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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 15. Department Of Environmental Quality
Chapter 60. Small Renewable Energy Projects (Solar) Permit by Rule
11/29/2021

9VAC15-60-40. Analysis of the beneficial and adverse impacts on natural resources.

A. Analyses of wildlife. To fulfill the requirements of § 10.1-1197.6 B 7 of the Code of Virginia, the applicant shall conduct preconstruction wildlife analyses. The analyses of wildlife shall include the following:

1. Desktop surveys and maps. The applicant shall obtain a wildlife report and map generated from DGIF's Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service web-based application (9VAC15-60-120 C 3) or from a data and mapping system including the most recent data available from DGIF's subscriber-based Wildlife Environmental Review Map Service of the following: (i) known wildlife species and habitat features on the site or within two miles of the boundary of the site and (ii) known or potential sea turtle nesting beaches located within one-half mile of the disturbance zone.

2. Desktop map for avian resources in Coastal Avian Protection Zones (CAPZ). The applicant shall consult the "Coastal Avian Protection Zones" map generated on the department's Coastal GEMS geospatial data system (9VAC15-60-120 C 1) and determine whether the proposed solar energy project site will be located in part or in whole within one or more CAPZ.

B. Analyses of historic resources. To fulfill the requirements of § 10.1-1197.6 B 7 of the Code of Virginia, the applicant shall also conduct a preconstruction historic resources analysis. The analysis shall be conducted by a qualified professional meeting the professional qualification standards of the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Archeology and Historic Preservation (9VAC15-60-120 B 2) in the appropriate discipline. The analysis shall include each of the following:

1. Compilation of known historic resources. The applicant shall gather information on known historic resources within the disturbance zone and within one-half mile of the disturbance zone boundary and present this information on the context map referenced in 9VAC15-60-70 B, or as an overlay to this context map, as well as in tabular format.

2. Architectural survey. The applicant shall conduct a field survey of all architectural resources, including cultural landscapes, 50 years of age or older within the disturbance zone and within one-half mile of the disturbance zone boundary and evaluate the eligibility of any identified resource for listing in the VLR.

3. Archaeological survey. The applicant shall conduct an archaeological field survey of the disturbance zone and evaluate the eligibility of any identified archaeological site for listing in the VLR. As an alternative to performing this archaeological survey, the applicant may make a demonstration to the department that the project will utilize nonpenetrating footings technology and that any necessary grading of the site prior to construction does not have the potential to adversely impact any archaeological resource.

C. Analyses of other natural resources. To fulfill the requirements of § 10.1-1197.6 B 7 of the Code of Virginia, the applicant shall also conduct a preconstruction desktop survey of natural heritage resources within the disturbance zone.

D. Summary report. The applicant shall provide to the department a report presenting the findings of the studies and analyses conducted pursuant to subsections A, B, and C of this section, along with all data and supporting documents. The applicant shall assess and describe the expected beneficial and adverse impacts, if any, of the proposed project on wildlife and historic resources identified by these studies and analyses.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1197.6 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 21, eff. July 18, 2012.

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