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State Senator Adam Ebbin Applauds Amendments from Governor Terry McAuliffe

Senator Ebbin (Right) Speaking on the Senate Floor


Calls CSO Proposal for Alexandria “Deliberate, Intelligent, and Realistic.”

Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) has been advised that Governor Terry McAuliffe will request amendments to legislation governing abatement procedures for the City of Alexandria’s Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system.


“The Governor’s amendments would maintain an aggressive timeline to remedy Alexandria’s CSO problem while granting oversight to the Department of Environmental Quality rather than the part-time legislature, which lacks the experience of environmental regulators.” said Senator Ebbin. “I was grateful to work with his office to develop a deliberate, intelligent, and realistic solution to this complex and longstanding issue.”


The amendments, if accepted, would require construction of the project to begin by 2024, and be completed by 2027. Also included in the amendments is discretion for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to extend the construction completion deadline in six month increments should Alexandria, while in compliance with permit requirements, encounter site conditions, engineering difficulties, or federal permitting delays that prevent project completion by the construction deadline. While multiple extensions could be granted, the CSO abatement must be completed no later than 2030 and the City must submit annual reports on its progress to DEQ.


Several bills were introduced during the 2017 legislative session to address longstanding concerns regarding wastewater discharges into the Potomac from a CSO Outfall at Oronoco Bay that occur during rain events. The legislation that ultimately emerged from the General Assembly in March (SB898/HB2383) mandated that the City finance, design, and construct a solution by July 1, 2025 despite concerns that this deadline conflicted with engineering analysis that concluded the earliest feasible completion deadline would be 2028. The problem of CSO is not unique to Alexandria; more than 800 other historic cities including Richmond, Lynchburg, and the District of Columbia are also facing the challenge of upgrading their aging CSO systems in accordance with regulations established in the Clean Water Act.


The General Assembly will reconvene on April 5, 2017 to consider adoption of amendments proposed by the Governor as well as actions on bills he vetoed.


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Virginia Senator Adam P. Ebbin took office in January 2012 after serving for eight years in the House of Delegates. Adam represents 200,000 residents of the 30th Senate District who reside in portions of Arlington, Alexandria and parts of Fairfax County’s Mount Vernon and Lee Magisterial Districts. Ebbin is a 13 time recipient of the “Environmental Hero” award by the League of Conservation Voters. He is a member of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee. As a leader in the General Assembly, Adam has fought to advance progressive priorities, including clean water, green energy, preventing gun violence, making it easier to vote, and fighting for equality for all Virginians.

For more information about Senator Ebbin, visit

For additional information regarding Alexandria’s CSO, including the progress of legislation as it developed in the General Assembly, refer to Senator Ebbin’s remarks on SB898 as it emerged from the Senate.