2019 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1700 (Committee Approved)

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Extend Timeline for HB 1475 Report (language only)

Item 366 #2h

Item 366 #2h

Natural Resources
Department of Environmental Quality


Page 405, after line 22, insert:

"J. Notwithstanding the deadline established in the second enactment of Chapter 510, 2018 Acts of Assembly, the Department of Environmental Quality shall complete its report on how other states that have adopted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2013 Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Ammonia have implemented such Criteria in ways that both minimize the impact of the Criteria on Virginia sewerage systems or other treatment works and are permissible under the federal Clean Water Act, including consideration of alternative effluent limitations based on a demonstration by the permittee of the lack of appreciable harm from the discharge of ammonia to aquatic life.  Such report shall be submitted no later than November 1, 2019 to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committees."


(This amendment extends the deadline for a report from DEQ required by Chapter 510, 2018 Acts of Assembly 2. That enactment directed DEQ to report to the General Assembly on procedures and practices for ammonia criteria implementation to minimize their impact on Virginia sewerage systems. While DEQ is reasonably implementing other aspects of the legislation, the report required by the second enactment clause was substantially incomplete and fell short of meeting the original requirements, perhaps because DEQ simply needed more time. The report was supposed to address relief allowable under the Clean Water Act to minimize unnecessary impacts on permittees. The most important such procedures and practices relate to how DEQ sets permit limits; however, on this subject DEQ only states that "DEQ has formed an implementation workgroup that is currently evaluating these and other factors." Clearly the work is incomplete, ongoing and therefore not addressed in the report. To allow DEQ the time it needs to finish this important work and comply with the original directive of that legislation, a one-year extension is requested.)