New erosion and sediment control practices for solar projects are set to be voted on by the Senate this week.
SB 1258 (Marsden) makes changes to § 62.1-44.15:55.1 of the Code of Virginia, which deals with localities and solar projects. Specifically, SB 1258 requires that the State Water Control Board administer a Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program (VESCP) on behalf of any locality that notifies the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that it has chosen not to administer a VESCP for a solar project larger than 5 megawatts (MW). VACo previously wrote about this bill for the January 2 edition of Capitol Contact.
SB 1258 was initially heard on January 19 by the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee. The bill was then heard on February 2 by the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, which reported the bill, 16-0, with an amendment stipulating the provisions shall only be effective contingent upon funding being included for this program in the Budget.
SB 1258 will be voted on by the full Senate as early as Thursday afternoon (February 4).
VACo has no position on this bill provided it remains a local option.
VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.