City of Martinsville opposing reopening of Henry County wastewater plant

A look at E. Main Street in Martinsville.
A look at E. Main Street in Martinsville.(Photo via Virginia Mercury)
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 12:01 PM EDT
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The city of Martinsville is suing the state and the Henry County Public Service Authority over the issuance of a permit to reopen a wastewater treatment plant in Henry County.

The lawsuit marks yet another conflict between the two localities as Martinsville seeks to revert from an independent city to a town within Henry County, a multiyear process that has sparked state legislation and involved the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Martinsville filed the wastewater lawsuit in Richmond City Circuit Court in July against the State Water Control Board, the Department of Environmental Quality, DEQ Director Michael Rolband and the Henry County Public Service Authority.

The city argues that DEQ shouldn’t have granted a pollutant discharge permit for the Lower Smith River Wastewater Treatment Plant because it will result in the loss of revenues “essential” to the operation of Martinsville’s plant, duplication of wastewater infrastructure, increased rates for the community and “unnecessary adverse environmental impacts.”

No hearings for the lawsuit have been scheduled according to online court records.

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NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news...
NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news organization covering state government and policy.(Virginia Mercury)