HB2188: Engineered septic systems; Department of Health, et al., to initiate a 3-yr. pilot program to study.


HOUSE BILL NO. 2188
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
on January 20, 2021)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate Hodges)
A BILL to initiate a pilot program to study the use of a vertically elevated septic system.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. § 1. That, subject to existing public health and water quality requirements, the Department of Health and Department of Environmental Quality shall authorize the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission to initiate a three-year pilot program (the pilot program) to analyze an engineered septic unit that houses and treats all sewage effluent in a vertically elevated, self-contained unit suitable for areas with high water tables and flooding in Coastal Virginia. Such vertically elevated septic system, including holding tank and treatment unit, shall have no physical contact with land; shall be vertically elevated on columns, piers, or other structures that provide for the flow of surface water underneath the septic unit; shall be elevated above the storm surge and flood inundation levels; and shall be designed to meet pollution removal standards of the Department of Health and Department of Environmental Quality. The treated sewage discharge from the vertically elevated septic system may include surface, engineered wetland, or other appropriate discharge approaches that comply with regulations for alternative onsite sewage systems (12VAC5-613 et seq.). Such vertically elevated septic system shall be installed in an upland location in the Middle Peninsula outside of any designated Resource Protection Area or floodplain.

§ 2. By December 1 of each year, the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission shall submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly with the following information: (i) the feasibility of elevating the parts of septic systems vulnerable to rising sea levels; (ii) optimal system design, or range of designs, for vertically elevated septic systems capable of withstanding sea level rise and chronic flooding that meets effluent standards; (iii) recommendations for legal or regulatory changes, if any, to authorize the use of vertically elevated septic systems; (iv) recommendations for amending current septic system permit requirements to allow for the use of vertically elevated septic systems; (v) recommendations for financing the installation of vertically elevated septic systems; (vi) the expected date of completion of the pilot program; (vii) installation and projected average annual maintenance costs for a vertically elevated septic system over 10 years; and (viii) any other pertinent information.

HOUSE BILL NO. 2188

Offered January 13, 2021
Prefiled January 13, 2021
A BILL to require the Department of Health and Department of Environmental Quality, in partnership with the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, to initiate a three-year pilot program to study the use of engineered septic systems that house and treat sewage effluent in an elevated, self-contained unit suitable for areas with high water tables and susceptible to flooding in Coastal Virginia.
Patron-- Hodges

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. § 1. That in furtherance of Virginia's Coastal Resilience Master Plan and Executive Order Twenty-Four, the Department of Health and Department of Environmental Quality, in partnership with the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, shall initiate a three-year pilot program to analyze engineered septic systems that house and treat all sewage effluent in a vertically elevated, self-contained unit suitable for areas with high water tables and flooding in Coastal Virginia. The engineered septic unit created pursuant to this act shall have no physical contact with land, will be vertically elevated out of any floodplains, and will be designated to meet pollution removal standards of the Department of Health. Elevated components include the treatment unit, holding tanks, and drain field components. Treated sewage discharge may include surface, engineered wetland, or other appropriate discharge approaches. To support the pilot program, the Department of Health and Department of Environmental Quality, in partnership with the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission, will partner with a participating institution of the Virginia Sea Grant.

§ 2. By December 1 of each year, the Department of Health and Department of Environmental Quality shall coordinate to publish and submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly with the following information: (i) the feasibility of elevating the parts of septic systems vulnerable to rising sea levels; (ii) optimal system design, or range of designs, for vertically elevated septic systems capable of withstanding sea level rise and chronic flooding that meets effluent standards; (iii) recommendations for legal or regulatory changes, if any, to authorize the use of vertically elevated septic systems; (iv) recommendations for amending current septic system permit requirements to allow for the use of vertically elevated septic systems; (v) recommendations for financing the installation of vertically elevated septic systems; (vi) the expected date for when the pilot program will be completed; and (vii) any other pertinent information.