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Safety and Health in Facilitating a Transition (SHIFT)

Safety and Health in Facilitating a Transition (SHIFT)


Increased private sector involvement in the onsite sewage program began when the 1999 General Assembly mandated sweeping changes. VDH was required to accept private evaluations and designs from Authorized Onsite Soil Evaluators. Up until then, VDH had performed all direct services, except for engineering designs and occasional advisory reports from the private sector. The General Assembly decided over a decade ago that direct services could be performed by the private sector and that VDH oversight of the program and private sector was necessary. Today, about 35 percent of all applications submitted to VDH for onsite sewage and well permits include private sector soil evaluations and designs. The percent of private sector work varies widely across the Commonwealth. VDH recognizes the need to address issues related to private sector participation in the onsite sewage program. To meet this need VDH has contracted with the Institute for Environmental Negotiations at the University of Virginia to create a third party, stakeholder process; the Safety and Health in Facilitating a Transition (SHIFT). You can view the complete list of SHIFT committee members here.

The SHIFT Charge

Produce a report of recommendations to advise VDH on how to maximize private sector participation in the onsite sewage program while providing adequate oversight to protect public health and the environment.

Categories of Discussion Topics
Roles & Responsibilities Transition Process, Including Regulatory and Legislative Changes Financial and Economic Issues

To the extent possible, the SHIFT's recommendations should address the following questions and issues:

    1. Roles and Responsibilities
      • What direct services and core functions are necessary to protect public health and ground water supplies in the Commonwealth? Which of those services and core functions must be accomplished by the Department?
        • Identify the Department'