Industrial wastes.

(1) A. Any owner who erects, constructs, opens, reopens, expands or employs new processes in or operates any establishment from which there is a potential or actual discharge of industrial wastes or other wastes to state waters shall first provide facilities approved by the Board for the treatment or control of such industrial wastes or other wastes.

Application for such discharge shall be made to the Board and shall be accompanied by pertinent plans, specifications, maps, and such other relevant information as may be required, in scope and details satisfactory to the Board.

(a) 1. Public notice of every such application shall be given by notice published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city where the certificate is applied for or by such other means as the Board may prescribe.

(b) 2. The Board shall review the application and the information that accompanies it as soon as practicable and making a ruling within a period of four months from the date the application is filed with the Board approving or disapproving the application and stating the grounds for conditional approval or disapproval. If the application is approved, the Board shall grant a certificate for the discharge of the industrial wastes or other wastes into state waters or for the other alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of state waters, as the case may be. If the application is disapproved, the Board shall notify the owner as to what measures, if any, the owner may take to secure approval.

(2) (a) B. Any owner operating under a valid certificate issued by the Board who fails to meet water quality standards established by the Board solely as a result of a change in water quality standards or in the law shall provide the necessary facilities approved by the Board within a reasonable time to meet such new requirements; provided, however, that such facilities shall be reasonable and practicable of attainment giving consideration to the public interest and the equities of the case. The Board may amend such certificate, or revoke it and issue a new one to reflect such facilities after proper hearing, with at least thirty days' notice to the owner of the time, place and purpose thereof. If such revocation or amendment of a certificate is mutually agreeable to the Board and the owner involved, the hearing and notice may be dispensed with.

(b) C. The Board shall revoke the certificate in case of a failure to comply with all such requirements and may issue a special order under subdivisions (8a), (8b), and (8c) of § 62.1-44.15 (8).

D. Any locality may adopt an ordinance that provides for the testing and monitoring of the land application of solid or semisolid industrial wastes within its political boundaries to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

E. The Board shall adopt regulations requiring the payment of a fee for the land application of solid or semisolid industrial wastes, pursuant to permits issued under this section, in localities that have adopted ordinances in accordance with subsection D. The person land applying industrial wastes shall (i) provide advance notice of the estimated fee to the generator of the industrial wastes unless notification is waived, (ii) collect the fee from the generator, and (iii) remit the fee to the Department of Environmental Quality as provided by regulation. The fee shall be imposed on each dry ton of solid or semisolid industrial wastes that is land applied in a locality in accordance with the regulations adopted by the Board. The regulations shall include requirements and procedures for:

1. Collection of fees by the Department of Environmental Quality;

2. The deposit of collected fees into the Sludge Management Fund established by subsection G of § 62.1-44.19:3; and

3. Disbursement of proceeds from the Sludge Management Fund by the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to subsection G of § 62.1-44.19:3.

F. The Department, in consultation with the Department of Health, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, shall establish and implement a program to train persons employed by those local governments that have adopted ordinances, pursuant to this section, to test and monitor the land application of industrial wastes. The program shall include, at a minimum, instruction in (i) the provisions of the Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit Regulation; (ii) land application methods and equipment, including methods and processes for preparation and stabilization of industrial wastes that are land applied; (iii) sampling and chain of custody control; (iv) preparation and implementation of nutrient management plans for land application sites; (v) complaint response and preparation of complaint and inspection reports; (vi) enforcement authority and procedures; (vii) interaction and communication with the public; and (viii) preparation of applications for reimbursement of local monitoring costs disbursed pursuant to subsection G of § 62.1-44.19:3. To the extent feasible, the program shall emphasize in-field instruction and practical training. Persons employed by local governments shall successfully complete such training before the local government may request reimbursement from the Board for testing and monitoring of land application of solid or semisolid industrial wastes performed by the person. The completion of training shall not be a prerequisite to the exercise of authority granted to local governments by any applicable provision of law.

The Department may:

1. Charge attendees a reasonable fee to recover the actual costs of preparing course materials and providing facilities and instructors for the program. The fee shall be reimbursable from the Fund established pursuant to subsection G of § 62.1-44.19:3; and

2. Request and accept the assistance and participation of other state agencies and institutions in preparing and presenting the course of training established by this subsection.

