Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
State Water Control Board
Guidance Document Change: This guidance document provides for: 1) a streamlined stormwater management (SWM) plan review process in instances where DEQ is the Virginia Stormwater Management Program (VSMP) authority and 2) a streamlined erosion and sediment control (ESC) plan review process where DEQ is the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program (VESCP) authority when the following conditions are met: • The SWM and/or ESC plan is prepared by a professional engineer licensed to engage in practice in the Commonwealth under Chapter 4 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia, • The SWM and/or ESC Plan is pre-reviewed and signed by a person who holds an active certificate as a Dual Combined Administrator for ESC and SWM, and • A completed Plan Submission Checklist is submitted with the SWM and/or ESC Plan on the cover sheet.
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8/31/22  7:11 pm
Commenter: Hewitt Solutions, PLLC

DEQ GM 22-2011: Hewitt Solutions Comments

August 31, 2022



Ms. Melanie Davenport

Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Environmental Quality

Director - Division of Water Permitting

1111 East Main Street

Richmond, VA 23219



Re:      Guidance Memo No. 22-2011 Public Comment

Streamlined Plan Review for Construction Stormwater Plans and Erosion and Sediment Control Plans submitted by a Professional Engineer and reviewed by a Dual Combined Administrator for Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Management



Dear Ms. Davenport:



Hewitt Solutions is an active and experienced design and consulting firm in the solar land development space that has worked very closely with DEQ for several years. We appreciate the opportunity to review the aforementioned guidance memo and offer the following comments: 


Section B (Page 4)

  • Clarify if DEQ is advising locality VSMPs on approach to or adoption of a similar process, and if DEQ will allow or encourage them to use a similar approach.
  • This memo specifies that the plans must be designed under the direct supervision of a professional engineer.  Will DEQ still accept plans designed by licensed LA or LS-B?


Section B (Page 5)

  • Clarify the process if the locality VESCP has not approved the ESC plan, but the 60 days of DEQ SWM audit time has lapsed - therefore DEQ considering the SWM plan approved?
  • Clarify the process if the locality VESCP issues comments and the plan is updated, prior to the close of the 60-day audit window, and if this would trigger a new completeness review and audit period entirely.
  • In the past, DEQ has required locality ESC plan approval prior to SWM plan approval. Clarify if that has changed.


Section C (Page 6)

  • Clarify when DEQ pulls a plan during the audit period what the anticipated review timeframes are, or if they are referenced back to the standard code requirements. 
  • Suggest an absolute (rather than relative), or hybrid, approach of determining low-medium-high risk sites for audit review. For example, a 10-acre site with 50% of LOD in erodible soils represents far less risk than a 2,000-acre site with 15% of LOD in erodible soils.
  • Suggest adding more defined information and guidance on what plans will be audited. As it reads now with no concrete guidance, the design and construction industry at large can only assume that these changes will lengthen, not shorten, the review period (i.e., plans will have an additional 60 days in the audit period, then be pulled for a standard review as they are subject to today.)
  • The discussion of “strikes” for professionals and DCAs involved in plan preparation incites questions and comments on several points, including:
    • Who will be responsible for deeming the plans deficient enough to count as one of the three strikes for the DCA?
    • Is there an appeal process for strikes against the DCA? Who will the arbiter of disagreements or appeals be?
    • Who will keep a record of the DCAs strikes?  Will this information be publicly available?
    • Suggest requiring the DEQ plan reviewer contact the engineer and DCA to discuss why they deem the plan deficient before the strike is issued. This would ensure that both parties are on the same page and ensure that the plan was deficient (i.e., the plan reviewer did not simply miss something.)


Appendix A: Plan Submission Checklist (Page 8)

  • If DEQ is not the VESCP authority, clarify if the ESC portion of the checklist need to be filled out, and if the checklist will be deemed incomplete if not.
  • Clarify where to provide the latitude & longitude of SWM facilities: middle of facility, center of spillway, etc.



We appreciate your time and consideration of the comments within.





The Hewitt Solutions Team

CommentID: 127488