Senator Emmett Hanger’s rural stormwater bill reported out of the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee on February 13 and was rereferred to the House Appropriations Committee.
SB 1328 (Hanger) authorizes the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to provide Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF) grants to smaller, rural localities that are not regulated under municipal separate storm sewer (MS4) permits for stormwater management. Eligible projects are those that solely use SLAF funds for stormwater capital projects, including (a) new stormwater best management practices, (b) stormwater best management practice retrofitting or maintenance, (c) stream restoration, (d) low-impact development projects, (e) buffer restoration, (f) pond retrofitting, and (g) wetlands restoration. Furthermore, SB 1328 directs the DEQ to prioritize grants for stormwater management projects that are regional in scope.
SB 1328 further stipulates that while the DEQ is granted this authority, no more than 20 percent of SLAF moneys could be awarded to non-MS4 localities. So, the Director of the DEQ would have the discretion of authorizing 0-20 percent of SLAF funds for non-MS4s. Additionally, if any SLAF moneys remain after the DEQ has completed its annual solicitation of grant applications and made authorization decisions for non-MS4 localities, any remaining SLAF moneys that had been designated for non-MS4s shall be made available for MS4 localities.
VACo supports this legislation and will speak in support on February 15 when it is heard in the House Appropriations Committee.
VACo Members are encouraged to contact Delegates on the House Appropriations Committee to express support for SB 1328.
VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.