- Report Published -
|Annual Report on the Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund Point Source Polution Control|
|Department of Conservation and Recreation; Department of Environmental Quality|
|This document is submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly in response to a statutory requirement under § 10.1-2134 of the 1997 Virginia Water Quality Improvement Act (the “Act”; Virginia Code, Chapter 21.1 of Title 10.1), for an annual report on the implementation of the Water Quality Improvement Fund (WQIF). The DEQ Director is responsible for reporting annually on the point source component of the WQIF. The report contains a review of program activities, which have continued implementation of the WQIF through calendar year 2006. This includes an update of ongoing projects from 1997 through the grant applications received for FY 2006 funding; an update to the Request for Proposals for Technical Assistance Grants; general information on current solicitations; and an update to the procedural WQIF Point Source Grant Guidelines issued by the Secretary of Natural Resources.|
As specified in § 10.1-2134 of the Act, this report also lists the recipients and amounts of grants awarded from the WQIF and projections for the amount of continued funding required for the upcoming fiscal year under all executed grant agreements. For any new/future project, the specific and measurable reductions in nutrient loads to state waters anticipated once each funded project is constructed and placed into operation will be provided in a subsequent report. Highlights contained in this report are:
1. Since its inception, the WQIF has provided grants for installation of nutrient removal technology at twenty-five facilities, which will result in the estimated annual point source reduction of 13.7 million pounds of nitrogen and 240,000 pounds of phosphorus discharged to the waters of the Commonwealth when fully implemented (compared to a 1985 baseline).
2. Of the twenty projects now operating their nutrient reduction systems, all but one has achieved the concentration-based performance requirements of their WQIF grant agreement.
3. To date, approximately $101.5 million in State cost share for point source projects has been offered through signed grant agreements and $96.7 million has been authorized for reimbursement.
4. Technical Assistance (TA) grants have been drafted for 33 projects with another 3 potential projects to be covered by TA grants. Most of these grant funds came from the FY 2005 appropriation.
5. In September 2005, DEQ began a solicitation for point source grant applications in accordance with new Guidelines issued by the Secretary of Natural Resources. Sixty-four applications were received by the January 26, 2006 deadline, requesting a total cost share amount of approximately $631 million. In order to process the applications consistently and equitably, and also establish a “readiness-to-proceed” prioritization, DEQ developed Guidance Memorandum #06-2012 (accessible at this webpage: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/bay/ApplicationReviewProceduresWQIF.pdf).
6. To date, four agreements have been drafted and the final budget is being negotiated for six other projects. One applicant withdrew their request for grant assistance.
The current estimate of the total capital cost to fully implement the point source components of the Tributary Strategy Plans is estimated to be approximately $1.7 – 2.0 billion, depending on construction bid prices, basin compliance schedules, and effectiveness of the nutrient credit exchange program. These costs will likely be financed through a combination of WQIF cost share grants, local funds, low interest loans from the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund, and other sources.