The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) recently noticed a comment period for the latest iteration of the proposed changes to the Virginia Stormwater Management Program Permit Regulations (4 VAC 50-60-10 through 159). The comment period ends April 27. These regulations have been in development for some time, and the current version reflects work by DCR staff and several technical and regulatory advisory committees and groups over the last few years.
The regulations will affect real estate development projects and include water quality and water quantity treatment requirements, over and above what Virginia has previously required.
- Among the new water quality requirements are proposals that the total phosphorus load for new development projects be limited to 0.41 pounds/acre/year. Redevelopment projects, on the other hand, must generally provide a 10% or 20% reduction in total phosphorus load over pre-development conditions, depending on the type and size of the project. Waste load allocations established in a TMDL trump the limits described above, and local programs may establish more limited total phosphorus loads than those set out in the regulations.
- Water quantity requirements are designed to protect channel integrity and avoid erosion downstream of development projects. Discharge requirements in the regulations are tied to the type of receiving conveyance system (man-made, restored or natural).
- The regulations provide for local program administration of the stormwater permitting program. However, whether local governments will have the funds and/or the human resource capital to take over such management is still unclear.
Comments on the regulations can be sent to DCR until April 27, 2011, by mail, fax or e-mail:
Department of Conservation and Recreation
203 Governor Street, Suite 302
Richmond, VA 23219