AN ACT RELATING TO SEWAGE PLANT INSPECTIONS, PHOSPHORUS DISCHARGES, AND SEPTAGE TREATMENT AT WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 905b(6) is amended to read:
The department shall protect and manage the water resources of the state in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter and shall:
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(6) after the construction or major reconstruction of sewage disposal plants *[
at least once each year]* and attendant facilities, and at least once every three years, and once in any 12 month period upon petition by 10 or more people in interest from the municipality or an adjacent municipality, inspect the facilities so constructed, and similar facilities constructed for the purpose, to determine the efficiency of operation and maintenance, and submit a report to the appropriate municipal officials;
Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. § 1266a is amended to read:
§ 1266a. DISCHARGES OF PHOSPHORUS
No person directly discharging into the drainage basins of Lake Champlain or Lake Memphremagog shall discharge any waste which contains a phosphorus concentration in excess of 0.80 *[
mg/l]* milligrams per liter on a monthly average basis. The secretary of natural resources shall establish a schedule for municipalities that requires compliance with this section at a rate that corresponds to the rate at which funds are provided under 10 V.S.A. § 1625(e). To the extent that funds are not provided to municipalities under that section, municipal compliance with this section shall not be required. *[ Persons holding permits allowing a discharge]* Discharges of less than 200,000 gallons per day, permitted on or before July 1, 1991, *[ and municipalities holding permits to operate aerated lagoon type secondary sewage treatment plants on or before July 1, 1991]* shall not be subject to the requirements of this section. Discharges from a municipally owned aerated lagoon type secondary sewage treatment plant permitted on or before July 1, 1991 shall not besubject to the requirements of this section unless the plant is modified to use a technology other than aerated lagoons.
Sec. 3. 10 V.S.A. § 6605(a) is amended to read:
(a)(1) No person shall construct, substantially alter, or operate any solid waste management facility without first obtaining certification from the secretary for such facility, site or activity, except for sludge or septage treatment or storage facilities located within the fenced area of a domestic wastewater treatment plant permitted under chapter 47 of this title. This exemption for sludge or septage treatment or storage facilities shall exist only if:
(A) the treatment facility does not utilize a process to further reduce pathogens in order to qualify for marketing and distribution; and
(B) the facility is not a drying bed, lagoon, or non-concrete bunker; and
(C) the owner of the facility has submitted a sludge and septage management plan to the secretary and the secretary has approved the plan. Noncompliance with an approved sludge and septage management plan shall constitute a violation of the terms of this chapter, as well as a violation under chapters 201 and 211 of this title.
(2) Certification shall be valid for a period not to exceed five years.
Sec. 4. 24 V.S.A. § 3633(d) is amended to read:
(d) Municipal ordinances relating to sewage systems, which were approved before July, 1984 under 18 V.S.A. § 613 by the board of health, shall remain in effect and shall be deemed to have been adopted and approved under this section. Municipal ordinances relating to sewage systems which were approved before July 1984 by the commissioner of health, shall remain in effect until either the ordinance has been approved pursuant to this chapter or July 1, *[
1997]* 1998, whichever occurs first.
Sec. 5. PILOT PROJECT ON COST-EFFECTIVE OFF-SITE MITIGATION OF
PHOSPHORUS DISCHARGES FROM SMALL, MUNICIPALLY-OWNED
(a) The agency of natural resources may conduct a pilot project to involve no morethan two municipally-owned treatment plants that each discharge less than 50,000 gallons per day, and that are initially permitted after July 1, 1991. Treatment plants selected by the agency to participate in this pilot project shall not be subject to the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 1266a which establish for certain discharges a monthly average phosphorus concentration limit of 0.80 milligrams per liter. Instead, exempt plant permits issued subject to that section shall require implementation of a plan for a cost-effective, off-site reduction in phosphorus loadings for each year that the plant operates. The net reduction in phosphorus loading in the affected basin, as a result of the cost-effective, off-site mitigation efforts implemented under the plan, shall be equal to or exceed the extent to which the discharge from the plant exceeds the monthly average phosphorus concentration limit of 0.80 milligrams per liter.
(b) By no later than January 15 of each of the next three odd-numbered years following commencement of each pilot project under this section, the agency shall submit to the general assembly a report that:
(1) evaluates the cost-effectiveness of the pilot project and its effectiveness in the control of phosphorus loading in the affected drainage basins;
(2) describes the off-site mitigation steps required, the computation methods employed, and the methods used to identify substantial off-site sources of phosphorus loading included in the mitigation program;
(3) evaluates the ability of the mitigation measures to sustain the reduction in question;
(4) makes any appropriate recommendations regarding the feasibility and advisability of expanding the scope of the pilot project.