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9VAC25-210-10

9VAC25-210-10. Definitions.

Unless a different meaning is required by the context, the following terms as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

"Act" or "Clean Water Act" means 33 USC § 1251 et seq. as amended 1987.

"Adjacent" means bordering, contiguous or neighboring; wetlands separated from other surface water by man-made dikes or barriers, natural river berms, sand dunes and the like are adjacent wetlands.

"Affected stream reach" means the portion of a surface water body beginning at the location of a withdrawal and ending at a point where effects of the withdrawal are not reasonably expected to adversely affect beneficial uses.

"Agricultural surface water withdrawal" means a withdrawal of surface water in Virginia or from the Potomac River for the purpose of agricultural, silvicultural, horticultural, or aquacultural operations.  Agricultural surface water withdrawals include withdrawals for turf farm operations, but do not include withdrawals for landscaping activities, or turf installment and maintenance associated with landscaping activities.

"Applicant" means a person applying for a VWP individual permit or VWP general permit authorization.

"Aquatic environment" means surface waters and the habitat they provide, including both plant and animal communities.

"Avoidance" means not taking or modifying a proposed action or parts of an action so that there is no adverse impact to the aquatic environment.

"Beneficial use" means both instream and offstream uses. Instream beneficial uses include, but are not limited to: the protection of fish and wildlife habitat; maintenance of waste assimilation; recreation; navigation; and cultural and aesthetic values. Offstream beneficial uses include, but are not limited to: domestic (including public water supply); agricultural; electric power generation; and commercial and industrial uses.

"Best management practices (BMPs)" means a schedule of activities, prohibition of practices, maintenance procedures and other management practices that prevent or reduce the pollution of surface waters.

"Board" means the State Water Control Board.

"Channelization of streams" means alteration of a stream by widening, deepening, straightening, cleaning, or paving.

"Compensation" or "compensatory mitigation" means actions taken that provide some form of substitute aquatic resource for the impacted aquatic resource.

"Consumptive water use" means the withdrawal of surface waters, without recycle of said waters to their source of origin.

"Creation" means the establishment of a wetland or other aquatic resource where one did not formerly exist.

"Cross-sectional sketch" means a scaled graph or plot that represents the plane made by cutting across an object at right angles to its length.  For purposes of this regulation, objects may include, but are not limited to, a surface water body or a portion of it, a man-made channel, an above-ground structure, a below-ground structure, a geographical feature, or the ground surface itself.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) or an authorized representative.

"Discharge" means, when used without qualification, a discharge of a pollutant, or any addition of any pollutant or combination of pollutants, to state waters or waters of the contiguous zone or ocean other than a discharge from a vessel or other floating craft when being used as a means of transportation.

"Draft VWP permit" means a document indicating the board's tentative decision relative to a VWP permit action.

"Draining" means human-induced activities such as ditching, excavation, installation of tile drains, hydrologic modification by surface water runoff diversion, pumping water from wells, or similar activities such that the activities have the effect of artificially dewatering the wetland or altering its hydroperiod.

"Dredged material" means material that is excavated or dredged from surface waters.

"Dredging" means a form of excavation in which material is removed or relocated from beneath surface waters.

"Drought" means that a Severe Intensity Drought (D2) has been declared by the weekly "U.S. Drought Monitor" for the location in which the withdrawal is located.

"Ecologically preferable" means capable of providing a higher likelihood of replacing existing wetland or stream functions and values, water quality and fish and wildlife resources than alternative proposals.

"Emergency Virginia Water Protection Permit" means a Virginia Water Protection Permit issued pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:22 C of the Code of Virginia authorizing a new or increased surface water withdrawal to address insufficient public drinking water supplies that are caused by a drought and may result in a substantial threat to human health or public safety.

"Enhancement" means activities conducted in existing wetlands or other portions of the aquatic environment that increase one or more aquatic functions or values.

"Excavate" or "excavation" means ditching, dredging, or mechanized removal of earth, soil or rock.

"Fill" means replacing portions of surface water with upland, or changing the bottom elevation of a surface water for any purpose, by placement of any pollutant or material including but not limited to rock, sand, earth, and man-made materials and debris.

"Fill material" means any pollutant which replaces portions of surface water with dry land or which changes the bottom elevation of a surface water for any purpose.

"General permit" means a permit authorizing a specified category of activities.

"Geographic area of a delineated wetland" means the area contained within and up to a wetland boundary determined by delineation methods consistent with this chapter.

"Impacts" means results caused by human-induced activities conducted in surface waters, as specified in § 62.1-44.15:20 A of the Code of Virginia.

"Impairment" means the damage, loss or degradation of the functions and values of state waters.

"In-lieu fee fund" means a monetary fund operated by a nonprofit organization or governmental agency which receives financial contributions from persons impacting wetlands or streams pursuant to an authorized permitted activity and which expends the moneys received to provide consolidated compensatory mitigation for permitted wetland or stream impacts.

"Intake structure" means any portion of a withdrawal system used to withdraw surface water that is located within the surface water, such as, but not limited to, a pipe, culvert, hose, tube, or screen.

