Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 395. General Permit for Emergency Situations and Water Quality Improvement Projects

4VAC20-395-30. Authority and applicability.

A. Prior to the enactment of § 28.2-1207 C, the Code of Virginia provided no mechanism for the emergency authorization of projects requiring permits from the Marine Resources Commission that are designed to protect public or private property or safeguard public health and safety involving encroachments in, on, or over state-owned submerged beds. While the commission has entered into an interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to expedite permit issuance for exigency projects under the Emergency Watershed Protection Program, the process does not eliminate the need for the commission's required public interest review and comment period. Furthermore, there was no expedited mechanism to authorize projects that are designed to improve water quality, restore waterways or streams for water quality improvement, or facilitate emergency response activities related to existing public utility infrastructures in nontidal waterways with drainage areas greater than five square miles or with flow rates greater than five cubic feet per second where project impacts are minimal. The commission, as stipulated in its Subaqueous Guidelines, does not assume regulatory jurisdiction in nontidal waterways with drainage areas less than five square miles or with flow rates less than five cubic feet per second.

B. This general permit provides authorization for projects that are deemed necessary in an emergency that will result in improved water quality in waterways with drainage areas greater than five square miles or flow rates greater than five cubic feet per second, or that are public utility emergency response activities.

C. Experience has shown that the types of projects covered by this general permit (i) are necessary in emergency situations or (ii) would improve water quality while improving habitat and result in only minor impact. In addition, these types or classes of projects would normally be expected to receive an individual commission permit following the standard public interest review.

D. This general permit is valid only for projects which result in encroachments over state-owned submerged lands in nontidal waterways.

Statutory Authority

§§ 28.2-103 and 28.2-1207 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 14, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1998; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 19, eff. June 30, 2009.

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