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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 1330. Living Shoreline Group 2 General Permit for Certain Living Shoreline Treatments Involving Submerged Lands, Tidal Wetlands, or Coastal Primary Sand Dunes and Beaches

4VAC20-1330-40. Specific criteria.

A. Any project must satisfy the following specific criteria:

1. There is clear evidence of active detrimental erosion at the project site, and the maximum fetch at the project site does not exceed 1.5 miles in any shore angle direction.

2. The maximum water depth at the sill location shall not exceed two feet at mean low water, and the landward edge of the sill shall not be located further than 30 feet channelward of mean low water.

3. The proposal shall include an existing or created tidal wetland with a minimum total width of eight feet.

4. For unaltered shorelines, the project will only qualify for the general permit if the living shoreline components are the only shoreline protection structures proposed along the specific shoreline segment. For previously altered shorelines, an existing erosion control structure will not restrict the use of the general permit for a living shoreline project designed to protect or enhance an existing vegetated wetland provided the resulting vegetated wetlands is at least eight feet in width.

5. Marsh toe revetments and sills shall be constructed of riprap or alternative materials proposed during the review process. The materials shall be of sufficient weight or adequately anchored to prevent being dislodged by anticipated wave action. Asphalt and materials containing asphalt or other toxic substances shall not be used in the construction of marsh toe revetments and sills.

6. Marsh toe revetments, sills, and associated sand fill shall not be placed on submerged aquatic vegetation or vegetated wetlands, except sand may be placed on vegetated wetlands if deemed necessary to improve wetlands habitat or resiliency provided the sand placement does not raise the elevation of the site above the elevation of jurisdictional tidal vegetated wetlands and provided further that the project results in a net gain in areal coverage of wetlands vegetation through planting or natural revegetation.

7. Marsh toe revetments and sills shall be constructed on filter cloth and to a maximum height of one foot above the elevation of mean high water at the site. Side slopes of the structures shall be no flatter than 2:1. Broken concrete may be utilized for the core of the structure provided it does not contain exposed rebar or other construction debris and provided it is covered with a layer of riprap stone.

8. Sills shall be designed and constructed with a minimum of one five-foot wide gap or window per property and per 100 linear feet. The maximum height of a window shall not exceed one-half the height of the sill and shall not exceed the elevation of mean high water.

9. Coarse sand should be utilized for any required fill. At a minimum the sand shall contain less than 10% very fine material (passing a #100 sieve). The sand shall not be placed in a manner that raises the elevation of any existing wetland area above the elevation of jurisdictional vegetated tidal wetlands (1.5 times the mean tide range above mean low water).

10. Wetland or dune and beach vegetation shall be planted in all jurisdictional areas on which sand is placed where the resulting substrate elevation is appropriate to support the growth of such vegetation. Only those species that are anticipated to survive at the project site elevation and normal salinity regime shall be used. The common reed, Phragmites sp., shall not typically be considered appropriate wetlands vegetation for planting purposes.

11. Fiber logs, fiber mats, woven containment bags, and shell bags may be utilized within the jurisdictional tidal wetlands or sand dunes and beaches to create a sill or to otherwise support the growth of wetlands or dune and beach vegetation provided they are not placed on existing vegetation and are not stacked to a height that exceeds mean high water except along the landward limits of the wetlands or dunes and beaches. The bags, fiber mats, and fiber logs shall be maintained and promptly removed should they become displaced or unexpectedly damaged at any time. If available, biodegradable materials are encouraged. The replacement of any failed fiber logs, fiber mats, or bags in the same location shall be allowed without the need to receive additional authorization. Additional sand may be placed to replace any lost sand or to adjust for substrate settlement, provided the elevation of the originally proposed grade is not exceeded without the need to receive additional authorization.

12. Temporary grazing protection may be utilized to protect wetlands, dune and beach vegetation, or ribbed mussels until they become established. The protective structures shall be removed once the vegetation or mussels are established. Such grazing protection is encouraged and should be considered in the project design. Any requested grazing protection shall be specified in the permit application.

13. The permittee agrees to notify the commission upon completion of the project and to provide a brief monitoring report at the end of the first full growing season following planting and after the second year of establishment of vegetation. The monitoring shall be conducted from June through September of each year, and the report shall include at a minimum the permit number, representative photos of the site, and a brief statement concerning the success of the project. Additional documentation is encouraged to allow improved evaluation of the techniques utilized.

14. Any vegetated wetlands or dune and beach vegetation established under this general permit shall not be cut or harvested. Areas shall be replanted as necessary to ensure, at a minimum, no net loss of wetland or dune and beach vegetation within the project area for a period of two years following the initial planting. If necessary to promote the establishment of wetlands or dune and beach vegetation, additional sand may be placed to restore the originally proposed elevation grade.

15. Any measures taken to eradicate invasive species at the project site associated with the living shoreline activity, including Phragmites sp., shall be noted in the permit application or conducted in accordance with a plan evaluated and approved by the applicable wetlands board or locality. Such plans shall include measures to revegetate the area with appropriate native wetlands vegetation.

B. All activities undertaken in accordance with the general permit are subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions contained in Article 2 (§ 28.2-1210 et seq.) of Chapter 12, Article 4 (§ 28.2-1316 et seq.) of Chapter 13, and Article 4 (§ 28.2-1416 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia. Failure to comply with any criteria or conditions of the general permit constitutes a violation of the permit.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-104.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 6, eff. November 1, 2017.

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