§ 62.1-44.16:1. Local enforcement of industrial waste permits.

A. Any locality that has adopted an ordinance for the testing and monitoring of the land application of industrial wastes pursuant to § 62.1-44.16 shall have the authority to order the abatement of any violation of § 62.1-44.16 or of any violation of any permit or certificate issued under that section. Such abatement order shall identify the activity constituting the violation, specify the provision of the Code of Virginia or permit condition violated by the activity, and order that the activity cease immediately.

B. In the event of any dispute concerning the existence of a violation, the activity alleged to be in violation shall be halted pending a determination by the Director, whose decision shall be final and binding unless reversed on judicial appeal pursuant to § 2.2-4026. Any person who fails or refuses to halt such activity may be compelled to do so by injunction issued by a court having competent jurisdiction. Upon determination by the Director that there has been a violation of § 62.1-44.16 or of any permit or certificate issued under that section and that such violation poses an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare, the Department shall commence appropriate action to abate the violation and immediately notify the chief administrative officer of any locality potentially affected by the violation. Neither the Board, the Commonwealth, nor any employee of the Commonwealth shall be liable for failing to provide the notification required by this section.

C. Local governments shall promptly notify the Department of all results from the testing and monitoring of the land application of industrial wastes performed by persons employed by local governments and any violation of § 62.1-44.16 or of any violation of any permit or certificate issued under that section, discovered by local governments.

§ 62.1-44.19:3. Prohibition on land application, marketing and distribution of sewage sludge without permit; ordinances; notice requirement; fees.

A. 1. No owner of a sewage treatment works shall land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge from such treatment works except in compliance with a valid Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit or valid Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit.

2. Sewage sludge shall be treated to meet standards for land application as required by Board regulation prior to delivery at the land application site. No person shall alter the composition of sewage sludge at a site approved for land application of sewage sludge under a Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit or a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Any person who engages in the alteration of such sewage sludge shall be subject to the penalties provided in Article 6 (§ 62.1-44.31 et seq.) of this chapter. The addition of lime or deodorants to sewage sludge that has been treated to meet land application standards shall not constitute alteration of the composition of sewage sludge. The Department may authorize public institutions of higher education to conduct scientific research on the composition of sewage sludge that may be applied to land.

3. No person shall contract or propose to contract, with the owner of a sewage treatment works, to land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge in the Commonwealth, nor shall any person land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge in the Commonwealth without a current Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit authorizing land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge and specifying the location or locations, and the terms and conditions of such land application, marketing or distribution. The permit application shall not be complete unless it includes the landowner's written consent to apply sewage sludge on his property.

4. The land disposal of lime-stabilized septage and unstabilized septage is prohibited.

5. Beginning July 1, 2007, no application for a permit or variance to authorize the storage of sewage sludge shall be complete unless it contains certification from the governing body of the locality in which the sewage sludge is to be stored that the storage site is consistent with all applicable ordinances. The governing body shall confirm or deny consistency within 30 days of receiving a request for certification. If the governing body does not so respond, the site shall be deemed consistent.

B. The Board, with the assistance of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Health, shall adopt regulations to ensure that (i) sewage sludge permitted for land application, marketing, or distribution is properly treated or stabilized; (ii) land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge is performed in a manner that will protect public health and the environment; and (iii) the escape, flow or discharge of sewage sludge into state waters, in a manner that would cause pollution of state waters, as those terms are defined in § 62.1-44.3, shall be prevented.

