Richmond to address sewage overflows into James River

Published: Mar. 4, 2020 at 8:57 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond is set to take aggressive steps to address the sewage overflows into the James River under new legislation that was passed by Virginia lawmakers.

“After heavy rainfalls, the city’s combined sewage system currently discharges untreated sewage into the James River,” a release from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said.

The new legislation put a timeline for Richmond to complete upgrades to the system by 2035.

“The General Assembly and the Governor would annually consider the cost and progress of this work in reports provided by the City of Richmond,” the release said.

This will help lawmakers have the funding needed to make the upgrades.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia Executive Director Peggy Sanner issued the following statement:

“This legislation is great news for everybody who spends time on the James River. The new timeline to complete the city’s work in upgrading its outdated combined sewer system is a major step towards preventing pollution and reducing human health risks.

“The City of Richmond has already been working hard to address sewer overflows. While this legislation would accelerate these efforts, the burden shouldn’t fall solely on Richmond residents. The state must also invest in fixing these James River overflows in future budgets.

“We thank Senator Stuart for introducing this bill, Senators McClellan, Morrissey, Dunnavant, and other regional lawmakers for support, as well as the City of Richmond for its innovative stewardship of America’s Founding River. We look forward to this legislation being signed into law by Governor Northam.”

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