"Isolated wetlands of minimal ecological value" means those wetlands that: (i) do not have a surface water connection to other state waters; (ii) are less than one-tenth of an acre (0.10 acre or 4,356 square feet) in size; (iii) are not located in a Federal Emergency Management Agency designated 100-year floodplain; (iv) are not identified by the Virginia Natural Heritage Program as a rare or state significant natural community; (v) are not forested; and (vi) do not contain listed federal or state threatened or endangered species.

"Joint Permit Application (JPA)" means an application form that is used to apply for permits from the Norfolk District Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and local wetland boards for work in waters of the United States and in surface waters of Virginia.

"Law" means the State Water Control Law of Virginia.

"Major surface water withdrawal" means a surface water withdrawal of 90 million gallons per month (mgm) or greater.

"Minimization" means lessening impacts by reducing the degree or magnitude of the proposed action and its implementation.

"Minor surface water withdrawal" means a surface water withdrawal of less than 90 million gallons per month (mgm).

"Mitigation" means sequentially avoiding and minimizing impacts to the maximum extent practicable, and then compensating for remaining unavoidable impacts of a proposed action.

"Mitigation bank" means a site providing off-site, consolidated compensatory mitigation that is developed and approved in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws or regulations for the establishment, use and operation of mitigation banks, and is operating under a signed banking agreement.

"Mitigation banking" means compensating for unavoidable wetland or stream losses in advance of development actions through the sale, purchase or use of credits from a mitigation bank.

"Multi-project mitigation site" means an area of wetland restoration, creation, enhancement and, in appropriate circumstances, preservation of wetlands or streams or upland buffers adjacent to wetlands or other state waters, that is or has been utilized to meet compensation requirements for more than one project but that is not a mitigation bank.

"Nationwide permit" means a general permit issued by the USACE under 40 CFR Part 241 and, except where suspended by individual USACE Corps Districts, applicable nationwide.

"Normal agricultural activities" means those activities defined as an agricultural operation in § 3.1-22.29 § 3.2-300 of the Code of Virginia and any activity that is conducted as part of or in furtherance of such agricultural operation, but shall not include any activity for which a permit would have been required as of January 1, 1997, under 33 USC § 1344 or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

"Normal residential gardening, lawn and landscape maintenance" means ongoing noncommercial residential activities conducted by or on behalf of an individual occupant, including mowing, planting, fertilizing, mulching, tilling, vegetation removal by hand or by hand tools, placement of decorative stone, fencing and play equipment. Other appurtenant noncommercial activities, provided that they do not result in the conversion of a wetland to upland or to a different wetland type, may also be included.

"Normal silvicultural activities" means any silvicultural activity as defined in § 10.1-1181.1 of the Code of Virginia, and any activity that is conducted as part of or in furtherance of such silvicultural activity, but shall not include any activity for which a permit would have been required as of January 1, 1997, under 33 USC § 1344 or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

"Out-of-kind mitigation" means compensatory mitigation that does not replace the same type of wetland or surface water as was impacted, but does replace lost wetland or surface water functions, values, or beneficial uses.

"Permanent flooding or impounding" means a permanent increase in the duration or depth of standing water on a land surface, such as from a dam.  Permanent increases in duration or depth of standing water that result from extended-detention basins and enhanced extended-detention basins, when designed, constructed, and maintained to function in accordance with Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) standards for such facilities (Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook, First Edition, 1999, Volume 1, Chapter 3), or when designed in accordance with local standards that, at a minimum, meet the DCR standards, are not considered to be permanent flooding and impounding.

"Permanent impacts" are those impacts to surface waters, including wetlands that cause a permanent alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological properties of the surface waters or of the functions and values of a wetland.

"Permittee" means the person who holds a VWP individual or general permit.

"Person" means one or more individuals, a corporation, a partnership, an association, a governmental body, a municipal corporation, or any other legal entity.

"Plan view sketch" means a scaled graph or plot that represents the view of an object as projected onto orthogonal planes.  For purposes of this regulation, objects may include, but are not limited to, structures, contours, or boundaries.

"Pollutant" means any substance, radioactive material, or heat which causes or contributes to, or may cause or contribute to pollution.

"Pollution" means such alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of any state waters as will or is likely to create a nuisance or render such waters: (i) harmful or detrimental or injurious to the public health, safety or welfare, or to the health of animals, fish or aquatic life; (ii) unsuitable with reasonable treatment for use as present or possible future sources of public water supply; or (iii) unsuitable for recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other reasonable uses; provided that (a) an alteration of the physical, chemical, or biological property of state waters, or a discharge or deposit of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes to state waters by any owner which by itself is not sufficient to cause pollution, but which, in combination with such alteration of or discharge or deposit to state waters by other owners is sufficient to cause pollution; (b) the discharge of untreated sewage by any owner into state waters; and (c) contributing to the contravention of standards of water quality duly established by the board, are "pollution" for the terms and purposes of this chapter.

