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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Proposed Text

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Action:
Fast track amendment to require the new owner to provide ...
Stage: Fast-Track

9VAC25-650-70. Transfer of ownership or permit.

A. If a privately owned sewerage system subject to this regulation is to be sold or if ownership is to be transferred in the normal course of business, the owner or operator shall notify the board, in written form through certified mail, of such intended sale or transfer at least 30 days prior to such sale or transfer. The notification shall provide the full name, address, and telephone number of the person to whom the facility is to be sold or transferred. The notice shall include a written agreement between the existing and the new permittee containing a specific date for transfer of permit responsibilities, coverage, and liabilities between them.

B. Changes in the ownership or operational control of a facility may be made as a minor modification with prior written approval of the board in accordance with 9VAC25-31-380, except as otherwise provided in this section. When a transfer of ownership or operational control occurs, the old owner or operator shall comply with the requirements of this chapter until the new owner or operator has demonstrated that he is complying with the requirements of this chapter. The new owner or operator shall demonstrate compliance with this chapter within six months of the date of the change of ownership or operational control of the facility. new owner or operator shall demonstrate compliance with this chapter and the board shall approve the financial mechanism prior to the transfer of the permit. Upon demonstration to the board by the new owner or operator of compliance with this chapter, the board shall notify the old owner or operator that he or she no longer needs to comply with this chapter as of the date of demonstration.

9VAC25-650-90. Trust Agreement.

A. An owner or operator of a privately owned sewerage system may satisfy the requirements of this chapter by establishing an irrevocable trust fund that conforms to the requirements of this section and by submitting an originally signed duplicate of the trust agreement to the board. The trustee shall be an entity that has the authority to act as a trustee and whose trust operations are regulated and examined by a federal agency or the State Corporation Commission (Commonwealth of Virginia).

B. The trust agreement shall be irrevocable and shall continue until terminated at the written direction of the grantor, the trustee, and the board, or by the trustee and the board if the grantor ceases to exist. Upon termination of the trust, all remaining trust property, less final administration expenses, shall be delivered to the grantor. The wording of the trust agreement shall be identical to the wording as follows, except that instructions in parentheses are to be replaced with the relevant information and the parentheses deleted. The trust agreement shall be accompanied by a formal letter of certification of acknowledgement as specified in this chapter.

TRUST AGREEMENT

Trust agreement, the "Agreement," entered into as of (date) by and between (name of the owner or operator), a (name of state) (insert "corporation," "partnership," "association," "proprietorship," or appropriate identification of type of entity), the "Grantor," and (name of corporate trustee), (insert "Incorporated in the state of ________" or "a national bank"), the "Trustee."

Whereas, the State Water Control Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia has established certain regulations applicable to the Grantor, requiring that an owner or operator of a private sewage treatment facility shall provide assurance that funds will be available when needed for implementation of a closure plan. The attached Schedule A contains the name and address of the facility covered by this trust agreement;

Whereas, the Grantor, acting through its duly authorized officers, has selected the Trustee to be the trustee under this agreement, and the Trustee is willing to act as trustee;

Now, therefore, the Grantor and the Trustee agree as follows:

Section 1. Definitions. As used in this Agreement:

(a) The term "Grantor" means the owner or operator who enters into this Agreement and any successors or assigns of the Grantor.

(b) The term "Trustee" means the Trustee who enters into this Agreement and any successor Trustee.

Section 2. Establishment of Fund.

The Grantor and the Trustee hereby establish a trust fund, the "Fund," for the benefit of the Department of Environmental Quality of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Grantor and the Trustee intend that no third party have access to the Fund. Payments made by the provider of financial assurance pursuant to the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality's instruction are transferred to the Trustee and are referred to as the Fund, together with all earnings and profits thereon, less any payments or distributions made by the Trustee pursuant to this Agreement. The Fund shall be held by the Trustee, IN TRUST, as hereinafter provided. The Trustee shall not be responsible nor shall it undertake any responsibility for the amount or adequacy of, nor any duty to collect from the Grantor as provider of financial assurance, any payments necessary to discharge any liability of the Grantor established by the State Water Control Board.

Section 3. Payment for Implementation of the Closure Plan.

The Trustee shall make payments from the Fund as the Director, Department of Environmental Quality shall direct, in writing, to provide for the payment of the costs of implementation of the closure plan for the facility covered by the financial assurance mechanism identified in this Agreement.

The Trustee shall reimburse the Grantor, or other persons as specified by the State Water Control Board, from the Fund for implementation of the closure plan in such amounts as the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality shall direct in writing. In addition, the Trustee shall refund to the Grantor such amounts as the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality specifies in writing. Upon refund, such funds shall no longer constitute part of the Fund as defined herein.

Section 4. Payments Comprising the Fund.

Payments made to the Trustee for the Fund shall consist of cash and securities acceptable to the Trustee.

Section 5. Trustee Management.

