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Sewage Sludge and Biosolids

VPDES Permitting of Sewage Sludge

While certain legislative changes will cause changes in the requirements for VPDES permits that include land application of biosolids, these permits issued to dischargers may still be used to authorize land application and surface disposal of sewage sludge after January 1, 2008.

In 1996, DEQ amended the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) Permit Regulation, 9VAC25-31 that incorporated the Federal technical standards for land application and surface disposal of sewage sludge (40 CFR Part 503). The amended regulation requires the owner of a treatment works to submit the sewage sludge management information with the VPDES permit application. For permit issuances, the VPDES Sewage Sludge Permit Application Form must be submitted. Depending upon the use or disposal options the owner may have chosen, pertinent sections of the Application Form must be filled out. The VPDES Sewage Sludge Permit Application Form may be downloaded in either Adobe® PDF format at VPDESSewageSludgeApplicationForm2012.pdf or Microsoft® Word format at VPDESSewageSludgeApplicationForm2012.doc.  The Application Instructions are available in Adobe® PDF format. For permit reissuances, the VPDES Sewage Sludge Permit Application for Permit Reissuance must be submitted. The VPDES Sewage Sludge Permit Application for Permit Reissuance may be downloaded in either Adobe® PDF format at VPDESReissuanceSewageSludgePermitApplicationForm.pdf or Microsoft® Word format at VPDESReissuanceSewageSludgePermitApplicationForm.doc. The application instructions are included on the application.

A complete sewage sludge permit application form constitutes a sludge management plan. DEQ approves the sludge management plan through the issuance of the VPDES permit to the owner of the treatment works. If the land application option is chosen, the VPDES permit will include biosolids treatment standards, limitations and monitoring, record keeping and reporting requirements, etc. The sludge management plan must include site specific information for all proposed land application sites. The VPDES Permit will authorize the land application of biosolids on approved sites. Additional soil monitoring and site management requirements may be included in the VPDES permit issued to the treatment works. When an owner assigns responsibility for off-site biosolids use operations (land application, marketing, and distribution) to a private contractor, a DEQ permit is issued to the contractor in accordance with the VPA Permit Regulation.

As DEQ has not sought EPA's delegation of the sewage sludge program, it is important to note that compliance with the VPDES Permit Regulation requirements on sewage sludge does not relieve the owners' responsibility to comply with the federal requirements set in 40 CFR Part 503. If you have any questions regarding the federal requirements, contact Ann Carkhuff of EPA Region III at (215) 814-5735.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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