"Potomac River Low Flow Allocation Agreement" means the agreement among the United States of America, the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission, and the Fairfax County Water Authority dated January 11, 1978, consented to by Congress in § 181 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1976, Public Law 94-587, as modified on April 22, 1986.

"Practicable" means available and capable of being done after taking into consideration cost, existing technology and logistics in light of overall project purposes.

"Preservation" means the protection of resources in perpetuity through the implementation of appropriate legal and physical mechanisms.

"Profile sketch" means a scaled graph or plot that represents the side view of an object.  For purposes of this regulation, objects may include, but are not limited to, a surface water body or a portion of it, a man-made channel, an above-ground structure, a below-ground structure, a geographical feature, or the ground surface itself.

"Public hearing" means a fact finding proceeding held to afford interested persons an opportunity to submit factual data, views and comments to the board pursuant to the board's Procedural Rule No. 1 - Public and Formal Hearing Procedures (9VAC25-230).

"Public surface water supply withdrawal" means a withdrawal of surface water in Virginia or from the Potomac River for the production of drinking water, distributed to the general public for the purpose of, but not limited to, domestic use.

"Public water supply emergency" means a substantial threat to public health or safety due to insufficient public drinking water supplies caused by drought.

"Regional permit" means a general permit issued by the USACE under 40 CFR Part 241 and applicable within a specified geographic area.

"Restoration" means the reestablishment of a wetland or other aquatic resource in an area where it previously existed. Wetland restoration means the reestablishment of wetland hydrology and vegetation in an area where a wetland previously existed. Stream restoration means the process of converting an unstable, altered or degraded stream corridor, including adjacent areas and floodplains, to its natural conditions.

"Riprap" means a layer of nonerodible material such as stone or chunks of concrete.

"Schedule of compliance" means a schedule of remedial measures including a sequence of enforceable actions or operations leading to compliance with the Act, the law, and the board regulations, standards and policies.

"Section 401" means § 401 of the Clean Water Act, or 33 USC § 1341, as amended in 1987.

"Section for Cooperative Water Supply Operations on the Potomac (CO-OP)" means a section of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin designated by the Water Supply Coordination Agreement as responsible for coordination of water resources during times of low flow in the Potomac River.

"Significant alteration or degradation of existing wetland acreage or function" means human-induced activities that cause either a diminution of the areal extent of the existing wetland or cause a change in wetland community type resulting in the loss or more than minimal degradation of its existing ecological functions.

"State waters" means all water, on the surface and under the ground, wholly or partially within or bordering the Commonwealth or within its jurisdiction, including wetlands.

"Surface water" means all state waters that are not ground water as defined in § 62.1-255 of the Code of Virginia.

"Surface water supply project" means a project that withdraws or diverts water from a surface water body for consumptive or nonconsumptive purposes thereby altering the hydrologic regime of the surface water body.  Projects that do not alter the hydrologic regime or that alter the hydrologic regime but whose sole purpose is flood control or storm water management are not included in this definition.

"Surface water withdrawal" means a removal or diversion of surface water from its natural water course in Virginia or from the Potomac River.

"Temporary impacts" means those impacts to surface waters, including wetlands, that do not cause a permanent alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of the surface water or of the functions and values of a wetland.  Temporary impacts include activities in which the ground is restored to its preconstruction contours and elevations, such that previous functions and values are restored.

"Toxic pollutant" means any agent or material including, but not limited to, those listed under § 307(a) of the Act (33 USC § 1317(a)), which after discharge will, on the basis of available information, cause toxicity. Toxicity means the inherent potential or capacity of a material to cause adverse effects in a living organism, including acute or chronic effects to aquatic life, detrimental effects on human health or other adverse environmental effects.

"Undesirable plant species" means any species that invades, naturally colonizes, or otherwise dominates a compensatory mitigation site or mitigation bank and may cause or contribute to the failure of the vegetative success criteria for a particular compensatory mitigation site or mitigation bank.

"USACE" means the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

"VMRC" means the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

"VWP general permit" means a regulation that constitutes a VWP permit for a category of activities.

"VWP permit" means an individual or general permit issued by the board under § 62.1-44.15:20 of the Code of Virginia that authorizes activities otherwise unlawful under § 62.1-44.5 of the Code of Virginia or otherwise serves as the Commonwealth of Virginia's § 401 certification.

"Water quality standards" means water quality standards adopted by the board and approved by the administrator of the EPA under § 303 of the Act as defined at 9VAC25-260.

"Water Supply Coordination Agreement" means the agreement among the United States of America, the Fairfax County Water Authority, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, the District of Columbia, and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, dated July 22, 1982, which establishes agreement among the suppliers to operate their respective water supply systems in a coordinated manner and which outlines operating rules and procedures for reducing impacts of severe droughts in the Potomac River Basin.

"Wetlands" means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.

"Withdrawal system" means any device or combination of evices used to withdraw surface water, such as, but not limited to, a machine, pump, pipe, culvert, hose, tube, screen, or fabricated concrete or metal structure.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 401 of the Clean Water Act.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-15-02 § 1.1, eff. May 20, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 27, 2000; Volume 17, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2007; Volume 24, Issue 9, eff. February 6, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 5, eff. December 10, 2008.

