news state water control board approves 307 million for virginia localities

State Water Control Board approves $307 million for Virginia localities

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At its regular meeting in Richmond yesterday, the State Water Control Board approved more than $307 million in low-interest rate loan agreements for localities and public service authorities to improve wastewater infrastructure in Virginia.

The town of Front Royal will receive $5.4 million of that loan agreement, the city of Winchester will receive $14 million and Buchanan County will receive more than $21 million.

The board also approved final regulations for reissuance of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permits for Non-Contract Cooling Water Discharges of 50,000 gallons per day or less and for Potable Water Treatable Plants. The VPDES program issues permits for point source discharges into surface waters, municipal storm sewer systems and stormwater from industrial activities.

Public comment periods were initiated for assistance in the reissuance of VPDES general permits for Concrete Products Facilities and Discharges for Stormwater for Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems, both of which will expire in 2023.

Per Senate Bill 1291, localities must report water loss statistics to the Department of Environmental Quality and have reported as much as 25 percent of losses. Concerns have been raised about efficiency and effectiveness of public water use so the board approved a public comment period for amendments that would establish requirements for water auditing and leak detection.

The board also received an update on the Solar Project Siting Study. A final report will be issued December 1 and become effective Jan. 19, 2023 after DEQ’s investigation of polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS), a “forever chemical,” found in water throughout the United States.

The board will meet again in March 2023.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.