Rural stormwater bill introduced

January 22, 2019

VACo supports Senator Emmett Hanger’s bill, SB 1328 (Hanger), which seeks to tweak the current Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF) program to provide greater assistance to rural communities.

The bill authorizes the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to provide SLAF grants to smaller, rural localities that are not regulated under municipal separate storm sewer (MS4) permits for stormwater management.  In providing these moneys, SB 1328 directs the DEQ to prioritize grants for stormwater management projects that are regional in scope.  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.

In a statement released through the Governor’s office, Senator Hanger noted that “[t]hroughout the Shenandoah Valley, small, rural towns are taking steps to improve their communities and local creeks and streams.  This legislation will ensure those localities have reliable support from the state’s stormwater local assistance funding.”

SB 1328 is a part of Governor Ralph Northam’s 2019 Legislative Agenda.  The bill was referred to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, and is scheduled to be heard on January 31.  VACo will be present to support this bill.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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