9VAC25-210-50

9VAC25-210-50. Prohibitions and requirements for VWP permits.

A. Except in compliance with a VWP permit, unless the activity is otherwise exempted or excluded, no person shall dredge, fill or discharge any pollutant into, or adjacent to surface waters, withdraw surface water, otherwise alter the physical, chemical or biological properties of surface waters and make them detrimental to the public health, or to animal or aquatic life, or to the uses of such waters for domestic or industrial consumption, or for recreation, or for other uses; excavate in wetlands or on or after October 1, 2001, conduct the following activities in a wetland:

1. New activities to cause draining that significantly alters or degrades existing wetland acreage or functions;

2. Filling or dumping;

3. Permanent flooding or impounding; or

4. New activities that cause significant alteration or degradation of existing wetland acreage or functions.

B. No VWP permit shall be issued for the following:

1. Where the proposed activity or the terms or conditions of the VWP permit do not comply with state law or regulations including but not limited to § 10.1-1408.5 of the Code of Virginia;

2. For the discharge of any radiological, chemical or biological warfare agent or high level radioactive material into surface waters.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 62.1-44.155 of the Code of Virginia; § 401 of the Clean Water Act.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-15-02 § 1.5, eff. May 20, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 25, eff. September 27, 2000; Volume 17, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2007; Volume 25, Issue 5, eff. December 10, 2008.

9VAC25-210-60

9VAC25-210-60. Exclusions.

A. The following activities do not require a VWP permit but may require other permits under state and federal law:

1. Discharges of dredged or fill material into state waters, excepting wetlands, which are addressed under a USACE Regional, General or Nationwide Permit, and for which no § 401 Water Quality Certificate is required.

2. Discharges of dredged or fill material into wetlands when addressed under a USACE Regional, General, or Nationwide Permit and that meet the provisions of subdivision 10 a of this subsection.

2. 3. Any discharge, other than an activity in a surface water governed by § 62.1-44.15:20 of the Code of Virginia, permitted by a Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit in accordance with 9VAC25-31.

3. 4. Any activity, other than an activity in a surface water governed by § 62.1-44.15:20 of the Code of Virginia, permitted by a Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) permit in accordance with 9VAC25-32.

4. 5. Septic tanks, when authorized by a state Department of Health permit.

5. 6. Any activity permitted under Chapter 13 (§ 28.2-1300 et seq.) of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia, unless state certification is required by § 401 of the Clean Water Act.  State certification is waived if the activity meets the provisions of subdivision 10 a of this subsection.  The activity does not require a VWP permit pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:21 H of the Code of Virginia.

6. 7. Normal residential gardening, lawn and landscape maintenance in a wetland.

7. 8. Normal agriculture and silviculture activities in a wetland such as plowing, seeding, cultivating, minor drainage and harvesting for the production of food, fiber and forest products, or upland soil and water conservation practices.

a. To fall under this exclusion, the activities specified in subdivision 7 8 of this section must be part of an established (i.e., ongoing) agriculture or silviculture, operation, and must be in accordance with applicable best management practices set forth in either Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality in Virginia Technical Guide (Fourth Edition, July 2002) or Virginia Agricultural BMP Manual (2000), which facilitate compliance with the § 404(b)(1) Guidelines (40 CFR Part 230). Activities on areas lying fallow as part of a conventional rotational cycle are part of an established operation.

b. Activities which bring a new area into agricultural or silvicultural use are not part of an established operation. An operation ceases to be established when the area in which it was conducted has been converted to another use or has lain idle so long that modifications to the hydrological regime are necessary to resume operation. If the activity takes place outside surface waters, it does not need a VWP permit, whether or not it is part of an established agriculture or silviculture operation.

c. For the purposes of subdivision 7 8 of this section, cultivating, harvesting, minor drainage, plowing, and seeding are defined as follows:

(1) "Cultivating" means physical methods of soil treatment employed within established agriculture and silviculture lands on farm or forest crops to aid and improve their growth, quality, or yield.

(2) "Harvesting" means physical measures employed directly upon farm, forest, or crops within established agricultural and silviculture lands to bring about their removal from farm or forest land, but does not include the construction of farm or forest roads.

(3) "Minor drainage" means:

(a) The discharge of dredged or fill material incidental to connecting upland drainage facilities to surface waters, adequate to effect the removal of excess soil moisture from upland croplands. Construction and maintenance of upland (dryland) facilities, such as ditching and tiling, incidental to the planting, cultivating, protecting, or harvesting of crops;

(b) The discharge of dredged or fill material for the purpose of installing ditching or other water control facilities incidental to planting, cultivating, protecting, or harvesting of rice, or other wetland crop species, where these activities and the discharge occur in surface waters which are in established use for such agricultural and silviculture wetland crop production;

(c) The discharge of dredged or fill material for the purpose of manipulating the water levels of, or regulating the flow or distribution of water within, existing impoundments which have been constructed in accordance with applicable requirements of the Act, and which are in established use for the production of rice, or other wetland crop species;