C. Regulations adopted by the Board, with the assistance of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Health pursuant to subsection B, shall include:

1. Requirements and procedures for the issuance and amendment of permits, including general permits, authorizing the land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge;

2. Procedures for amending land application permits to include additional application sites and sewage sludge types;

3. Standards for treatment or stabilization of sewage sludge prior to land application, marketing or distribution;

4. Requirements for determining the suitability of land application sites and facilities used in land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge;

5. Required procedures for land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge;

6. Requirements for sampling, analysis, recordkeeping, and reporting in connection with land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge;

7. Provisions for notification of local governing bodies to ensure compliance with §§ 62.1-44.15:3 and 62.1-44.19:3.4;

8. Requirements for site-specific nutrient management plans, which shall be developed by persons certified in accordance with § 10.1-104.2 prior to land application for all sites where sewage sludge is land applied, and approved by the Department of Conservation and Recreation prior to permit issuance under specific conditions, including but not limited to, sites operated by an owner or lessee of a Confined Animal Feeding Operation, as defined in subsection A of § 62.1-44.17:1, or Confined Poultry Feeding Operation, as defined in § 62.1-44.17:1.1, sites where the permit authorizes land application more frequently than once every three years at greater than 50 percent of the annual agronomic rate, and other sites based on site-specific conditions that increase the risk that land application may adversely impact state waters;

9. Procedures for the prompt investigation and disposition of complaints concerning land application of sewage sludge, including the requirements that (i) holders of permits issued under this section shall report all complaints received by them to the Department and to the local governing body of the jurisdiction in which the complaint originates, and (ii) localities receiving complaints concerning land application of sewage sludge shall notify the Department and the permit holder. The Department shall maintain a searchable electronic database of complaints received during the current and preceding calendar year, which shall include information detailing each complaint and how it was resolved; and

10. Procedures for receiving and responding to public comments on applications for permits and for permit amendments authorizing land application at additional sites. Such procedures shall provide that an application for any permit amendments to increase the acreage authorized by the initial permit by 50 percent or more shall be treated as a new application for purposes of public notice and public hearings.

D. Prior to issuance of a permit authorizing the land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge, the Department shall consult with, and give full consideration to the written recommendations of the Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Such consultation shall include any public health risks or water quality impacts associated with the permitted activity. The Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Recreation may submit written comments on proposed permits within 30 days after notification by the Department.

E. Where, because of site-specific conditions, including soil type, identified during the permit application review process, the Department determines that special requirements are necessary to protect the environment or the health, safety or welfare of persons residing in the vicinity of a proposed land application site, the Department may incorporate in the permit at the time it is issued reasonable special conditions regarding buffering, transportation routes, slope, material source, methods of handling and application, and time of day restrictions exceeding those required by the regulations adopted under this section. Before incorporating any such conditions into the permit, the Department shall provide written notice to the permit applicant, specifying the reasons therefor and identifying the site-specific conditions justifying the additional requirements. The Department shall incorporate into the notice any written requests or recommendations concerning such site-specific conditions submitted by the local governing body where the land application is to take place. The permit applicant shall have at least 14 days in which to review and respond to the proposed conditions.

F. The Board shall adopt regulations prescribing a fee to be charged to all permit holders and persons applying for permits and permit modifications pursuant to this section. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Sludge Management Fund. The fee for the initial issuance of a permit shall be $5,000. The fee for the reissuance, amendment, or modification of a permit for an existing site shall not exceed $1,000 and shall be charged only for permit actions initiated by the permit holder. Fees collected under this section shall be exempt from statewide indirect costs charged and collected by the Department of Accounts and shall not supplant or reduce the general fund appropriation to the Department.

G. There is hereby established in the treasury a special fund to be known as the Sludge Management Fund, hereinafter referred to as the Fund. The fees required by this section and by subsection E of § 62.1-44.16 shall be transmitted to the Comptroller to be deposited into the Fund. The income and principal of the Fund shall be used only and exclusively (i) for the Department's direct and indirect costs associated with the processing of an application to issue, reissue, amend, or modify any permit to land apply, distribute, or market sewage sludge, or industrial wastes, the administration and management of the Department's sewage sludge and industrial wastes land application program programs, including but not limited to, monitoring and inspecting, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation's costs for implementation of the sewage sludge application program, and (ii) to reimburse localities with duly adopted ordinances providing for the testing and monitoring of the land application of sewage sludge or solid or semisolid industrial wastes. The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of the moneys deposited in the Fund. No part of the Fund, either principal or interest earned thereon, shall revert to the general fund of the state treasury.

