Administrative Code

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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

9VAC15-60-60. Mitigation plan.

A. If the department determines that significant adverse impacts to wildlife or historic resources or both are likely, then the applicant shall prepare a mitigation plan.

B. Mitigation measures for significant adverse impacts to wildlife shall include:

1. For state-listed T&E wildlife, the applicant shall take all reasonable measures to avoid significant adverse impacts or shall demonstrate in the mitigation plan what significant adverse impacts cannot practicably be avoided and why additional proposed actions are reasonable. These additional proposed actions may include best practices to avoid, minimize, or offset adverse impacts to resources analyzed pursuant to 9VAC15-60-40 A or C.

2. For proposed projects where the disturbance zone is located on or within one-half mile of a known or potential sea turtle nesting beach, the applicant shall take all reasonable measures to avoid significant adverse impacts or shall demonstrate in the mitigation plan what significant adverse impacts cannot practicably be avoided, and why additional proposed mitigation actions are reasonable. Mitigation measures shall include the following:

a. Avoiding construction within likely sea turtle crawl or nesting habitats during the turtle nesting and hatching season (May 20 through October 31). If avoiding construction during this period is not possible, then conducting daily crawl surveys of the disturbance zone (May 20 through August 31) and one mile beyond the northern and southern reaches of the disturbance zone (hereinafter "sea turtle nest survey zone") between sunrise and 9 a.m. by qualified individuals who have the ability to distinguish accurately between nesting and nonnesting emergences.

b. If construction is scheduled during the nesting season, then including measures to protect nests and hatchlings found within the sea turtle nest survey zone.

c. Minimizing nighttime construction during the nesting season and designing project lighting during the construction and operational phases to minimize impacts on nesting sea turtles and hatchlings.

3. For projects located in part or in whole within zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, or 14 on the Coastal Avian Protection Zones (CAPZ) map, contribute $1,000.00 per megawatt of rated capacity, or partial megawatt thereof, to a fund designated by the department in support of scientific research investigating the impacts of projects in CAPZ on avian resources.

C. Mitigation measures for significant adverse impacts to historic resources shall include:

1. Significant adverse impacts to VLR-eligible or VLR-listed architectural resources shall be minimized, to the extent practicable, through design of the solar energy project or the installation of vegetative or other screening.

2. If significant adverse impacts to VLR-eligible or VLR-listed architectural resources cannot be avoided or minimized such that impacts are no longer significantly adverse, then the applicant shall develop a reasonable and proportionate mitigation plan that offsets the significantly adverse impacts and has a demonstrable public benefit and benefit for the affected or similar resource.

3. If any identified VLR-eligible or VLR-listed archaeological site cannot be avoided or minimized to such a degree as to avoid a significant adverse impact, significant adverse impacts of the project will be mitigated through archaeological data recovery.

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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