(d) The discharge of dredged or fill material incidental to the emergency removal of sandbars, gravel bars, or other similar blockages which are formed during flood flows or other events, where such blockages close or constrict previously existing drainageways and, if not promptly removed, would result in damage to or loss of existing crops or would impair or prevent the plowing, seeding, harvesting or cultivating of crops on land in established use for crop production. Such removal does not include enlarging or extending the dimensions of, or changing the bottom elevations of, the affected drainageway as it existed prior to the formation of the blockage. Removal must be accomplished within one year after such blockages are discovered in order to be eligible for exclusion; and

(e) Minor drainage in surface waters is limited to drainage within areas that are part of an established agriculture or silviculture operation. It does not include drainage associated with the immediate or gradual conversion of a wetland to a nonwetland (for example, wetland species to upland species not typically adapted to life in saturated soil conditions), or conversion from one wetland use to another (for example, silviculture to agriculture). In addition, minor drainage does not include the construction of any canal, ditch, dike or other waterway or structure which drains or otherwise significantly modifies a stream, lake, swamp, bog or any other wetland or aquatic area constituting surface water. Any discharge of dredged or fill material into surface water incidental to the construction of any such structure or waterway requires a VWP permit, unless otherwise excluded or exempted by this regulation.

(4) "Plowing" means all forms of primary tillage, including moldboard, chisel, or wide-blade plowing, discing, harrowing, and similar physical means used on farm or forest land for the breaking up, cutting, turning over, or stirring of soil to prepare it for the planting of crops. Plowing does not include the redistribution of soil, rock, sand, or other surficial materials in a manner which changes any area of surface water to dry land. For example, the redistribution of surface materials by blading, grading, or other means to fill in wetland areas is not plowing. Rock crushing activities which result in the loss of natural drainage characteristics, the reduction of water storage and recharge capabilities, or the overburden of natural water filtration capacities does not constitute plowing. Plowing as described above will never involve a discharge of dredged or fill material.

(5) "Seeding" means the sowing of seed and placement of seedlings to produce farm or forest crops and includes the placement of soil beds for seeds or seedlings on established farm and forest lands.

8. 9. Maintenance, including emergency reconstruction of recently damaged parts, of currently serviceable structures, such as dikes, groins, levees, dams, riprap breakwaters, causeways, bridge abutments or approaches, and transportation and utility structures. Maintenance does not include modifications that change the character, scope, or size of the original design. In order to qualify for this exclusion, emergency reconstruction must occur within a reasonable period of time after damage occurs.

9. 10. Construction or maintenance of farm ponds or impoundments, stock ponds or impoundments, or irrigation ditches, or the maintenance (but not construction) of drainage ditches.

a. The exclusion for the construction and maintenance of farm or stock ponds and farm or stock impoundments applies to those structures that are operated for normal agricultural or silvicultural purposes, and are less than 25 feet in height or create a maximum impoundment capacity smaller than 100 acre-feet.

b. The exclusion for the construction and maintenance of farm or stock ponds and farm or stock impoundments does not include the impacts associated with the withdrawal of surface water from, within, or behind such structures.  A VWP permit may be required for the surface water withdrawal.

c. Discharge associated with siphons, pumps, headgates, wingwalls, weirs, diversion structures, and such other facilities as are appurtenant and functionally related to irrigation ditches are included in this exclusion.

d. The maintenance dredging of existing ditches is included in this exclusion provided that the final dimensions of the maintained ditch do not exceed the average dimensions of the original ditch. This exclusion does not apply to the construction of new ditches or to the channelization of streams.

10. 11. Construction of temporary sedimentation basins on a construction site which does not include the placement of fill materials into surface waters or excavation in wetlands. The term "construction site" refers to any site involving the erection of buildings, roads, and other discrete structures and the installation of support facilities necessary for construction and utilization of such structures. The term "construction site" also includes any other land areas which involve land-disturbing excavation activities, including quarrying or other mining activities, where an increase in run-off of sediment is controlled through the use of temporary sedimentation basins.

11. 12. Construction or maintenance of farm roads, forest roads, or temporary roads for moving mining equipment, where such roads are constructed and maintained in accordance with applicable best management practices (BMPs) set forth in either Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality in Virginia, Technical Guide, Fourth Edition, July 2002, or Virginia Agricultural BMP Manual, 2000, to ensure that flow and circulation patterns and chemical and biological characteristics of surface waters are not impaired, that the reach of such waters is not reduced, and that any adverse effect on the aquatic environment will otherwise be minimized. The BMPs which must be applied to satisfy this provision include the following baseline provisions:

a. Permanent roads (for agriculture or forestry activities), temporary access roads (for mining, forestry, or farm purposes), and skid trails (for logging) in surface waters shall be held to the minimum feasible number, width, and total length consistent with the purpose of specific agriculture, silviculture or mining operations, and local topographic and climatic conditions;

b. All roads, temporary or permanent, shall be located sufficiently far from streams or other water bodies (except for portions of such roads which must cross water bodies) to minimize discharges of dredged or fill material into surface waters;

