2004 Session

Budget Amendments - HB30 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Landes
Small Community Permit Fees (language only)

Item 385 #3h

Item 385 #3h

Natural Resources
Environmental Quality, Department of

Page 303, after line 47, insert:  
"F.  Should the General Assembly approve any increase in the costs of the permits issued by the Department to municipally-owned waterworks, the Department shall establish those additional permit costs on the basis of the number of connections served by these municipally-owned waterworks rather than on the basis of the number of permits actually required by the municipally-owned waterworks facility."

(This amendment requires that the permit fees charged by the Department of Environmental Quality to localities for drinking water and wastewater permits be based upon the number of connections served by those municipally-owned waterworks rather than on the basis of a fee per permit issued. The department's proposed plan called for an increase in the fee per permit issued, a policy which significantly impacts small community-owned drinking water and wastewater plants. For example, many large and medium-sized cities in Virginia, due to their location downstream, construct very large wastewater and drinking water systems serving thousands of customers. Consequently, these cities typically have only one permit that must be renewed. The proposed cost of that permit renewal will be $7,100, despite the large number of system connections and clients served. Many small communities, however, cannot construct these large plants because they are located upriver on smaller headwater rivers and streams. Consequently, they are forced by topography to use a number of small facilities to provide drinking water and sewage treatment. The same fees, though, still apply -- $7,100 per facility. In the case of one small community, this means a permit payment of $250,300 versus a charge of $43,600 for the largest cities in the Commonwealth.)