H. All persons holding or applying for a permit authorizing the land application of sewage sludge shall provide to the Board written evidence of financial responsibility, which shall be available to pay claims for cleanup costs, personal injury, and property damages resulting from the transportation, storage or land application of sewage sludge. The Board shall, by regulation, establish and prescribe mechanisms for meeting the financial responsibility requirements of this section.

I. Any county, city or town may adopt an ordinance that provides for the testing and monitoring of the land application of sewage sludge within its political boundaries to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

J. The Department, upon the timely request of any individual to test the sewage sludge at a specific site, shall collect samples of the sewage sludge at the site prior to the land application and submit such samples to a laboratory. The testing shall include an analysis of the (i) concentration of trace elements, (ii) coliform count, and (iii) pH level. The results of the laboratory analysis shall be (a) furnished to the individual requesting that the test be conducted and (b) reviewed by the Department. The person requesting the test and analysis of the sewage sludge shall pay the costs of sampling, testing, and analysis.

K. At least 100 days prior to commencing land application of sewage sludge at a permitted site, the permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the chief executive officer or his designee for the local government where the site is located. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the sewage sludge to be applied to the site. This requirement may be satisfied by providing a list of all available permitted sites in the locality at least 100 days prior to commencing the application at any site on the list. This requirement shall not apply to any application commenced prior to October 10, 2005. If the site is located in more than one county, the notice shall be provided to all jurisdictions where the site is located.

L. The permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the Department at least 14 days prior to commencing land application of sewage sludge at a permitted site. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the sewage sludge to be applied to the site.

M. The Department shall randomly conduct unannounced site inspections while land application of sewage sludge is in progress at a sufficient frequency to determine compliance with the requirements of this section, § 62.1-44.19:3.1, or regulations adopted under those sections.

N. Surface incorporation into the soil of sewage sludge applied to cropland may be required when practicable and compatible with a soil conservation plan meeting the standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

O. The Board shall develop regulations specifying and providing for extended buffers to be employed for application of sewage sludge (i) to hay, pasture, and forestlands; or (ii) to croplands where surface incorporation is not practicable or is incompatible with a soil conservation plan meeting the standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Such extended buffers may be included by the Department as site specific permit conditions pursuant to subsection E, as an alternative to surface incorporation when necessary to protect odor sensitive receptors as determined by the Department or the local monitor.

P. The Board shall adopt regulations requiring the payment of a fee for the land application of sewage sludge, pursuant to permits issued under this section. The person land applying sewage sludge shall (i) provide advance notice of the estimated fee to the generator of the sewage sludge unless notification is waived, (ii) collect the fee from the generator, and (iii) remit the fee to the Department as provided for by regulation. The fee shall be imposed on each dry ton of sewage sludge that is land applied in the Commonwealth. The regulations shall include requirements and procedures for:

1. Collection of fees by the Department;

2. Deposit of the fees into the Fund; and

3. Disbursement of proceeds by the Department pursuant to subsection G.

Q. The Department, in consultation with the Department of Health, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, shall establish and implement a program to train persons employed by those local governments that have adopted ordinances, pursuant to this section, to test and monitor the land application of sewage sludge. The program shall include, at a minimum, instruction in: (i) the provisions of the Virginia Biosolids Use Regulations; (ii) land application methods and equipment, including methods and processes for preparation and stabilization of sewage sludge that is land applied; (iii) sampling and chain of custody control; (iv) preparation and implementation of nutrient management plans for land application sites; (v) complaint response and preparation of complaint and inspection reports; (vi) enforcement authority and procedures; (vii) interaction and communication with the public; and (viii) preparation of applications for reimbursement of local monitoring costs disbursed pursuant to subsection G. To the extent feasible, the program shall emphasize in-field instruction and practical training. Persons employed by local governments shall successfully complete such training before the local government may request reimbursement from the Board for testing and monitoring of land application of sewage sludge performed by the person. The completion of training shall not be a prerequisite to the exercise of authority granted to local governments by any applicable provision of law.

The Department may:

1. Charge attendees a reasonable fee to recover the actual costs of preparing course materials and providing facilities and instructors for the program. The fee shall be reimbursable from the Fund established pursuant to this section; and

2. Request and accept the assistance and participation of other state agencies and institutions in preparing and presenting the course of training established by this subsection.