c. The road fill shall be bridged, culverted, or otherwise designed to prevent the restriction of expected flood flows;

d. The fill shall be properly stabilized and maintained to prevent erosion during and following construction;

e. Discharges of dredged or fill material into surface waters to construct road fill shall be made in a manner which minimizes the encroachment of trucks, tractors, bulldozers, or other heavy equipment within state waters (including adjacent wetlands) that lie outside the lateral boundaries of the fill itself;

f. In designing, constructing, and maintaining roads, vegetative disturbance in surface waters shall be kept to a minimum;

g. The design, construction and maintenance of the road crossing shall not disrupt the migration or other movement of those species of aquatic life inhabiting the water body;

h. Borrow material shall be taken from upland sources whenever feasible;

i. The discharge shall not take, or jeopardize the continued existence of a state- or federally-listed threatened or endangered species as defined under the Endangered Species Act (16 USC § 1531 et seq.), in § 29.1-566 of the Code of Virginia and in 4VAC15-20-130 B and C, except as provided in § 29.1-568 of the Code of Virginia, or adversely modify or destroy the critical habitat of such species;

j. Discharges into the nesting and breeding areas for migratory waterfowl, spawning areas, and wetlands shall be avoided if practical alternatives exist;

k. The discharge shall not be located in proximity of a public water supply or intake;

l. The discharge shall not occur in areas of concentrated shellfish production;

m. The discharge shall not occur in a component to the National Wild and Scenic River System;

n. The discharge material shall consist of suitable material free from toxic pollutants in toxic amounts; and

o. All temporary fills shall be removed in their entirety and the area restored to its original elevation.

B. The following surface water withdrawals are excluded from VWP permit requirements.  Activities, other than the surface water withdrawal, which are contained in 9VAC25-210-50 and are associated with the construction and operation of the surface water withdrawal, are subject to VWP permit requirements unless excluded by subsection A of this section. Other permits under state and federal law may be required.

1. Any surface water withdrawal in existence on July 1, 1989; however, a permit shall be required if a new § 401 certification is required to increase a withdrawal. To qualify for this exclusion, the surface water withdrawal shall be deemed to be in existence on July 1, 1989, if there was an actual withdrawal on or before that date that has not been abandoned.

a. Abandonment of a surface water withdrawal. A surface water withdrawal shall be deemed to be abandoned if the owner of the withdrawal system (i) notifies the DEQ in writing that the withdrawal has been abandoned or (ii) removes or disables the withdrawal system with the intent to permanently cease such withdrawal.  Transfer of ownership or operational control of the withdrawal system, a change in use of the water, or temporary cessation of the withdrawal shall not be deemed evidence of abandonment.  The notification shall be signed by the owner of record or shall include evidence satisfactory to the DEQ that the signatory is authorized to submit the notice on behalf of the owner of record. Evidence may include, but shall not be limited to, a resolution of the governing body of the owner or corporate minutes.

b. Information to be furnished to the DEQ.  Each owner or operator of a permanent withdrawal system engaging in a withdrawal that is subject to this exclusion shall provide the DEQ the estimated maximum capacity of the intake structure, the location of the existing intake structure and any other information that may be required by the board.  Each owner or operator of a temporary withdrawal system engaging in a withdrawal that is subject to this exclusion, where the purpose of the withdrawal is for agriculture, shall provide to the DEQ the maximum annual surface water withdrawal over the last 10 years.  The information shall be provided within one year of the date that notice of such request is received from the DEQ and shall be updated when the maximum capacity of the existing intake structure changes.  The information provided to the DEQ shall not constitute a limit on the exempted withdrawal.  Such information shall be utilized by the DEQ and board to protect existing beneficial uses and shall be considered when evaluating applications for new withdrawal permits.

2. Any surface water withdrawal not in existence on July 1, 1989, if the person proposing to make the withdrawal received a § 401 certification before January 1, 1989, with respect to installation of any necessary withdrawal structures to make such withdrawal; however, a permit shall be required before any such withdrawal is increased beyond the amount authorized by the certification.

3. Any existing lawful unpermitted surface water withdrawal initiated between July 1, 1989, and July 25, 2007, which is not subject to other exclusions contained in this section.  These withdrawals shall be excluded from permit requirements only if they comply with the conditions in this subdivision.  Regardless of complying with the conditions of this subdivision, these withdrawals shall require a permit for any increased withdrawal amount.

a. Information to be furnished to the DEQ.  Each owner or operator of a withdrawal system engaging in a withdrawal that is subject to this exclusion shall provide the DEQ with copies of water withdrawal reports required by Water Withdrawal Reporting Regulations (9VAC25-200) documenting the largest 12-consecutive month withdrawal that occurred in the 10 years prior to July 25, 2007. In the case of unreported agricultural surface water withdrawals, estimates of withdrawals will be accepted that are based on one of the following:

(1) The area irrigated, depth of irrigation, and annual number of irrigations; pumping capacity and annual pumping time; annual energy consumption for pumps; number and type of livestock watered annually; number and type of livestock where water is used for cooling purposes; or

