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Commonwealth's Counties

Water and Wastewater Facility Compliance and Modernization Bill Passes Through General Assembly

HB 220 (Orrock) would establish a new protocol for an unexpected vacancy of the licensed operator position for water treatment facilities and wastewater treatment facilities. The bill also permits remote monitoring of the facility by the licensed operator upon a demonstration of adequate monitoring technology.

Specifically, the bill provides regulatory framework for the facility to stay in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other requirements if an unexpected vacancy occurs for the licensed operator position at such water or wastewater facility.  The other focal point of the legislation is to provide more flexibility for water and wastewater facilities by taking advantage of technology to enable remote monitoring of these facilities.  The facility seeking to monitor operations remotely would have to submit a remote monitoring plan with the specific requirements laid out in the bill and the respective Virginia state agency would have the discretion to approve or deny such plan.

It has been difficult for localities to find and hire licensed operators for these facilities recently, and this bill further builds off efforts VACo supported in the 2023 General Assembly session to provide flexibility for these necessary public services and public works employees.

VACo has testified in support of this bill, which reported out unanimously during all its stops along the legislative process.  HB 220 now heads to the Governor’s desk where we await a decision.  VACo thanks Delegate Orrock for bringing forward this important bill.

VACo Contact: James Hutzler

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