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The Commonwealth of Virginia allows companies who comply with the state permitting process to apply biosolids (sewage sludge treated to specific standards) to permitted farm fields as fertilizer. The companies are paid by municipal wastewater treatment plants to dispose of the biosolids, and the material is provided to farmers for free.

Bedford County has adopted an ordinance to monitor the storage of biosolids, but localities have no power to regulate or halt the practice.

Effective January 1, 2008, the responsibility for regulating biosolids was transferred from the  Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The 2007 Virginia General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 694 requesting that the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Secretary of Health and Human Resources convene a panel of experts to study the impact of biosolids on human health and the environment. The meetings of the Biosolids Expert Panel are open to the public. To learn more about the panel’s work visit:

In 2008 DEQ began the process of amending the regulations pertaining to the land application and storage of biosolids and established the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for Amendment of Regulations Pertaining to Biosolids after Transfer from the Virginia Department of Health to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The Technical Advisory Committee’s work was completed in 2009 and the proposed amended regulation went before the State Water Control Board (SWCB) on December 14, 2009 at which time the SWCB voted to allow the proposed amendments to proceed toward public comments and public hearing.  After further review and approval by the Department of Planning and Budget, the Secretary of Natural Resources and the Governor, DEQ hosted four Public Hearings across the Commonwealth in April of 2011 and a 60 day comment period was opened which included review and comment by the Attorney General’s office. Further amendments were made in response to comments received and the final permit amendments went before the SWCB on September 22, 2011 where they were approved and sent to the Attorney General for authority to promulgate the regulation and then to the Governor for his approval which was provided on June 12, 2013.  The amended regulations went into effect on September 1, 2013

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Sewage/Sludge Biosolids


List of Permitted Parcels

Bedford County is providing a list of parcels that has been permitted by the state to receive biosolids application. These are permitted parcels only. They may not have had biosolids applied, and permitted parcels may never have biosolids applied. But the state deems they have met the requirements for application.