Times-Dispatch Tag

Localities Propose Legislation to Delay Implementation of New Stormwater Programs

[caption id="attachment_1251" align="alignleft" width="230"] Photo Credit - Rex Springston/Times Dispatch[/caption] Though local stormwater programs have been debated for many years, a July 1, 2014 deadline for the implementation of new stormwater management programs to be administered by Virginia localities is the target of proposed legislation in the 2014 session of the General Assembly. Groups including the Virginia Association of Counties who represents Virginia’s 95 counties by unanimous vote of its membership in November voted to support a one-year delay, to July 2015. While localities argue that the timeframe to implement these new programs has been too tight to meet the 2014 deadline, groups including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation say that the time is now to act and that "We do not need to delay any more.” Both sides of the arguement recognize that stormwater programs should include a sustainable funding model. Relying solely on fees charged for new development exposes localities to revenue swings...

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Potential Changes in Store for Dam Safety?

While the 2011 Virginia General Assembly considers numerous legislation to aid the Commonwealth moving forward, one bill introduced by Senator Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover) proposes a rollback of the State's current criteria for dams subject to State-regulated safety inspections. As proposed, the bill (SB 1060) would reduce the number of dams subject to regulation throughout the State by more than half. There is a cetain level of irony that while over 1500 dams in the State have been identified as subject to inspection, less than 42% of those dams have certifications. The debate around this issue is not around the vast majority of high-hazard dams, but moreso over significant-hazard and low-hazard dams which would no longer be subject to inspection. The bill is supported by certain local officials and private dam owners as they contend the cost associated with the plans are prohibitive. However, State officials as well as the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia  point out that the current standards...

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