R. Localities, as part of their zoning ordinances, may designate or reasonably restrict the storage of sewage sludge based on criteria directly related to the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens and the environment. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, a locality may by ordinance require that a special exception or a special use permit be obtained to begin the storage of sewage sludge on any property in its jurisdiction, including any area that is zoned as an agricultural district or classification. Such ordinances shall not restrict the storage of sewage sludge on a farm as long as such sludge is being stored (i) solely for land application on that farm and (ii) for a period no longer than 45 days. No person shall apply to the State Health Commissioner or the Department of Environmental Quality for a permit, a variance, or a permit modification authorizing such storage without first complying with all requirements adopted pursuant to this subsection.

2. That the State Water Control Board shall promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this act to be effective no later than January 1, 2016. The State Water Control Board's initial adoption of regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act shall be exempt from the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of the Code of Virginia, except that the Department of Environmental Quality shall utilize a regulatory advisory panel to assist in the development of necessary regulations and shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the regulations prior to adoption.

3. That upon the effective date of this act, the fee imposed on each dry ton of solid or semisolid industrial waste that is land applied pursuant to subsection E of § 62.1-44.16 of the Code of Virginia, as created by this act, shall be $5 until altered, amended, or rescinded by the State Water Control Board.

SENATE BILL NO. 1413

Offered January 23, 2015
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 62.1-44.16 and 62.1-44.19:3 of the Code of Virginia, relating to fees for the land application of industrial wastes.
Patron-- Dance

Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§ 62.1-44.16 and 62.1-44.19:3 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 62.1-44.16. Industrial wastes.

(1) A. Any owner who erects, constructs, opens, reopens, expands or employs new processes in or operates any establishment from which there is a potential or actual discharge of industrial wastes or other wastes to state waters shall first provide facilities approved by the Board for the treatment or control of such industrial wastes or other wastes.

Application for such discharge shall be made to the Board and shall be accompanied by pertinent plans, specifications, maps, and such other relevant information as may be required, in scope and details satisfactory to the Board.

(a) 1. Public notice of every such application shall be given by notice published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or city where the certificate is applied for or by such other means as the Board may prescribe.

(b) 2. The Board shall review the application and the information that accompanies it as soon as practicable and making a ruling within a period of four months from the date the application is filed with the Board approving or disapproving the application and stating the grounds for conditional approval or disapproval. If the application is approved, the Board shall grant a certificate for the discharge of the industrial wastes or other wastes into state waters or for the other alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of state waters, as the case may be. If the application is disapproved, the Board shall notify the owner as to what measures, if any, the owner may take to secure approval.

(2) (a) B. Any owner operating under a valid certificate issued by the Board who fails to meet water quality standards established by the Board solely as a result of a change in water quality standards or in the law shall provide the necessary facilities approved by the Board within a reasonable time to meet such new requirements; provided, however, that such facilities shall be reasonable and practicable of attainment giving consideration to the public interest and the equities of the case. The Board may amend such certificate, or revoke it and issue a new one to reflect such facilities after proper hearing, with at least thirty days' notice to the owner of the time, place and purpose thereof. If such revocation or amendment of a certificate is mutually agreeable to the Board and the owner involved, the hearing and notice may be dispensed with.

(b) C. The Board shall revoke the certificate in case of a failure to comply with all such requirements and may issue a special order under subdivisions (8a), (8b), and (8c) of § 62.1-44.15 (8).

D. Any locality may adopt an ordinance that provides for the testing and monitoring of the land application of industrial wastes within its political boundaries to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

E. The Board shall adopt regulations requiring the payment of a fee for the land application of industrial wastes, pursuant to permits issued under this section, in localities that have adopted ordinances in accordance with subsection D. The person land applying industrial wastes shall (i) provide advance notice of the estimated fee to the generator of the industrial wastes unless notification is waived, (ii) collect the fee from the generator, and (iii) remit the fee to the Department of Environmental Quality as provided by regulation. The fee shall not exceed the amount necessary to reimburse the direct costs of a reasonable amount of testing and of the monitoring of the land application of industrial wastes by localities that have adopted such ordinances. The fee shall be imposed on each dry ton of industrial wastes that is land applied in a locality in accordance with the regulations adopted by the Board. The regulations shall include requirements and procedures for:

1. Collection of fees by the Department of Environmental Quality;

2. The deposit of collected fees into the Sludge Management Fund established by subsection G of § 62.1-44.19:3; and

3. Disbursement of proceeds from the Sludge Management Fund by the Department of Environmental Quality to reimburse localities with duly adopted ordinances providing for the testing and monitoring of the land application of industrial wastes, as provided in subsection D.

