The Virginia General Assembly amended the Code of Virginia in 2003 to give local governments more oversight over biosolids recycling within their jurisdictions (Section 62.1-44.19:3 of the Code of Virginia).
State regulations were then approved authorizing each county to pass a local ordinance and enabling it to assign an individual to monitor the application of regulated biosolids within its boundaries. Under a state-approved ordinance, a local monitor is permitted to test and monitor the land application of biosolids to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Monitors may also order the abatement of any violation of state regulations.
In 2015, the existing local monitoring program was amended by Virginia’s General Assembly to allow localities to adopt ordinances that provide for the testing and monitoring of the land application of industrial residuals. A draft local monitoring ordinance that is inclusive of both the biosolids and industrial residuals program can be found here.
Localities that have local ordinances cannot enforce more restrictive conditions on the land application of biosolids than already exist in the state program. State law allows the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to collect fees from land appliers, based on the amount of biosolids applied to farms or forestland. These fees are used to reimburse local governments that choose to provide local oversight and monitoring and to support the cost of DEQ oversight of land application.