A. There is hereby established in the state treasury a special permanent, nonreverting fund, to be known as the “Virginia Water Quality Improvement Fund.” The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. The Fund shall consist of sums appropriated to it by the General Assembly which shall include, unless otherwise provided in the general appropriation act, 10 percent of the annual general fund revenue collections that are in excess of the official estimates in the general appropriation act and 10 percent of any unrestricted and uncommitted general fund balance at the close of each fiscal year whose reappropriation is not required in the general appropriation act. The Fund shall also consist of such other sums as may be made available to it from any other source, public or private, and shall include any penalties or damages collected under this article, federal grants solicited and received for the specific purposes of the Fund, and all interest and income from investment of the Fund. Any sums remaining in the Fund, including interest thereon, at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. All moneys designated for the Fund shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for Water Quality Improvement Grants. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrants issued by the Comptroller upon the written request of the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality or the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation as provided in this chapter.
B. Except as otherwise provided under this article, the purpose of the Fund is to provide Water Quality Improvement Grants to local governments, soil and water conservation districts, state agencies, institutions of higher education and individuals for point and nonpoint source pollution prevention, reduction and control programs and efforts undertaken in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The Fund shall not be used for agency operating expenses or for purposes of replacing or otherwise reducing any general, nongeneral, or special funds allocated or appropriated to any state agency; however, nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the award of a Water Quality Improvement Grant to a local government in connection with point or nonpoint pollution prevention, reduction and control programs or efforts undertaken on land owned by the Commonwealth and leased to the local government. In keeping with the purpose for which the Fund is created, it shall be the policy of the General Assembly to provide annually its share of financial support to qualifying applicants for grants in order to fulfill the Commonwealth’s responsibilities under Article XI of the Constitution of Virginia.
C. For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2005, $ 50 million shall be appropriated from the general fund and deposited into the Fund. Except as otherwise provided under this article, such appropriation and any amounts appropriated to the Fund in subsequent years in addition to any amounts deposited to the Fund pursuant to the provisions of subsection A shall be used solely to finance the costs of design and installation of nutrient removal technology at publicly owned treatment works designated as significant dischargers or eligible nonsignificant dischargers for compliance with the effluent limitations for total nitrogen and total phosphorus of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan or applicable regulatory or permit requirements. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the Governor and General Assembly may, at any time, provide additional funding for nonpoint source pollution reduction activities through the Fund in excess of the deposit required under subsection A.At such time as grant agreements specified in § 10.1-2130 have been signed by every significant discharger and eligible nonsignificant discharger and available funds are sufficient to implement the provisions of such grant agreements, the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources, the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Senate Committee on Finance shall review the financial assistance provided under this section and determine (i) whether such deposits should continue to be made, (ii) the size of the deposit to be made, (iii) the programs and activities that should be financed by such deposits in the future, and (iv) whether the provisions of this section should be extended.
1997, cc. 21, 625, 626; 1999, c. 257; 2001, c. 264; 2005, cc. 704, 707, 709; 2006, c. 236; 2008, cc. 278, 500, 643, 701; 2010, c. 684; 2015, c. 164.