(RICHMOND, VA)—Richmond will take aggressive steps to address sewage overflows into the James River under legislation just passed by the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates.
After heavy rainfalls, the city’s combined sewage system currently discharges untreated sewage into the James River. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Richard Stuart (SB1064), sets a timeline for Richmond to complete upgrades to the system to eliminate these discharges by 2035.
The General Assembly and the Governor would annually consider the cost and progress of this work in reports provided by the City of Richmond. This work will aid lawmakers in ensuring that the city has the additional funding needed to undertake the work.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia Executive Director Peggy Sanner issued the following statement.
“This legislation is great news for everybody who spends time on the James River. The new timeline to complete the city’s work in upgrading its outdated combined sewer system is a major step towards preventing pollution and reducing human health risks.
“The City of Richmond has already been working hard to address sewer overflows. While this legislation would accelerate these efforts, the burden shouldn’t fall solely on Richmond residents. The state must also invest in fixing these James River overflows in future budgets.
“We thank Senator Stuart for introducing this bill, Senators McClellan, Morrissey, Dunnavant, and other regional lawmakers for support, as well as the City of Richmond for its innovative stewardship of America’s Founding River. We look forward to this legislation being signed into law by Governor Northam.”