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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

4VAC50-20-175. Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for High and Significant Hazard Potential impounding structures.

A. In order to protect life during potential emergency conditions at an impounding structure, and to ensure effective, timely action is taken should an impounding structure emergency occur, an EAP shall be required for each High and Significant Hazard Potential impounding structure. The EAP shall be coordinated with the Department of Emergency Management in accordance with § 44-146.18 of the Code of Virginia. The EAP required by these regulations shall be incorporated into local and interjurisdictional emergency plans pursuant to § 44-146.19 of the Code of Virginia.

B. It is the impounding structure owner's responsibility to develop, maintain, exercise, and implement a site-specific EAP.

C. An EAP shall be submitted every six years. The EAP shall be submitted with the owner's submittal of their Regular Operation and Maintenance Certificate application (Operation and Maintenance Certificate Application for Virginia Regulated Impounding Structures).

D. The owner shall update and resubmit the EAP immediately upon becoming aware of necessary changes to keep the EAP workable. Should an impounding structure be reclassified, an EAP in accordance with this section shall be submitted.

E. A drill shall be conducted annually for each high or significant hazard impounding structure. To the extent practicable, the drill should include a face-to-face meeting with the local emergency management agencies responsible for any necessary evacuations to review the EAP and ensure the local emergency management agencies understand the actions required during an emergency. Except as set out in 4VAC50-20-53, a table-top exercise shall be conducted once every six years, although more frequent table-top exercises are encouraged. Drills and table-top exercises for multiple impounding structures may be performed in combination if the involved parties are the same. Owners shall certify to the department annually that a drill, a table-top exercise, or both has been completed and provide any revisions or updates to the EAP or a statement that no revisions or updates are needed.

F. Impounding structure owners shall test existing monitoring, sensing, and warning equipment at remote or unattended impounding structures at least twice per year or as performed by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management pursuant to § 10.1-609.1 of the Code of Virginia and maintain a record of such tests.

G. An EAP shall contain the following seven basic elements unless otherwise specified in this subsection.

1. Notification chart. A notification chart shall be included for all classes of impounding structures that shows who is to be notified, by whom, and in what priority. The notification chart shall include contact information providing 24-hour telephone coverage for all responsible parties including, but not limited to, the impounding structure operator or manager, state and local emergency management officials, local police or sheriffs' departments, and the owner's engineer. The notification chart shall also identify the process by which downstream property owners will be notified, and what party or parties will be responsible for making such notifications.

2. Emergency Detection, Evaluation, and Classification. The EAP shall include a discussion of the procedures for timely and reliable detection, evaluation, and classification of emergency situations considered to be relevant to the project setting and impounding features. Each relevant emergency situation is to be documented to provide an appropriate course of action based on the urgency of the situation. Where appropriate, situations should address impounding structure failures that are imminent or in progress, a situation where the potential for impounding structure failure is rapidly developing, and a situation where the threat is slowly developing.

3. Responsibilities. The EAP shall specify responsibilities for EAP-related tasks. The EAP shall also clearly designate the responsible party for making the decision that an emergency condition no longer exists at the impounding structure. The EAP shall include procedures and the responsible parties for notifying to the extent possible any known local occupants, owners, or lessees of downstream properties potentially impacted by the impounding structure's failure.

4. Preparedness. The EAP shall include a section that describes preparedness actions to be taken both before and following development of emergency conditions.

5. Dam Break Inundation Maps. The EAP shall include dam break inundation maps developed in accordance with 4VAC50-20-54.

6. Appendices. The appendices shall contain information that supports and supplements the material used in the development and maintenance of the EAP such as analyses of impounding structure failure floods; plans for training, exercising, updating, and posting the EAP; and other site-specific concerns.

7. Certification. The EAP shall include a section that identifies all parties with assigned responsibilities in the EAP pursuant to subdivision 3 of this subsection. This will include certification that the EAP has been received by these parties. The preparer's name, title, and contact information shall be printed in this section. The preparer's signature shall also be included in the certification section. The local organization for emergency management shall provide the owner and the department with any deficiencies they may note.

H. The development of the EAP shall be coordinated with all entities, jurisdictions, and agencies that would be affected by an impounding structure failure or that have statutory responsibilities for warning, evacuation, and postflood actions. Consultation with state and local emergency management officials at appropriate levels of management responsible for warning and evacuation of the public shall occur to ensure that there is awareness of their individual and group responsibilities. The owner shall also coordinate with the local organization for emergency management to identify properties that upon failure of the impounding structure would result in economic impacts.

I. The EAP, or any updates to an existing EAP, shall be submitted to the department, the local organization for emergency management, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Two copies shall be provided to the department.

J. The following format shall be used as necessary to address the requirements of this section.

Title Page/Cover Sheet

Table of Contents

I. Certifications

II. Notification Flowchart

III. Statement of Purpose

IV. Project Description

V. Emergency Detection, Evaluation, and Classification

VI. General Responsibilities Under the EAP

A. Impounding Structure Owner Responsibilities

B. Responsibility for Notification

C. Responsibility for Evacuation

D. Responsibility for Termination and Follow-Up

E. EAP Coordinator Responsibility

VII. Preparedness

VIII. Inundation Maps

IX. Appendices

A. Investigation and Analyses of Impounding Structure Failure Floods

B. Plans for Training, Exercising, Updating, and Posting the EAP

C. Site-Specific Concerns

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-605 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 25, eff. September 26, 2008; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 6, eff. December 22, 2010.

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