Public Comments Sought On Revised Biosolids Regulations

RICHMOND, VA. – The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comments on proposed revisions to the regulations on the land application of biosolids, or treated sewage sludge. The comment period extends through April 29, 2011, and the public may comment in writing or in person at one of four public hearings.

DEQ started the regulatory revision process in 2008. In addition, the secretary of natural resources and the secretary of health and human resources responded to a request from the Virginia General Assembly in 2007, and convened a panel of experts to study the impact of land application of biosolids on human health and the environment. Publishing its report in January 2009, the panel recommended that DEQ examine certain areas of the regulations.

To develop the proposed revisions, a regulatory advisory group was convened to consider many aspects of the regulations, including the recommendations of the secretaries’ panel as well as changes related to public notice processes, permit modification procedures, setback distances, nutrient management, storage, and permit fees, among others.

Comments can be submitted online at; in writing addressed to William K. Norris, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218, or; or at one of four public hearings to be held at these locations:

• March 31, 2011, at 7 p.m. – James River Conference Center, 400 Court St., Lynchburg, VA 24504.

• April 5, 2011, at 7 p.m. – Henrico County Board Room, Western Government Center, 4301 East Parham Road, Henrico, VA 23228.

• April 7, 2011, at 7 p.m. – Turner Ashby High School, 800 North Main St., Bridgewater, VA 22812.

• April 12, 2011, at 7 p.m. – Liberty High School, 6300 Independence Ave., Bealeton, VA 22712.

A question-and-answer period will be held from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. before the public hearing at each location.

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