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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 50. Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board
Chapter 70. Resource Management Plans
8/10/2020

4VAC50-70-40. Minimum Standards of a Resource Management Plan.

A. Pursuant to Article 1.1 (§ 10.1-104.7 et seq.) of Title 10.1 of the Code of Virginia, a resource management plan requires the implementation of BMPs sufficient to implement the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan and other local TMDL water quality requirements of the Commonwealth. Pursuant to subdivision B 5 of § 10.1-104.8 of the Code of Virginia, an RMP shall address all of the following BMP requirements when applicable to the management unit and needed based upon an on-farm assessment of the following land uses:

1. For all cropland or specialty crops:

a. A nutrient management plan that meets the specifications of the Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations (4VAC5-15);

b. A forest or grass buffer between cropland and perennial streams shall be consistent with NRCS standards and specifications, except no buffer shall be less than a minimum width of 35 feet as measured from the top of the channel bank to the edge of the field to meet water quality objectives;

c. A soil conservation plan that achieves a maximum soil loss rate to "T" as defined by NRCS and such BMPs necessary to address gross erosion when it is present as gullies or other severely eroding conditions; and

d. Cover crops, when needed to address nutrient management or soil loss requirements, or both, that provide for reportable practices which meet best management practice specifications as determined by NRCS or the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program.

2. For all hayland:

a. A nutrient management plan that meets the specifications of the Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations (4VAC5-15);

b. A forest or grass buffer between cropland and perennial streams shall be consistent with NRCS standards and specifications, except no buffer shall be less than a minimum width of 35 feet as measured from the top of the channel bank to the edge of the field to meet water quality objectives; and

c. A soil conservation plan that achieves a maximum soil loss rate to "T" as defined by NRCS and such BMPs necessary to address gross erosion when it is present as gullies or other severely eroding conditions.

3. For all pasture:

a. A nutrient management plan that meets the specifications of the Nutrient Management Training and Certification Regulations (4VAC5-15);

b. A pasture management plan or soil conservation plan that achieves a maximum soil loss rate of "T" as defined by NRCS and such BMPs necessary to address gross erosion when it is present as gullies or other severely eroding conditions; and

c. A system that limits or prevents livestock access to perennial streams requires that:

(1) Any fencing or exclusion system provides year-round livestock restriction to perennial streams; and

(2) Provisions that are made for limited access through stream crossings and livestock watering systems are designed to NRCS standards and specifications and such limited access is determined to be necessary by the RMP developer.

B. Other BMPs approved by the board may be applied to achieve the minimum standards of this section once they have been identified by NRCS or included within the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-Share Program. Additionally, BMPs identified in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model or the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan may be utilized where found to achieve the minimum standards of this section. The department shall annually evaluate such BMPs through decision support tools to determine whether they achieve the minimum standards and are authorized for use in the RMP program as a component of an RMP.

C. The department shall evaluate the minimum standards of this section no later than the end of 2017 as part of the Chesapeake Bay mid-point assessment to determine their adequacy in meeting load allocations contained in revisions to existing TMDL(s) or established in new TMDL(s) developed under § 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act to address benthic, bacteria, nutrient, or sediment impairments; requirements of the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan; and applicable state water quality requirements for nutrients and sediment. Changes to the minimum standards by the board may result in the use of BMPs identified in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model, identified in the Virginia Chesapeake Bay TMDL Watershed Implementation Plan, or approved by the board.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-104.8 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 30, Issue 18, eff. July 1, 2014.

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