Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
State Water Control Board

General Notice
Notice of Intent to Approve Use of Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund as a Form of Compensatory Mitigation Under 9VAC25-210
Date Posted: 2/8/2011
Expiration Date: 3/30/2011
Submitted to Registrar for publication: YES
No comment forum defined for this notice.

 Pursuant to Section 62.1-44.15:20-23 of the Code of Virginia and 9 VAC 25-210-116D, the State Water Control Board (the "Board") is giving notice of its intent to sign and approve the new enabling instrument of the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (the "Fund"), one of several acceptable forms of compensatory mitigation for permitted impacts to state waters, including wetlands, after considering public comment for a 30-day period starting March 1, 2011. In July 2008, the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly released the Federal Mitigation Rule, which provides a framework for all types of wetland and stream compensation associated with the Clean Water Act Section 404 and Rivers & Harbors Act Section 10 permits. Currently, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is the sponsor of the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (VARTF), an existing in-lieu fee (ILF) program, which has been in operation in the Commonwealth of Virginia since 1995, in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between TNC and the Corps, and as amended in 2003. DEQ has participated on an interagency team with the Corps, EPA, TNC, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop a new enabling instrument. The purpose of this new Instrument is to establish guidelines, responsibilities and standards for the establishment, use, operation and maintenance of the Fund in a way that brings the existing Fund into compliance with the “Mitigation Rule” (33 CFR 332) governing compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by Corps permits and that complies with State Water Control Law and the Virginia Water Protection Permit program.

The new instrument satisfies the requirements set forth in 9VAC 25-210 116D, including: dedication to the achievement of no net loss of wetland acreage and function and stream function; consultation with the Board on site selection; provision of annual reports detailing contributions by watershed; and a mechanism to establish fee amounts. The Board proposes to approve the Fund enabling instrument, allowing its continued use as a compensatory mitigation option for a five-year period, ending April 30, 2016. DEQ’s approval will remain in effect until April 30, 2016 provided that the conditions of the enabling instrument are met. Subsequent approval of The Fund shall be made by letter, following a 30-day public comment period.   The draft enabling instrument is available on the Department of Environmental Quality web site at or by calling or emailing David L. Davis, DEQ Office of Wetlands & Water Protection beginning February 28, 2011. This notice coincides with a similar public notice by the Corps located on their public notice website at Written comments, including those by email, must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 30, 2011 and should be submitted to David L. Davis at the address given below. Comments to either notice should be copied to both agencies and will considered comments to both public notices. Only those comments received within the comment period will be considered by the Board. Written comments shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the writer, and shall contain a complete, concise statement of the factual basis for comments. 

Contact Information
Name / Title: David L. Davis 
Address: 629 East Main Street
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, 23218
Email Address:
Telephone: (804) 69-8410 ext: 5    FAX: ()-    TDD: ()-