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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 345. General Wetlands Permit for Emergency Situations
3/29/2020

4VAC20-345-30. Authority and Applicability.

A. At present, the only emergency authorization is that provided in subdivision 8 of § 3 of § 28.2-1302 of the Code of Virginia. That section of the model wetlands zoning ordinance provides statutory authorization for "emergency measures decreed by any duly appointed health officer of a governmental subdivision acting to protect the public health." This authorization has rarely been invoked. Even if it were, it would not likely address the type of shoreline erosion situations that might arise as a result of a significant coastal storm event. This chapter is designed to establish the criteria and qualifications for an emergency wetlands general permit. It also sets forth the procedures and conditions for applying for and the processing of an emergency wetlands permit.

B. A principal objective of this general wetlands permit is a streamlined application and public interest review process whereby waterfront property owners can obtain authorization to install a shoreline protection structure or reinstall or repair previously authorized shoreline protection structures. If applying to replace a shoreline structure that was destroyed by a storm event (e.g., bulkhead or revetment), the previous structure must have been intact and serviceable prior to the storm event.

C. Erosion must be ongoing and a determination made that failure to act in an expeditious manner will threaten either the applicant's property or adjoining properties or has the potential to adversely impact the public health, safety or welfare. In general, this will require that a dwelling or some other structure be located within 50 feet of the mean high water shoreline. The waterfront property owner must apply for the general wetlands permit within 30 days of the significant storm event or emergency cited.

D. The general wetlands permit is valid only in those localities which have elected to adopt and locally administer the tidal wetlands zoning ordinance. In addition, the provisions of the state general wetlands permit shall not conflict with any other federal permits (nationwide or regional) or authorizations that govern emergency activities in tidal wetlands. The general wetlands permit may not be used to authorize any new groin or jetty structure.

E. This general permit shall not apply in areas where a coastal primary sand dune or beach permit would also be required for a given project pursuant to Chapter 14 (§ 28.2-1400 et seq.) of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 28.2-103 and 28.2-1307 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 14, Issue 15, eff. March 1, 1998.

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