OSDS and Land Use Implications
A change in Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations in 2000 dramatically changed land development patterns within many Virginia localities. The regulations allowed new engineered onsite sewage disposal system (OSDS) technologies to be installed on “marginal land,” or land that does not perk and would not normally support a traditional gravity fed septic system. Consequently these regulations reinforced the role of VDH to issue permits for OSDS systems and did not address land use development decision making, which is a responsibility of local governments. Also, the general assembly passed House Bill 1788, while the VDH promulgated regulations (12VAC5-610-20) that directly pertain to OSDS adding to the policy and management conundrum of engineered OSDS.
Failing Septic Systems on "Heir Properties" in the Middle Peninsula
MPPDC secured funding from the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for a project to address failing septic systems on "heir properties" in the Middle Peninsula.
This project will expand and complement Section 309 Land and Water Quality Protection strategyies by focusing legal tools needed to address failing septic systems associated with “heir property ownership”. Water quality degradation associated with heir property ownership from failing septic systems exists for decades with no public policy strategy to correct the source of impairment. MPPDC will partner with National Sea Grant Law Center to address legal research and education needs to address this ongoing problem.