SJR 91: Joint Subcommittee Studying
Economic Incentives to Promote the Growth and Competitiveness of Virginia's
July 18, 2002
The joint subcommittee met for
the first time in 2002 on July 18 and heard testimony on (i) modifications
to Virginia Pollution Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permits in
regard to tributyltin (TBT) effluent limitations and (ii) operations of
the Herbert H. Bateman Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration
Modifications to VPDES Permits
The director of the Virginia
Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) testified on modifications in
TBT compliance to be incorporated into VPDES permits issued to Virginia's
Virginia's Water Quality
Standard for TBT is 1 part per trillion (1 ppt). To meet this standard,
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required Virginia, beginning
in 1994, to include in the permits issued to shipyards a numerical effluent
limitation of 50 ppt for TBT. The permits issued to Virginia's shipyards
required them to comply with this effluent limitation by December 2002.
The DEQ director testified that
current TBT treatment technology is incapable of consistently meeting
this effluent limitation. As a result, the 50 ppt effluent limitation
will be restated in VPDES permits and implemented on an equivalent mass
basis as five grams/year. Virginia's shipyards have agreed to this
restatement. In addition, the EPA has given its verbal approval for the
restatement of the 50 ppt effluent limitation for TBT.
In 1998 the General Assembly
passed legislation providing grants of $58 million to build VASCIC. The
legislation also provided an additional $40 million in grants for operations
costs incurred at VASCIC. The operations grants are to be awarded prior
to July 1, 2006. The 2002 Appropriation Act provides $5 million in operations
grants in fiscal year 2004.
Representatives of Northrop
Grumman Newport News testified on the operations of VASCIC, which is owned
by the Industrial Development Authority of Newport News and is managed
by Northrop Grumman Newport News. VASCIC has a 123,000 square foot research
laboratory. A portion of operations grants from the Commonwealth will
be used for research and development.
Since January 1, 2002, 8,600
students have attended training at VASCIC, many of whom were Navy personnel.
VASCIC is already playing a major role in naval warfare. In addition to
Navy personnel, the 1998 legislation requires that other shipbuilders
and the faculty and staff of certain institutions of public education
in Virginia be allowed to participate in the activities of VASCIC.
The Hon. Thomas K. Norment, Jr.
For information, contact:
Division of Legislative Services
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