CHAPTER 303

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 570

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29, DELAWARE CODE, ESTABLISHING A WASTEWATER FACILITIES ADVISORY COUNCIL AND PRESCRIBING ITS DUTIES AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITIES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section. Amend Chapter 80, Title 29, of the Delaware Code, by adding a new §8011 thereto to read as follows:

§8011. Wastewater Facilities Advisory Council.

(a) There is hereby established a Wastewater Facilities Advisory Council.

(a) Definitions.

(1) 'Wastewater facility' shall mean any property, easement,

equipment, pipe, pump, plant, or appurtenance used in any way to collect, transport, store, handle, treat or dispose of wastewater.

(b) The Wastewater Facilities Advisory Council shall serve in an
advisory capacity to the Governor, the Secretary of the Department and the Director of Water Resources. The Wastewater Facilities Advisory Council shall be composed of 7 members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Governor shall designate a chairperson who shall serve an unlimited term at the pleasure of the Governor. There shall be at least 1 member who is a resident of New Castle County, 1 member who is a resident of Kent County, 1 member who is a resident of Sussex County, and 1 member who is a resident of the City of Wilmington. Those members registered in either major political party shall not exceed the other major political party by more than 1. At least 4 members shall have technical or financial expertise on wastewater facility issues. The term of each member, excluding the chairperson who serves at the pleasure of the Governor, shall be for 3 years except that for the initial members of the Council, 2 members shall be appointed for a term of 1 year, 2 members shall be appointed for a term of 2 years, and 2 members shall be appointed for a term of 3 years.

(a) Members of the Council shall serve without compensation except that they shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incidental to their duties as members of the Council.

(b) Any appointment, pursuant to provisions hereof, to replace a member whose position becomes vacant prior to the expiration of his term, shall be filled only for the remainder of that unexpired term.

(c) The Council's duties and responsibilities shall include the following:

(1) to evaluate, establish, recommend, and adopt a long-term plan for funding wastewater facility capital projects that shall cover a period of not less than 6 years. The plan shall be updated and prioritized on an annual basis and incorporated in the Department's annual capital budget request to the Governor. A copy of the adopted plan shall be submitted to members of the General Assembly on or before November 15 of each year beginning in calendar year 1995;

(2) to establish standards and procedures for persons to obtain funding for the construction, repair, renovation, or expansion of wastewater facilities and to recommend specific grants or loans, or both, in accordance with such standards and procedures using funds authorized for such purposes by Act of the General Assembly or funds approved by the Delaware State Clearinghouse Committee. The Council shall develop and recommend to the General Assembly projects for the planning, construction, repair, renovation, or expansion of wastewater facilities to be funded in whole or in part by the Delaware Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund and any other related special revolving loan fund so authorized by the General Assembly;

(3) to develop and periodically update a comprehensive, statewide wastewater facilities assessment to be presented in 3 sections, 1 for each county. The Council may retain the services of necessary professionals and may enter into agreements in order to prepare such an assessment. Each of the counties may, at its option, designate a county agency responsible for preparing the assessment for such county, provided however, that the assessments shall be prepared in a uniform manner pursuant to criteria established by the Council. In the absence of such a designation, the Department shall be the lead agency in coordinating preparation of the assessment. The assessment shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the status of existing wastewater facilities, the current usage thereof, the adequacy of existing wastewater facilities, projected long range requirements for wastewater facilities, the compatibility of existing land use plans with existing and long range requirements of wastewater facilities, and recommendations for improvements to existing wastewater facilities;

(4) to recommend long term strategies for financing the construction, repair, renovation, or expansion of wastewater facilities< Such strategies shall reflect the goals of establishing fair rates that equitably distribute the costs of wastewater facilities based upon usage and relying upon private firms to provide wastewater services if it is economical and in the public interest to do so;

(5) to adopt standards and procedures for the audit of program expenditures, the performance of program evaluations to ensure conformance to the law, and the monitoring of the progress of wastewater facility projects funded in who or in part by the State. The Council shall review, recommend, and approve payment of administrative and operating expenses of the Council to the Department.

(f) The Council shall adopt all motions and approve the 6 year capital plan, the assessment, and all programs, loans or grants only by a majority vote of the entire membership of the Council. All voting shall be done in person and at regular or special meetings of the Council. The Council shall conduct a public meeting in each county prior to annual adoption of the 6 year capital plan. The Council is subject to the applicable provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act.

(g) The Council shall work in concert with the Department, the Department of Transportation, the Delaware Development Office, the Department of Agriculture, the Delaware Geological Survey, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Health and Social Service, the Department of Finance, the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues and any other appropriate department, agency, or committee focusing on statewide planning issues and each shall provide reasonable staff time and resources as may be required by the Council to fulfill its duties and responsibilities. The Council shall also work in concert with the Water Resources Agency of New Castle County and any other appropriate agency designated by the counties. The Department shall be the lead agency in coordinating support for the Council."

Section 2. Amend §8003(11) a.1., Title 29, of the Delaware Code, by deleting said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following: "1. 'Council' shall mean the Wastewater Facilities Advisory Council."

Section 3. Amend §8003(11) d.1., Title 29, of the Delaware Code, by deleting from said subsection the words: on Environmental Control".

Section 4. Amend §8003(12) c., Title 29, of the Delaware Code, by deleting from said subsection the words "Delaware Revolving Loan Fund" and substituting in lieu thereof the following: "Delaware Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund" and adding at the end of said subsection the words: "Standards and procedures specified under this subsection shall provide for a final approval by the Wastewater Facilities Advisory Council of any loan from the Delaware Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund and the 'project priority' list."

Approved July 7, 1994.