Localities in Hampton Roads have committed to a regional approach to comply with the regulatory requirement to minimize sewer overflows. The Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD), the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg; the Town of Smithfield; and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, and York; and the James City Service Authority each voted to support the hybrid approach to addressing wet weather sewer capacity requirements.
Each locality had to choose between two approaches by February 28th. In the original approach, each locality would fund rehabilitation of its own system based on a Special Order by Consent with Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality and HRSD would fund rehabilitation of its portion of the regional system. Under the hybrid approach, HRSD will fund rehabilitation of the locality owned systems and HRSD’s portion of the system. The hybrid approach is estimated to save roughly one billion dollars over a 30-year period in capital and operation/maintenance costs as compared to the original approach. Localities will also benefit because long term liability for sewer overflows will shift from localities to HRSD. Sewer ratepayers will spend less on the sewer system improvements required for regulatory compliance because the hybrid approach will focus on implementing the most cost effective projects in the region.