§ 62.1-44.19:3. Prohibition on land application, marketing and distribution of sewage sludge without permit; ordinances; notice requirement; fees.

A. 1. No owner of a sewage treatment works shall land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge from such treatment works except in compliance with a valid Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit or valid Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit.

2. Sewage sludge shall be treated to meet standards for land application as required by Board regulation prior to delivery at the land application site. No person shall alter the composition of sewage sludge at a site approved for land application of sewage sludge under a Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit or a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Any person who engages in the alteration of such sewage sludge shall be subject to the penalties provided in Article 6 (§ 62.1-44.31 et seq.) of this chapter. The addition of lime or deodorants to sewage sludge that has been treated to meet land application standards shall not constitute alteration of the composition of sewage sludge. The Department may authorize public institutions of higher education to conduct scientific research on the composition of sewage sludge that may be applied to land.

3. No person shall contract or propose to contract, with the owner of a sewage treatment works, to land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge in the Commonwealth, nor shall any person land apply, market or distribute sewage sludge in the Commonwealth without a current Virginia Pollution Abatement Permit authorizing land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge and specifying the location or locations, and the terms and conditions of such land application, marketing or distribution. The permit application shall not be complete unless it includes the landowner's written consent to apply sewage sludge on his property.

4. The land disposal of lime-stabilized septage and unstabilized septage is prohibited.

5. Beginning July 1, 2007, no application for a permit or variance to authorize the storage of sewage sludge shall be complete unless it contains certification from the governing body of the locality in which the sewage sludge is to be stored that the storage site is consistent with all applicable ordinances. The governing body shall confirm or deny consistency within 30 days of receiving a request for certification. If the governing body does not so respond, the site shall be deemed consistent.

B. The Board, with the assistance of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Health, shall adopt regulations to ensure that (i) sewage sludge permitted for land application, marketing, or distribution is properly treated or stabilized; (ii) land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge is performed in a manner that will protect public health and the environment; and (iii) the escape, flow or discharge of sewage sludge into state waters, in a manner that would cause pollution of state waters, as those terms are defined in § 62.1-44.3, shall be prevented.

C. Regulations adopted by the Board, with the assistance of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Health pursuant to subsection B, shall include:

1. Requirements and procedures for the issuance and amendment of permits, including general permits, authorizing the land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge;

2. Procedures for amending land application permits to include additional application sites and sewage sludge types;

3. Standards for treatment or stabilization of sewage sludge prior to land application, marketing or distribution;

4. Requirements for determining the suitability of land application sites and facilities used in land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge;

5. Required procedures for land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge;

6. Requirements for sampling, analysis, recordkeeping, and reporting in connection with land application, marketing, and distribution of sewage sludge;

7. Provisions for notification of local governing bodies to ensure compliance with §§ 62.1-44.15:3 and 62.1-44.19:3.4;

8. Requirements for site-specific nutrient management plans, which shall be developed by persons certified in accordance with § 10.1-104.2 prior to land application for all sites where sewage sludge is land applied, and approved by the Department of Conservation and Recreation prior to permit issuance under specific conditions, including but not limited to, sites operated by an owner or lessee of a Confined Animal Feeding Operation, as defined in subsection A of § 62.1-44.17:1, or Confined Poultry Feeding Operation, as defined in § 62.1-44.17:1.1, sites where the permit authorizes land application more frequently than once every three years at greater than 50 percent of the annual agronomic rate, and other sites based on site-specific conditions that increase the risk that land application may adversely impact state waters;

9. Procedures for the prompt investigation and disposition of complaints concerning land application of sewage sludge, including the requirements that (i) holders of permits issued under this section shall report all complaints received by them to the Department and to the local governing body of the jurisdiction in which the complaint originates, and (ii) localities receiving complaints concerning land application of sewage sludge shall notify the Department and the permit holder. The Department shall maintain a searchable electronic database of complaints received during the current and preceding calendar year, which shall include information detailing each complaint and how it was resolved; and

10. Procedures for receiving and responding to public comments on applications for permits and for permit amendments authorizing land application at additional sites. Such procedures shall provide that an application for any permit amendments to increase the acreage authorized by the initial permit by 50 percent or more shall be treated as a new application for purposes of public notice and public hearings.