(2) Other methods approved by the board for the largest 12 consecutive month withdrawal that occurred in the 10 years prior to July 25, 2007. The board shall evaluate all estimates of surface water withdrawals based on projected water demands for crops and livestock as published by the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, the United States Natural Resources Conservation Service, or other similar references and make a determination whether they are reasonable.  In all cases only reasonable estimates will be used to document the excluded withdrawal amount.

b. The information noted in subdivision 3 a of this subsection shall be provided within 12 months of July 25, 2007. The information provided to the DEQ shall constitute a limit on the withdrawal that is excluded from permit requirements; any increase in that withdrawal above the limited amount shall require an application for a permit for the withdrawal system.  Information regarding excluded withdrawal amounts shall be utilized by the DEQ and board to protect existing beneficial uses and shall be considered when evaluating applications for new withdrawal permits.

c. All owners and operators of surface water withdrawals excluded from permit requirements by this section shall annually report withdrawals as required by Water Withdrawal Reporting Regulations (9VAC25-200).  Failure to file annual reports either reporting actual withdrawals or the fact that withdrawals did not occur may result in the owner or operator being required to file an application and receive a permit prior to resuming any withdrawal.

4. Agricultural surface water withdrawals from nontidal waters that total less than one million gallons in a single month.

5. Surface water withdrawals from nontidal waters for all other purposes that total less than 10,000 gallons per day.

6. Surface water withdrawals from tidal waters for nonconsumptive uses.

7. Agricultural surface water withdrawals from tidal waters that total less than 60 million gallons in a single month.

8. Surface water withdrawals from tidal waters for all other consumptive purposes that total less than two million gallons per day.

9. Surface water withdrawals for firefighting or for the training activities related to firefighting, such as dry hydrants and emergency surface water withdrawals.

10. Surface water withdrawals placed into portable containers by persons owning property on, or holding easements to, riparian lands.

11. Surface water withdrawals for the purposes of hydrostatic pressure testing of water tight containers, pipelines, and vessels.

12. Surface water withdrawals for normal single family home residential gardening, lawn, and landscape maintenance.

13. Surface water withdrawals that are located on a property, such that the withdrawal returns to the stream of origin; not more than half of the instantaneous flow is diverted; not more than 1,000 feet of stream channel separate the withdrawal point from the return point; and both banks of the affected stream segment are located within that property boundary.

14. Surface water withdrawals from quarry pits, such that the withdrawal does not alter the physical, biological, or chemical properties of surface waters connected to the quarry pit.

15. Surface water withdrawals from a privately owned agriculture pond, emergency water storage facility, or other water retention facility, provided that such pond or facility is not placed in the bed of a perennial or intermittent stream or wetland.  Surface water withdrawals from such facilities constructed in beds of ephemeral streams are excluded from permit requirements.

C. DEQ may require any owner or operator of a withdrawal system excluded from permit requirements by subdivisions B 3 through 15 of this section to cease withdrawals and file an application and receive a permit prior to resuming any withdrawal when the board's assessment indicates that a withdrawal, whether  individually or in combination with other existing or proposed projects:

1. Causes or contributes to, or may reasonably be expected to cause or contribute to, a significant impairment of the state waters or fish and wildlife resources;

2. Adversely impacts other existing beneficial uses; or

3. Will cause or contribute to a violation of water quality standards.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 and § 62.1-44.15:21  62.1-44.155 of the Code of Virginia; § 401 of the Clean Water Act.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-15-02 § 1.6, eff. May 20, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2007; Volume 24, Issue 9, eff. February 6, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 5, eff. December 10, 2008.

9VAC25-210-130

9VAC25-210-130. VWP general permits.

A. The board may issue VWP general permits by regulation for certain specified categories of activities as it deems appropriate.

B. When the board determines on a case-by-case basis that concerns for water quality and the aquatic environment so indicate, the board may require individual applications and VWP individual permits rather than approving coverage under a VWP general permit regulation. Cases where an individual VWP permit may be required include the following:

1. Where the activity may be a significant contributor to pollution;

2. Where the applicant or permittee is not in compliance with the conditions of the VWP general permit regulation or authorization;

3. When an applicant or permittee no longer qualifies for coverage under the VWP general permit regulation or authorization; and

4. When a permittee operating under a VWP general permit authorization requests to be excluded from the coverage of the VWP general permit regulation by applying for a VWP individual permit.

C. When a VWP individual permit is issued to a permittee, the applicability of the VWP general permit authorization to the individual permittee is automatically terminated on the effective date of the VWP individual permit.

D. When a VWP general permit regulation is issued which applies to a permittee already covered by a VWP individual permit, such person may request exclusion from the provisions of the VWP general permit regulation and subsequent coverage under a VWP individual permit.

E. A VWP general permit authorization may be revoked from an individual permittee for any of the reasons set forth in 9VAC25-210-180 subject to appropriate opportunity for a hearing.