The Trustee shall invest and reinvest the principal and income of the Fund and keep the Fund invested as a single fund, without distinction between principal and income, in accordance with general investment policies and guidelines which the Grantor may communicate in writing to the Trustee from time to time, subject, however, to the provisions of this Section. In investing, reinvesting, exchanging, selling, and managing the Fund, the Trustee shall discharge his duties with respect to the trust fund solely in the interest of the beneficiaries and with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing which persons of prudence, acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters, would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims; except that:

(i) Securities or other obligations of the Grantor, or any other operator of the facility, or any of their affiliates as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, 15 USC § 80a-2(a), shall not be acquired or held, unless they are securities or other obligations of the federal or a state government;

(ii) The Trustee is authorized to invest the Fund in time or demand deposits of the Trustee, to the extent insured by an agency of the federal or state government; and

(iii) Trustee is authorized to hold cash awaiting investment or distribution uninvested for a reasonable time and without liability for the payment of interest thereon.

Section 6. Commingling and Investment.

The Trustee is expressly authorized in its discretion:

(a) To transfer from time to time any or all of the assets of the Fund to any common, commingled, or collective trust fund created by the Trustee in which the Fund is eligible to participate, subject to all of the provisions thereof, to be commingled with the assets of other trusts participating therein; and

(b) To purchase shares in any investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 USC § 80a-1 et seq., including one which may be created, managed, underwritten, or to which investment advice is rendered or the shares of which are sold by the Trustee. The Trustee may vote such shares in its discretion.

Section 7. Express Powers of Trustee.

Without in any way limiting the powers and discretions conferred upon the Trustee by the other provisions of this Agreement or by law, the Trustee is expressly authorized and empowered:

(a) To sell, exchange, convey, transfer, or otherwise dispose of any property held by it, by public or private sale. No person dealing with the Trustee shall be bound to see to the application of the purchase money or to inquire into the validity or expediency of any such sale or other disposition;

(b) To make, execute, acknowledge, and deliver any and all documents of transfer and conveyance and any and all other instruments that may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the powers herein granted;

(c) To register any securities held in the Fund in its own name or in the name of a nominee and to hold any security in bearer form or in book entry, or to combine certificates representing such securities with certificates of the same issue held by the Trustee in other fiduciary capacities, or to deposit or arrange for the deposit of such securities in a qualified central depository even though, when so deposited, such securities may be merged and held in bulk in the name of the nominee of such depository with other securities deposited therein by another person, or to deposit or arrange for the deposit of any securities issued by the United States Government, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, with a Federal Reserve bank, but the books and records of the Trustee shall at all times show that all such securities are part of the Fund;

(d) To deposit any cash in the Fund in interest-bearing accounts maintained or savings certificates issued by the Trustee, in its separate corporate capacity, or in any other banking institution affiliated with the Trustee, to the extent insured by an agency of the federal or state government; and

(e) To compromise or otherwise adjust all claims in favor of or against the Fund.

Section 8. Taxes and Expenses.

All taxes of any kind that may be assessed or levied against or in respect of the Fund and all brokerage commissions incurred by the Fund shall be paid from the Fund. All other expenses incurred by the Trustee in connection with the administration of this Trust, including fees for legal services rendered to the Trustee, the compensation of the Trustee to the extent not paid directly by the Grantor, and all other proper charges and disbursements of the Trustee shall be paid from the Fund.

Section 9. Advice of Counsel.

The Trustee may from time to time consult with counsel, who may be counsel to the Grantor, with respect to any questions arising as to the construction of this Agreement or any action to be taken hereunder. The Trustee shall be fully protected, to the extent permitted by law, in acting upon the advice of counsel.

Section 10. Trustee Compensation.

The Trustee shall be entitled to reasonable compensation for its services as agreed upon in writing from time to time with the Grantor.

Section 11. Successor Trustee.

The Trustee may resign or the Grantor may replace the Trustee, but such resignation or replacement shall not be effective until the Grantor has appointed a successor trustee and this successor accepts the appointment. The successor trustee shall have the same powers and duties as those conferred upon the Trustee hereunder. Upon the successor trustee's acceptance of the appointment, the Trustee shall assign, transfer, and pay over to the successor trustee the funds and properties then constituting the Fund. If for any reason the Grantor cannot or does not act in the event of the resignation of the Trustee, the Trustee may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for the appointment of a successor trustee or for instructions. The successor trustee shall specify the date on which it assumes administration of the trust in writing sent to the Grantor and the present Trustee by certified mail 10 days before such change becomes effective. Any expenses incurred by the Trustee as a result of any of the acts contemplated by this Section shall be paid as provided in Section 9.

Section 12. Instructions to the Trustee.

All orders, requests, and instructions by the Grantor to the Trustee shall be in writing, signed by such persons as are designated in the attached Schedule B or such other designees as the Grantor may designate by amendment to Schedule B. The trustee shall be fully protected in acting without inquiry in accordance with the Grantor's orders, requests, and instructions. All orders, requests and instructions by the State Water Control Board to the Trustee shall be in writing, signed by the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Trustee shall act and shall be fully protected in acting in accordance with such orders, requests, and instructions. The Trustee shall have the right to assume, in the absence of written notice to the contrary, that no event constituting a change or a termination of the authority of any person to act on behalf of the Grantor or the State Water Control Board hereunder has occurred. The Trustee shall have no duty to act in the absence of such orders, requests, and instructions from the Grantor and/or the State Water Control Board, except as provided for herein.