D. Prior to issuance of a permit authorizing the land application, marketing or distribution of sewage sludge, the Department shall consult with, and give full consideration to the written recommendations of the Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Such consultation shall include any public health risks or water quality impacts associated with the permitted activity. The Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Recreation may submit written comments on proposed permits within 30 days after notification by the Department.

E. Where, because of site-specific conditions, including soil type, identified during the permit application review process, the Department determines that special requirements are necessary to protect the environment or the health, safety or welfare of persons residing in the vicinity of a proposed land application site, the Department may incorporate in the permit at the time it is issued reasonable special conditions regarding buffering, transportation routes, slope, material source, methods of handling and application, and time of day restrictions exceeding those required by the regulations adopted under this section. Before incorporating any such conditions into the permit, the Department shall provide written notice to the permit applicant, specifying the reasons therefor and identifying the site-specific conditions justifying the additional requirements. The Department shall incorporate into the notice any written requests or recommendations concerning such site-specific conditions submitted by the local governing body where the land application is to take place. The permit applicant shall have at least 14 days in which to review and respond to the proposed conditions.

F. The Board shall adopt regulations prescribing a fee to be charged to all permit holders and persons applying for permits and permit modifications pursuant to this section. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Sludge Management Fund. The fee for the initial issuance of a permit shall be $5,000. The fee for the reissuance, amendment, or modification of a permit for an existing site shall not exceed $1,000 and shall be charged only for permit actions initiated by the permit holder. Fees collected under this section shall be exempt from statewide indirect costs charged and collected by the Department of Accounts and shall not supplant or reduce the general fund appropriation to the Department.

G. There is hereby established in the treasury a special fund to be known as the Sludge Management Fund, hereinafter referred to as the Fund. The fees required by this section and by subsection E of § 62.1-44.16 shall be transmitted to the Comptroller to be deposited into the Fund. The income and principal of the Fund shall be used only and exclusively (i) for the Department's direct and indirect costs associated with the processing of an application to issue, reissue, amend, or modify any permit to land apply, distribute, or market sewage sludge, or industrial wastes, the administration and management of the Department's sewage sludge and industrial wastes land application program programs, including but not limited to, monitoring and inspecting, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation's costs for implementation of the sewage sludge application program, and (ii) to reimburse localities with duly adopted ordinances providing for the testing and monitoring of the land application of sewage sludge or industrial wastes. The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of the moneys deposited in the Fund. No part of the Fund, either principal or interest earned thereon, shall revert to the general fund of the state treasury.

H. All persons holding or applying for a permit authorizing the land application of sewage sludge shall provide to the Board written evidence of financial responsibility, which shall be available to pay claims for cleanup costs, personal injury, and property damages resulting from the transportation, storage or land application of sewage sludge. The Board shall, by regulation, establish and prescribe mechanisms for meeting the financial responsibility requirements of this section.

I. Any county, city or town may adopt an ordinance that provides for the testing and monitoring of the land application of sewage sludge within its political boundaries to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

J. The Department, upon the timely request of any individual to test the sewage sludge at a specific site, shall collect samples of the sewage sludge at the site prior to the land application and submit such samples to a laboratory. The testing shall include an analysis of the (i) concentration of trace elements, (ii) coliform count, and (iii) pH level. The results of the laboratory analysis shall be (a) furnished to the individual requesting that the test be conducted and (b) reviewed by the Department. The person requesting the test and analysis of the sewage sludge shall pay the costs of sampling, testing, and analysis.

