Water in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly – Stormwater Management Bill (HB 1774)

This is one of a series of posts on particular water-related bills in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly.  For an inventory of about 165 water-related bills in the 2017 General Assembly, please visit the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s “Virginia Water Legislation” page, online at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/virginia-water-legislation/.  Each post includes a summary of the bill(s), their legislative status (in committee, passed, failed, etc.), and a list of hyperlinked headlines for news media items on the bill(s).  Information on the bills’ provisions and status is taken from the Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS), online at http://leg1.state.va.us/lis.htm.  Each bill number is hyperlinked to the LIS entry for that bill.

HB 1774, Stormwater management; work group to examine ways to improve in rural Tidewater.  This bill, sponsored by Del. M. Keith Hodges (R-98th District), of Urbanna, passed the House on Feb. 6, passed the Senate on Feb. 21, and was approved by the Governor on March 13.  According to the Virginia Legislative Information System (LIS), the bill aimed to develop new Regional Stormwater Practies banks for localities that do not operate a municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) for stormwater runoff.  As passed, the bill has the following provisions (again, according to LIS):
*directs the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency (the Center) to convene a work group to consider alternative methods of stormwater management in rural Tidewater localities;
*provides that the group is to be facilitated by the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William and Mary Law School and is to include representatives of institutions of higher education, state agencies, local governments, private industry, and other groups;
*provides that the work group is to review and consider the creation of rural development growth areas, the development of a volume credit program, the payment of fees to support regional best management practices, and the allowance of the use of stormwater in highway ditches to generate volume credits;
*requires the Center to report the results of the work group’s examination to the governor and the chairs of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources by January 1, 2018, which is the date the work group provisions of the bill are set to expire; and
*delays from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, the effective date of new stormwater laws enacted during the 2016 Session of the General Assembly.

Related News Media Items
Bills and Buzzwords: the Story of HB 1774, Bacon’s Rebellion, 2/23/17; The Story of HB 1774 – Rural Growth, Stormwater Credits, Bacon’s Rebellion, 3/1/17; The Saga of HB 1774 – Starting Over, Bacon’s Rebellion, 3/7/17; The Saga of HB 1774 – Recurrent Flooding and Flooded Roads, Bacon’s Rebellion, 3/17/17 [series of four articles examining the case of a bill that changes significantly during passage through the Virginia General Assembly].

Stormwater banks pitched to address pollution, flooding and development on Middle Peninsula, Daily Press, 2/12/17.

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