F. When all permitted activities requiring notification have been completed, the permittee shall be required to submit a notice of termination unless the permittee has previously submitted a termination by consent request for the same permitted activities and such request has been approved by the board.

G. Activities authorized under a VWP general permit regulation shall be authorized for a fixed term based upon project length and duration. When a general permit regulation is amended or replaced, it shall contain provisions such that coverage authorized under the general permit existing as of the effective date of the amended or replacement VWP general permit regulation may continue under the amended or replacement VWP general permit and that all terms and conditions of the authorization may continue in full force and effect. Notwithstanding any other provision, a request for continuation of a VWP general permit authorization beyond the expiration date of such authorization in order to complete monitoring requirements shall not be considered a new application for coverage and no application fee will be charged.

H. The board may certify, or certify with conditions, a general, regional, or nationwide or regional permit proposed by the USACE in accordance with § 401 of the federal Clean Water Act as meeting the requirements of this regulation and a VWP general permit, provided that the nationwide or regional permit and the certification conditions:

1. Require that wetland or stream impacts be avoided and minimized to the maximum extent practicable;

2. Prohibit impacts that cause or contribute to a significant impairment of state waters or fish and wildlife resources;

3. Require compensatory mitigation sufficient to achieve no net loss of existing wetland acreage and functions or stream functions and water quality benefits; and

4. Require that compensatory mitigation for unavoidable wetland impacts be provided through the following options, as appropriate to replace acreage and function:

a. Wetland creation;

b. Wetland restoration;

c. The purchase or use of credits from a mitigation bank, pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:23 of the Code of Virginia;

d. A contribution to an approved in-lieu fee fund;

e. Preservation of upland buffers adjacent to state waters, when utilized in conjunction with subdivision 4 a, b, or c of this subsection, and when consistent with 9VAC25-210-116 A;

f. Restoration of upland buffers adjacent to state waters, when utilized in conjunction with subdivision 4 a, b, or c of this subsection, and when consistent with 9VAC25-210-116 A;

g. Preservation of wetlands, when utilized in conjunction with subdivision 4 a, b, or c of this subsection.

5. Require that compensatory mitigation for unavoidable stream impacts may be met through the following options as appropriate to replace functions or water quality benefits; one factor in determining the required compensation shall be an analysis of stream impacts utilizing a stream impact assessment methodology approved by the board:

a. Stream channel restoration or enhancement;

b. Riparian buffer restoration or enhancement;

c. Riparian buffer preservation, when consistent with 9VAC25-210-116 A;

d. A contribution to an approved in-lieu fee fund;

e. The purchase or use of credits from a mitigation bank, pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:23 of the Code of Virginia.

I. The certifications allowed by subsection H of this section may be provided only after the board has advertised and accepted public comment on its intent to provide certification for at least 30 days.

J. Coverage under a general, regional, or nationwide or regional permit promulgated by the USACE and certified by the board in accordance with this section shall be deemed coverage under a VWP general permit regulation upon submission of proof of coverage under the general, regional, or nationwide or regional permit and any other information required by the board through the certification process. Notwithstanding the provisions of 9VAC25-20-10, no fee shall be required from applicants seeking coverage under this subsection.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 62.1-44-155 of the Code of Virginia; § 401 of the Clean Water Act.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-15-02 § 2.6, eff. May 20, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2007; Volume 24, Issue 9, eff. February 6, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 5, eff. December 10, 2008.

9VAC25-210-220

9VAC25-210-220. Waiver of VWP permit or § 401 certification.

A. The board may waive permitting requirements when the board determines that a proposed project impacts an isolated wetland that is of minimal ecological value as defined in 9VAC25-210-10. Any person claiming this waiver bears the burden to demonstrate that he qualifies for the waiver.

B. The board may waive the requirement for a VWP individual permit when the proposed activity qualifies for a permit issued by the USACE and receives a permit from the VMRC or wetlands boards, pursuant to Chapter 12 (§ 28.2-1200 et seq.) or Chapter 13 (§ 28.2-1300 et seq.) of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia, and the activity does not impact instream flows.

C. The board shall waive the requirement for a VWP general permit authorization or VWP individual permit when the proposed activity meets the exclusion set forth in 9VAC25-210-60 A 10 a regardless of the issuance of an individual permit by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-15-02 § 4.5, eff. May 20, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2007; Volume 25, Issue 5, eff. December 10, 2008.

9VAC25-210-9998

FORMS (9VAC25-210)

Permit Application Fee Form (eff. 7/04).

Standard Joint Permit Application for Activities in Waters and Wetlands of the Commonwealth of Virginia (eff. 10/04) (eff. 07/08).

Joint Permit Application for Projects in Tidewater Virginia (eff. 10/04).

Virginia Department of Transportation, Joint Permit Application, IACM Coordination Form (eff. 10/02) (eff. 6/08).

Quarterly Monthly Reporting of Impacts Less than One-Tenth Acre (insert reporting period) Statewide (eff. 4/03) (eff. 8/07).

DEQ Application for New or Expanded Minor Surface Water Withdrawals Initiated On or After July 25, 2007.