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New Stormwater Regulations will be Implemented on July 1, 2014

New Stormwater Regulations will be Implemented on July 1, 2014

Virginia’s revised stormwater management regulations became effective on September 13, 2011, but will finally be implemented on July 1, 2014. The following are significant changes to the Regulations:

1)      Localities with Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) are designated as Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) authorities and will review and approve all Construction General Permit applications.

2)      Personnel working for a VSMP authority must be certified in order to perform duties associated with program administration, plan review, or site inspections. Information on training classes and exams can be found on DEQ’s Stormwater Training page.

3)      Development activities that disturb greater than 1 acre of land are subject to new technical criteria of .41 pounds per acre per year of phosphorus. The criteria was developed to be protective of local water quality and to achieve no net increase in nutrients for new development. The new criterion translates to a land cover condition of 10% impervious cover, 30% turf, and 60% forest. Nutrient loads from both pervious and impervious lands must meet the criteria. Compliance with the technical criteria will be determined utilizing the runoff reduction method which credits both environmental site design practices and low impact development BMPs.

4)      Owners/operators of construction activities larger than one acre are required to develop and implement a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) for the construction activity in order to obtain permit coverage under the VSMP general permit for construction activities. The SWPPP must be prepared prior to submitting a registration statement for permit coverage to DEQ. The SWPPP outlines the steps and techniques the operator will take to comply with the terms and conditions of the permit, including water quality and quantity requirements that are consistent with the VSMP permit regulations, to reduce pollutants in the stormwater runoff from the construction site. The SWPPP also specifies all potential pollutant sources that could enter stormwater leaving the construction site and covers methods used to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff during and after construction. A complete list of SWPPP requirements is contained in Section II of the general permit.

5)      Land disturbing activity greater than 2,500 square feet and less than an acre no longer requires a construction general permit, but is subject to the technical criteria.

The Hampton Roads PDC has developed several documents to explain the revised Regulations and educate both developers and local government staff on the changes. The Land and Water Quality Protection in Hampton Roads: Phase I report provides a detail summary of the Regulations and the runoff reduction method.

The Coastal Plain Stormwater BMP guide was developed as part of Phase II of the Land and Water Quality Protection in Hampton Roads project. The guide provides summaries of the technical specifications for the allowed stormwater BMPs and indicated which are preferred for use in the Coastal Plain.

Low Impact Development Checklist for Hampton Roads is a two page fact sheet intended to assist developers in implementing cost effective stormwater controls on site.

Additional information and links to the final regulations can be found on the DEQ Stormwater page.