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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 50. Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board
Chapter 20. Impounding Structure Regulations
1/20/2019

4VAC50-20-105. Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificates.

Part III. Certificate Requirements

A. A Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate is required for an impounding structure. Such six-year certificates shall include the following based on hazard classification:

1. High Hazard Potential Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate;

2. Significant Hazard Potential Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate; or

3. Low Hazard Potential Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate.

B. The owner of an impounding structure shall apply for the renewal of the six-year Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate 90 days prior to its expiration. If a Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate is not renewed as required, the board shall take appropriate enforcement action.

C. Any owner of an impounding structure that does not have a Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate or any owner renewing a Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate shall file an Operation and Maintenance Certificate Application. A form for the application is available from the department (Operation and Maintenance Certificate Application for Virginia Regulated Impounding Structures). Such application shall be signed by the owner and signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer. The following information shall be submitted on or with the application:

1. The application shall include the following required information:

a. The name of structure and inventory number;

b. The proposed hazard potential classification;

c. Owner's name or representative if corporation, mailing address, residential and business telephone numbers, and other means of communication;

d. An operating plan and schedule including a narrative on the operation of control gates and spillways and the impoundment drain;

e. For earthen embankment impounding structures, a maintenance plan and schedule for the embankment, principal spillway, emergency spillway, low-level outlet, impoundment area, downstream channel, and staff gages;

f. For concrete impounding structures, a maintenance plan and schedule for the upstream face, downstream face, crest of dam, galleries, tunnels, abutments, spillways, gates and outlets, and staff gages;

g. An inspection schedule for operator inspection, maintenance inspection, technical safety inspection, and overtopping situations;

h. A schedule including the rainfall amounts, emergency spillway flow levels or storm event that initiates the Emergency Action or Preparedness Plan and the frequency of observations;

i. A statement as to whether or not the current hazard potential classification for the impounding structure is appropriate and whether or not additional work is needed to make an appropriate hazard potential designation;

j. For newly constructed or recently altered impounding structures, a certification from a licensed professional engineer who has monitored the construction or alteration of the impounding structure that, to the best of the engineer's judgment, knowledge, and belief, the impounding structure and its appurtenances were constructed or altered in conformance with the plans, specifications, drawings and other requirements approved by the board;

k. Certification by the owner's engineer that the Operation and Maintenance Certificate Application information provided pursuant to subdivision 1 of this subsection is true and correct in their professional judgment. Such certification shall include the engineer's signature, printed name, Virginia number, date, and the engineer's Virginia seal; and

l. Owner's signature certifying the Operation and Maintenance Certificate Application information provided pursuant to subdivision 1 of this subsection and that the operation and maintenance plan and schedule shall be conducted in accordance with this chapter.

2. An Inspection Report (Annual Inspection Report for Virginia Regulated Impounding Structures) in accordance with subsection E of this section;

3. An Emergency Action Plan in accordance with 4VAC50-20-175 or an Emergency Preparedness Plan in accordance with 4VAC50-20-177 and evidence that the required copies of such plan have been submitted to the local organization for emergency management and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management;

4. Any additional analysis determined necessary by the director, the board or the owner's engineer to address public safety concerns. Such additional analysis may include, but not be limited to, seismic stability, earthen spillway integrity, adequate freeboard allowance, stability assessment of the impoundment's foundation, potential liquefaction of the embankment, overturning or sliding of a concrete structure and other structural stress issues; and

5. If applicable, a current certification from the dam owner in accordance with 4VAC50-20-53.

D. If the Operation and Maintenance Certificate Application submittal is found to be not complete, the director shall inform the applicant within 30 days and shall explain what changes are required for an acceptable submission. Within 60 days of receipt of a complete application the board shall act upon the application. Upon finding that the impounding structure as currently operating is in compliance with this chapter, the board shall issue a Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate. Should the board find that the impounding structure as currently operating is not in compliance with this chapter, the board may deny the permit application or issue a Conditional Operation and Maintenance Certificate in accordance with 4VAC50-20-150.

E. Inspections shall be performed on an impounding structure annually.

1. Inspection Reports (Annual Inspection Report for Virginia Regulated Impounding Structures) signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer shall be submitted to the department in accordance with the following schedule:

a. For a High Hazard Potential impounding structure, every two years;

b. For a Significant Hazard Potential impounding structure, every three years;

c. For a Low Hazard Potential impounding structure, every six years; or

d. For a High Hazard Potential impounding structure, annually in accordance with 4VAC50-20-53, where applicable.

In years when an Inspection Report signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer is not required, an owner shall submit the Annual Inspection Report for Virginia Regulated Impounding Structures.

2. The Inspection Report shall include the following required information:

a. Project information including the name and inventory number of structure, name of the reservoir, and purpose of the reservoir;

b. City or county where the impounding structure is located;

c. Owner's name or representative if corporation, mailing address, residential and business telephone numbers, and other means of communication;

d. Owner's engineer's name, firm, professional engineer Virginia number, mailing address, and business telephone number;

e. Inspection observation of the impounding structure including the following:

(1) Earthen embankment information including any embankment alterations; erosion; settlement, misalignments or cracks; seepage and seepage flow rate and location;

(2) Upstream slope information including notes on woody vegetation removed, rodent burrows discovered, and remedial work performed;

(3) Intake structure information including notes on deterioration of concrete structures, exposure of rebar reinforcement, need to repair or replace trash rack, any problems with debris in the reservoir, and whether the drawdown valve operated;

(4) Abutment contacts including notes on seepage and seepage flow rate and location;

(5) Earthen emergency spillway including notes on obstructions to flow and plans to correct, rodent burrows discovered, and deterioration in the approach or discharge channel;

(6) Concrete emergency spillway including notes on the deterioration of the concrete, exposure of rebar reinforcement, any leakage below concrete spillway, and obstructions to flow and plans to correct;

(7) Downstream slope information including notes on woody vegetation removed, rodent burrows discovered, whether seepage drains are working, and any seepage or wet areas;

(8) Outlet pipe information including notes on any water flowing outside of discharge pipe through the impounding structure and a description of any reflection or damage to the pipe;

(9) Stilling basin information including notes on the deterioration of the concrete, exposure of rebar reinforcement, deterioration of the earthen basin slopes, repairs made, and any obstruction to flow;

(10) Gates information including notes on gate malfunctions or repairs, corrosion or damage, and whether any gates were operated and if so how often and to what extreme;

(11) Reservoir information including notes on new developments upstream of the dam, slides or erosion of lake banks, and general comments to include silt, algae, or other influence factors;

(12) Instruments information including any reading of instruments and any installation of new instruments; and

(13) General information including notes on new development in the downstream dam break inundation zone that would impact hazard classification or spillway design flood requirements, the maximum stormwater discharge or peak elevation during the previous year, whether general maintenance was performed and when, and actions that need to be completed before the next inspection.

f. Evaluation rating of the impounding structure and appurtenances (excellent, good, or poor), general comments, and recommendations;

g. Certification by the owner and date of inspection; and

h. Certification and seal by the owner's engineer and date of inspection, as applicable.

F. The owner of an impounding structure shall notify the department immediately of any change in the use of the area downstream that would impose hazard to life or property in the event of failure.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-605 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 24, Issue 25, eff. September 26, 2008; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 06, eff. December 22, 2010.

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