PRESS RELEASE Legislation to Address Sewage Runoff in James River Advances in Virginia Senate

RICHMOND – Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12) today announced that her legislation to review the amount of sewage runoff in Virginia’s rivers advanced out of the Senate Rules Committee. The legislation, SB 782, would require the State Water Control Board to report annually to the agriculture and money committees of the legislature an assessment of Combined Sewer Outfalls in Virginia waterways, including the James River.

“Virginia’s past and present are tied to her waterways,” said Dunnavant. “They are an integral part of our beauty, identity, history and recreation. In the greater Richmond area, the Mighty James River is a major draw for outdoor activity, tourism, and general quality of life. We need to be sure we are protecting this natural resource and, in an effort to do so, continue to work to clean up the James River and the Potomac River. We have come a long way but still have a long way to go — fixing the James helps us fix the Chesapeake Bay. Today, oysters are thriving again, and crabs are at record numbers, but we still have high bacterial counts and the natural grasses struggle to grow. Continued assessment and progress is critical to making sure we are doing our part to keep the James River clean and promote this beautiful asset to the Richmond region.”

SB 782 will direct the State Water Control Board to report every two years to the legislature to ensure there is an awareness of progress and understand the plan to get there.

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