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State Water Control Board holds quarterly meeting

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The Virginia State Water Control Board voted this week to authorize more than $1.1 million for 16 sewer system evaluation projects in Southwest Virginia that will identify high priority infrastructure repairs.

These projects are included in the Fiscal Year 2022 Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund, and are the first step in reducing sewer system overflows into the ecologically important waterways of the region.

The Board also reviewed at its quarterly meeting this week recommendations for changes to Virginia’s Water Quality Standards regulation and approved a public hearing and comment period for the proposed amendments. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality initiated the Triennial Review rule-making in 2021 with input from a regulatory advisory panel and public comment.

The standards, based on new scientific information, will update numerous numerical and narrative criteria, designations for water use and other policies in Virginia’s Water Quality Standards Regulation (9VAC25-260). Water quality standards are used in setting Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit limits and for reporting on the health of waters of the Commonwealth. Water bodies not meeting standards may require development of a Total Maximum Daily Load or limitations on effluents released.

After hearing a summary of recommendations from staff that included input from the technical advisory committee, the Board also authorized a public comment period and public hearing for amendments to the General VPDES Permit for Vehicle Wash and Laundry Facilities (9VAC25-194).

DEQ Enforcement Director Tiffany Severs provided a significant noncompliance report, an update on noncompliance within the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act program, and presented three special consent orders to the Board, which were approved.

The next meeting of the Board is scheduled tentatively for Dec. 14 where it will consider, among other things, the Virginia Water Protection permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

For more information about the Board or upcoming meetings, visit