Rural stormwater bill passes Senate, heads to House

February 4, 2019

Senator Emmett Hanger’s rural stormwater bill, SB 1328 (Hanger), unanimously passed the Senate late last week and will now be heard in the House of Delegates.

The bill 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.

Prior to its passage, SB 1328 was amended in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee to provide that 1) no more than 20 percent of SLAF moneys could be awarded to non-MS4 localities and 2) 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 shall be made available for MS4 localities.

SB 1328 has been referred to the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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