K. At least 100 days prior to commencing land application of sewage sludge at a permitted site, the permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the chief executive officer or his designee for the local government where the site is located. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the sewage sludge to be applied to the site. This requirement may be satisfied by providing a list of all available permitted sites in the locality at least 100 days prior to commencing the application at any site on the list. This requirement shall not apply to any application commenced prior to October 10, 2005. If the site is located in more than one county, the notice shall be provided to all jurisdictions where the site is located.

L. The permit holder shall deliver or cause to be delivered written notification to the Department at least 14 days prior to commencing land application of sewage sludge at a permitted site. The notice shall identify the location of the permitted site and the expected sources of the sewage sludge to be applied to the site.

M. The Department shall randomly conduct unannounced site inspections while land application of sewage sludge is in progress at a sufficient frequency to determine compliance with the requirements of this section, § 62.1-44.19:3.1, or regulations adopted under those sections.

N. Surface incorporation into the soil of sewage sludge applied to cropland may be required when practicable and compatible with a soil conservation plan meeting the standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

O. The Board shall develop regulations specifying and providing for extended buffers to be employed for application of sewage sludge (i) to hay, pasture, and forestlands; or (ii) to croplands where surface incorporation is not practicable or is incompatible with a soil conservation plan meeting the standards and specifications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Such extended buffers may be included by the Department as site specific permit conditions pursuant to subsection E, as an alternative to surface incorporation when necessary to protect odor sensitive receptors as determined by the Department or the local monitor.

P. The Board shall adopt regulations requiring the payment of a fee for the land application of sewage sludge, pursuant to permits issued under this section. The person land applying sewage sludge shall (i) provide advance notice of the estimated fee to the generator of the sewage sludge unless notification is waived, (ii) collect the fee from the generator, and (iii) remit the fee to the Department as provided for by regulation. The fee shall be imposed on each dry ton of sewage sludge that is land applied in the Commonwealth. The regulations shall include requirements and procedures for:

1. Collection of fees by the Department;

2. Deposit of the fees into the Fund; and

3. Disbursement of proceeds by the Department pursuant to subsection G.

Q. The Department, in consultation with the Department of Health, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, shall establish and implement a program to train persons employed by those local governments that have adopted ordinances, pursuant to this section, to test and monitor the land application of sewage sludge. The program shall include, at a minimum, instruction in: (i) the provisions of the Virginia Biosolids Use Regulations; (ii) land application methods and equipment, including methods and processes for preparation and stabilization of sewage sludge that is land applied; (iii) sampling and chain of custody control; (iv) preparation and implementation of nutrient management plans for land application sites; (v) complaint response and preparation of complaint and inspection reports; (vi) enforcement authority and procedures; (vii) interaction and communication with the public; and (viii) preparation of applications for reimbursement of local monitoring costs disbursed pursuant to subsection G. To the extent feasible, the program shall emphasize in-field instruction and practical training. Persons employed by local governments shall successfully complete such training before the local government may request reimbursement from the Board for testing and monitoring of land application of sewage sludge performed by the person. The completion of training shall not be a prerequisite to the exercise of authority granted to local governments by any applicable provision of law.

The Department may:

1. Charge attendees a reasonable fee to recover the actual costs of preparing course materials and providing facilities and instructors for the program. The fee shall be reimbursable from the Fund established pursuant to this section; and

2. Request and accept the assistance and participation of other state agencies and institutions in preparing and presenting the course of training established by this subsection.

R. Localities, as part of their zoning ordinances, may designate or reasonably restrict the storage of sewage sludge based on criteria directly related to the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens and the environment. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, a locality may by ordinance require that a special exception or a special use permit be obtained to begin the storage of sewage sludge on any property in its jurisdiction, including any area that is zoned as an agricultural district or classification. Such ordinances shall not restrict the storage of sewage sludge on a farm as long as such sludge is being stored (i) solely for land application on that farm and (ii) for a period no longer than 45 days. No person shall apply to the State Health Commissioner or the Department of Environmental Quality for a permit, a variance, or a permit modification authorizing such storage without first complying with all requirements adopted pursuant to this subsection.

2. That the State Water Control Board shall promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this act to be effective within 280 days of its enactment.