4/7/2010 9:14 am
Date / Time filed with the Register of Regulations
VA.R. Document Number: R____-______
Virginia Register Publication Information

Transmittal Sheet: Response to Petition for Rulemaking
Initial Agency Notice
Agency Decision
Promulgating Board: State Water Control Board
Regulatory Coordinator: Cindy Berndt


Agency Contact: David C. Whitehurst


Contact Address: Department of Environmental Quality

629 East Main Street, P.O.Box 1105

Richmond, VA 23218
Chapter Affected:
vac 25 - 260: Water Quality Standards
Statutory Authority: State: Sections 62.1-44.15(10) and 62.1-44.15(3a) of the Code of Virginia

Federal: Clean Water Act (33 USC 1251 et seq.) 40 Code of Federal Regulations 131
Date Petition Received 07/23/2009
Petitioner Town of Urbanna
 Petitioner's Request
To amend the State Water Quality Standards Regulation (9 VAC 25-260) to designate Urbanna Creek from its mouth to its headwaters and all tributaries as Exceptional State Waters (Tier 3).
 Agency Plan
Public comment will be accepted until November 30, 2009. The State Water Control Board will consider whether or not to move forward with the rulemaking at their first regular meeting of 2010.
Publication Date 11/09/2009  (comment period will also begin on this date)
Comment End Date 11/30/2009
 Agency Decision
Take no action
Agency Response Date 03/18/2010
 Agency Decision Text
The petition for designating Urbanna Creek and its tributaries as Exceptional State Waters was denied. In order to be designated an Exception State Water a water body must meet certain eligibility criteria. The nominated water body must exhibit an exceptional environmental setting and either support an exceptional aquatic community or support exceptional recreational opportunities which do not require modification of the existing natural setting. Though the general environs of the creek are pleasant and the area rich in history and local culture, the result of the site visit was that Urbanna Creek does not meet the crucial eligibility criteria of possessing an exceptional environmental setting for the following reasons: (1) The natural features of the basin do not significantly contribute to the overall appearance of Urbanna Creek. It is comparable in appearance to many of the small coastal streams of the lower Rappahannock River tidal estuary. (2) The creek is not a national wild and scenic river nor is it an integral component of any federal or state park, wildlife refuge, or wildlife management area. The only other Exceptional State Water designation in Virginia tidal waters (Ragged Island Creek) benefits from being part of a wildlife management area on one side of the water body and surrounded by a wide expanse of marsh on the other side. These factors have an isolating effect and provide buffering from development and anthropogenic impacts. (3) The creek and its environs are not remote or undeveloped but rather characterized as a suburban/urban, developing area. Access to the entirety of the tidal portion of the creek is readily available to motorized boats and jet skis.