Section 13. Irrevocability and Termination.

Subject to the right of the parties to amend this Agreement as provided in Section 17, this Trust shall be irrevocable and shall continue until terminated at the written direction of the Grantor and the Trustee, or by the Trustee and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, if the Grantor ceases to exist. Upon termination of the Trust, all remaining trust property, less final trust administration expenses, shall be delivered to the Grantor.

Section 14. Immunity and Indemnification.

The Trustee shall not incur personal liability of any nature in connection with any act or omission, made in good faith, in the administration of this Trust, or in carrying out any directions by the Grantor or the State Water Control Board issued in accordance with this Agreement. The Trustee shall be indemnified and saved harmless by the Grantor, from and against any personal liability to which the Trustee may be subjected by reason of any act or conduct in its official capacity, including all expenses reasonably incurred in its defense in the event the Grantor fails to provide such defense.

Section 15. Choice of Law.

This Agreement shall be administered, construed, and enforced according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Section 16. Amendment of Agreement.

This Agreement may be amended by an instrument executed in writing executed by the Grantor, the Trustee, and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, Commonwealth of Virginia, or by the Trustee and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, Commonwealth of Virginia, if the Grantor ceases to exist.

Section 17. Annual Valuation.

The Trustee will annually, at the end of the month coincident with or preceding the anniversary date of establishment of the Fund, furnish the Grantor and to the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, Commonwealth of Virginia, a statement confirming the value of the Trust. Any securities in the Fund will be valued at market value as of no more than 30 days prior to the date of the statement. The failure of the Grantor to object in writing to the Trustee within 90 days after the statement has been furnished to the Grantor and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, Commonwealth of Virginia will constitute a conclusively binding assent by the Grantor, barring the Grantor from asserting any claim or liability against the Trustee with respect to matters disclosed in the statement.

Section 18. Interpretation.

As used in this Agreement, words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular. The descriptive headings for each section of this Agreement shall not affect the interpretation or the legal efficacy of this Agreement.

In Witness whereof the parties have caused this Agreement to be executed by their respective officers duly authorized and their corporate seals (if applicable) to be hereunto affixed and attested as of the date first above written. The parties below certify that the wording of this Agreement is identical to the wording specified in 9VAC25-650-90 B as such regulations were constituted on the date written above.

(Signature of Grantor)

(Name of the Grantor)

(Title)

Attest:

(Signature of Trustee)

(Name of the Trustee)

(Title)

(Seal)

(Signature of Witness)

(Name of Witness)

(Title)

(Seal)

CERTIFICATE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT

State of ______________________________

County of ______________________________

On this (date), before me personally came (owner's or operator's representative) to me known, who, being by me duly sworn, did depose and say that she/he resides at (address), that she/he is (title) of (corporation), the corporation described in and which executed the above instrument; that she/he knows the seal of said corporation; that the seal affixed to such instrument is such corporate seal; that is was so affixed by order of the Board of Directors of said corporation; and that she/he signed her/his name thereto by like order.

(Signature of Notary Public)

(Name of Notary Public)

My Commission expires:___________________

SCHEDULE A

Name of Facility

Address of facility

Closure Cost Estimate

VPDES Permit Number

C. The irrevocable trust fund, when established, shall be funded for the full required amount of coverage, or funded for part of the required amount of coverage and used in combination with other mechanism(s) that provide the remaining required coverage. Schedule A of the trust agreement shall be updated within 60 days after a change in the amount of the approved cost estimate covered by the agreement.

D. If the value of the trust fund is greater than the required amount of coverage, the owner or operator may submit a written request to the board for release of the excess.

E. If other financial assurance as specified in this chapter is substituted for all or part of the trust fund, the owner or operator may submit a written request to the Director for release of the excess.

F. Within 60 days after receiving a request from the owner or operator for release of funds as specified in subsection D or E of this section, the board will instruct the trustee to release to the owner or operator such funds, if any, that the board determines to be eligible for release and specifies in writing.

G. Whenever the cost estimate changes, the owner or operator shall compare the new estimate with the trustee's most recent annual valuation of the trust fund. If the value of the fund is less than the amount of the new cost estimate, the owner or operator shall, within 10 days of the change in the approved cost estimate, deposit a sufficient amount into the trust so that its value after payment at least equals the amount of the new estimate, or obtain other financial assurance as specified in this article to cover the difference. If the value of the trust fund is greater than the total amount of the cost estimate, the owner or operator may submit a written request to the board for release of the amount that is in excess of the cost estimate.

H. After beginning implementation of the closure plan, an owner or operator or any other person authorized to implement the closure plan, may request reimbursement for implementation expenditures by submitting itemized bills to the board. Within 60 days after receiving bills for plan implementation activities, the board shall instruct the trustee to make reimbursements in those amounts as the board determines are in accordance with the closure plan or are otherwise justified.

I. The board shall agree to terminate the trust when:

1. The owner or operator substitutes alternate financial assurance as specified in this article; or

2. The board notifies the owner or operator that he is no longer required to maintain financial assurance for the implementation of the closure plan.