The Richmond Regional Planning District Commission
(RRPDC) held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on February 10,
2011. The next meeting of the RRPDC Board will be held on Thursday,
March 10, beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the RRPDC Board Room.
Regional Water & Sewer
Jacocks, RRPDC Principal Planner, updated the Board on the regional
water and sewer inventory, a project to compile baseline information
regarding public water and sewerage systems throughout the Richmond
Region. The information gathering phase required to create a regional
picture of current usage and capacity is nearly complete.
Ms. Jacocks expressed gratitude for the data
collection assistance provided to RRPDC by each of the jurisdictions’
utility departments, deputy directors, and GIS staff.
The next phase of the project is to use the
information to educate the public and develop a planning tool for the
Region’s nine localities.
The Board reviewed the first printing of a brochure
entitled Richmond Regional Water & Sewer Inventory, which provides a
broad overview of water and sewer services across the Region. The data
establishes a base of information that can be used as a local planning
tool and the brochure provides a snapshot that can be used in business
Key findings on the Region’s public water systems include:
The James River is the dominant source of water
in the Region.
97% of the Region’s public water comes from
surface water; 68% from the James River.
The Region’s nine separate water systems have
significant inter-connectivity, which allows water sharing in times
The average household uses 185 gallons of water
The Region uses about 135 million gallons of
water per day, or about 50% of hydraulic capacity.
50% of the Region’s public water treatment
resources are shared through wholesale purchase or reserve
agreements among the Region’s localities.
6 of the 9 localities have already developed
water supply plans.
The coverage of public sewerage systems in the
Richmond Region is somewhat smaller than that of public water,
especially on the eastern portion of the Region. Key sewer findings
The Region has 15 public wastewater treatment
facilities with a permitted hydraulic capacity of 192.7 MGD.
The Region uses about 60% of its hydraulic
capacity based on dry weather flow.
Wastewater capacity is constrained primarily by maximum allowable
discharge of phosphorous, nitrogen, and sediment into waterways.
Ms. Jacocks noted that various water providing
entities will be submitting Regional Water Supply Plans to the Virginia
Department of Environmental Quality in November 2011:
Appomattox River Water Authority (including
Hanover County and Town of Ashland
The Virginia Department of Health also provided
assistance in the data collection phase of the project.
Transportation Bills Impact the Region
Gates, RRPDC Communications Coordinator, provided the Board with an
legislative update on how the Governor’s proposed transportation funding
package impacts the Richmond Region and relates to the
RRPDC Legislative Agenda.
HB 2527 and
SB 1446 contain
Governor McDonnell’s proposal to generate
transportation funding various aspects of the 2011 RRPDC Legislative
The legislative package includes the issuance of two types of bonds for
constructing transportation projects, the creation of an infrastructure
bank, and the creation of the Intercity Passenger Rail Operating and
The bills fulfill the RRPDC’s legislative request to establish a state
mechanism to fund passenger rail capital improvements and operations.
The proposal partially conforms to the two transportation priorities
included in the Legislative Agenda:
- the development of funding mechanisms to meet the state’s current
transportation needs and
- enhancements to intercity passenger rail service connecting through
As part of the proposal, the Governor released a
list of over 900
projects that will be candidates to receive funding from the new
package. The list will help direct the Commonwealth Transportation Board
as it allocates the funding to projects.
Of these projects, 91 are located in the VDOT Richmond District and 45
of those are in the Richmond Region. Of these 45 projects, 22 are
already fully funded in the current Six-Year Improvement Program.
A statewide analysis performed by the RRPDC’s staff to the
Metropolitan Planning Organization revealed that Richmond’s 45 projects
represent only 1.8 percent of the statewide total and the least amount
of per capita funding of any district.
RRPDC staff worked with the
Greater Richmond Chamber and the
Region’s legislative liaisons to present the analysis to members of the
Capital Region Caucus. Staff has maintained a position of support for
the funding mechanisms, but concern for the disproportionate funding for
building projects in the Richmond District.
After realizing the disproportional impact of the proposal, the Caucus
rallied to respond. Most spoke with the Governor or Secretary of
Transportation Sean Connaughton and a few chose to address the issue in
committee and on the floor. Staff were especially grateful for the
efforts of Caucus Co-Chairs
McEachin and Delegate
Peace, as well as Senators
John Watkins, and
Secretary Connaughton has been very receptive to listening to the
concerns of the Capital Region Caucus, the RRPDC, and the GRCC. On
February 11, the Secretary hosted a meeting of representatives of the
RRPDC and the GRCC, with CTB member Gerald McCarthy, Richmond District
Administrator Tom Hawthorne, and other VDOT staff.
The Secretary described how projects would be prioritized for funding
according to how quickly they could advance to construction. As such, he
asked the RRPDC/RAMPO staff to develop a list of priority projects in
the Richmond Region and work with VDOT staff to refine the list into
those that could advance to construction in the next three years. Staff
is currently working with VDOT and the localities to create such a list
in preparation for the annual SYIP process.
Local Aid Bill Unites Caucus
For the first time,
all 15 delegates of the Capital Region Caucus
jointly sponsored a bill requested by the RRPDC.
HB 2364 clarifies the
Code of Virginia to allow localities to more freely aid one another,
regardless of whether an emergency is formally declared, by enabling
localities to contract with each other to offer mutual assistance.
The bill was introduced by Caucus Co-Chair
Chris Peace in response to a legislative request included in the
RRPDC Legislative Agenda and
initiated by Hanover County. The bill was
endorsed by both VACo and VML and eventually passed both chambers
During his legislative update, RRPDC Communications
Coordinator Chuck Gates thanked Delegate Chris Peace and Hanover County
Attorney Sterling Rives for assisting the RRPDC’s efforts to encourage
all of the caucus delegates to sign on as co-patrons. The largely
symbolic gesture is indicative of the progress made by the RRPDC to
facilitate regional cooperation between local and state officials.
Mr. Gates also thanked Caucus Co-Chair
Donald McEachin and
Senator Walter Stosch for signing on as co-patrons
even though Senate co-sponsorship was not required. Both of the Senators
offered their support after learning about the issue during the RRPDC
legislative breakfast in January.