Vol. 25 Iss. 26 - August 31, 2009

Chapter 32
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The State Water Control Board is claiming an exclusion from the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4006 A 4 a of the Code of Virginia, which excludes regulations that are necessary to conform to changes in Virginia statutory law where no agency discretion is involved. The State Water Control Board will receive, consider, and respond to petitions by any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision.

Title of Regulation: 9VAC25-32. Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) Permit Regulation (amending 9VAC25-32-140, 9VAC25-32-240).

Statutory Authority: § 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: September 30, 2009.

Agency Contact: William K. Norris, Department of Environmental Quality, 629 East Main Street, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218, telephone (804) 698-4022, FAX (804) 698-4347, or email


This action implements the 2009 legislative changes to the State Water Control Law as a result of Chapter 42 of the 2009 Acts of Assembly. These changes clarify public notice requirements for permit applications for land application acreage increases of 50% or more and clarify when a permit for land application is issued in relation to the public meeting and public comment opportunity on the application. The resulting regulatory changes provide that an application for any permit amendments to increase the acreage authorized by the initial permit by 50% or more shall be treated as a new application for purposes of public notice and public hearings and provide that the board shall not issue the permit for land disposal until the public meeting has been held and comment has been received from the local governing body, or until 30 days have lapsed from the date of the public meeting.

Part III
Public Involvement

9VAC25-32-140. Public notice of VPA permit action and public comment period.

A. Every draft VPA permit shall be given public notice, paid for by the owner, by publication once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the pollutant management activity.

B. Interested persons shall have a period of at least 30 days following the date of the initial newspaper public notice to submit written comments on the tentative decision and to request a public hearing.

C. The contents of the public notice of an application for a VPA permit shall include:

1. The name and address of the applicant. If the location of the pollutant management activity differs from the address of the applicant the notice shall also state the location of the pollutant management activity including storage and land application sites;

2. A brief description of the business or activity conducted at the facility;

3. A statement of the tentative determination to issue or deny a VPA permit;

4. A brief description of the final determination procedure;

5. The address and phone number of a specific person at the state office from whom further information may be obtained; and

6. A brief description of how to submit comments and request a hearing.

D. Public notice shall not be required for submission or approval of plans and specifications or conceptual engineering reports not required to be submitted as part of the application.

E. Upon receipt of an application for a permit or for a modification of a permit, the board shall :

1. Cause to be notified, in writing, the locality wherein the pollutant management activity does or is proposed to take place. This notification shall, at a minimum, include:

a. The name of the applicant;

b. The nature of the application and proposed pollutant management activity; and

c. Upon request, any other information known to, or in the possession of, the board or the department regarding the application except as restricted by 9VAC25-32-150.

2. Establish a date for a public meeting to discuss technical issues relating to proposals for land application of biosolids or land disposal of treated sewage, stabilized sewage sludge or stabilized septage. The department shall give notice of the date, time, and place of the public meeting and a description of the proposal by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or county where the proposal is to take place. Public notice of the scheduled meeting shall occur no fewer than seven or more than 14 days prior to the meeting. The board shall not consider the application for the proposal to be complete issue the permit until the public meeting has been held and comment has been received from the local governing body or until 30 days have lapsed from the date of the public meeting.

F. Before issuing any permit, if the board finds that there are localities particularly affected by the permit, the board shall:

1. Publish, or require the applicant to publish, a notice in a local paper of general circulation in the localities affected at least 30 days prior to the close of any public comment period. Such notice shall contain a statement of the estimated local impact of the proposed permit, which at a minimum shall include information on the specific pollutants involved and the total quantity of each which may be discharged; and

2. Mail the notice to the chief elected official and chief administrative officer and planning district commission for those localities.

Written comments shall be accepted by the board for at least 15 days after any public hearing on the permit, unless the board votes to shorten the period. For the purposes of this section, the term "locality particularly affected" means any locality which bears any identified disproportionate material water quality impact which would not be experienced by other localities.

G. When a site is to be added to an existing permit authorizing land application of biosolids, the department shall notify persons residing on property bordering such site, and shall receive written comments from those persons for a period not to exceed 30 days. Based upon the written comments, the department shall determine whether additional site-specific requirements should be included in the authorization for land application at the site.

9VAC25-32-240. Minor modification.

A. Upon request of the permittee, or upon board initiative with the consent of the permittee, minor modifications may be made in the VPA permit without following the public involvement procedures.

B. Minor modification may only:

1. Correct typographical errors;

2. Require reporting by the permittee at a frequency other than that required in the VPA permit;

3. Change an interim compliance date in a schedule of compliance to no more than 120 days from the original compliance date and provided it will not interfere with the final compliance date;

4. Allow for a change in name, ownership or operational control when the board determines that no other change in the VPA permit is necessary, provided that a written agreement containing a specific date for transfer of VPA permit responsibility, coverage and liability from the current to the new permittee has been submitted to the department;

5. Delete the listing of a land application site when the pollutant management activity is terminated and does not result in an increase of pollutants which would exceed VPA permit limitations;

6. Reduce VPA permit limitations to reflect a reduction in the permitted activity when such reduction results from a shutdown of processes or pollutant generating activities or from connection of the permitted activity to a POTW;

7. Change plans and specifications where no other changes in the VPA permit are required;

8. Authorize treatment facility expansions, production increases or process modifications which will not cause a significant change in the quantity of pollutants being managed or a significant change in the nature of the pollutant management activity; or

9. Delete VPA permit limitation or monitoring requirements for specific pollutants when the activities generating these pollutants are terminated.

C. An application for a any permit amendment amendments to increase the acreage authorized by the initial permit by 50% or more shall be treated as a new application for purposes of public notice and public hearings.