Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 210. Virginia Water Protection Permit Program Regulation

9VAC25-210-370. VWP permit conditions applicable to surface water withdrawal permits.

A. In addition to the conditions established in 9VAC25-210-90 and 9VAC25-210-100, each VWP permit shall include conditions meeting the requirements established in this section, where applicable.

B. Instream flow conditions. Subject to the provisions of Chapter 24 (§ 62.1-242 et seq.) of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia, and subject to the authority of the State Corporation Commission over hydroelectric facilities contained in Chapter 7 (§ 62.1-80 et seq.) of Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia, instream flow conditions may include, but are not limited to, conditions that limit the volume and rate at which surface water may be withdrawn at certain times, the public water supply safe yield, and conditions that require water conservation and reductions in water use.

1. In the development of conditions that limit the volume and rate at which surface water may be withdrawn, consideration shall be given to the seasonal needs of water users and the seasonal availability of surface water flow.

2. Consideration shall also be given to the affected stream reach and the amount of water that is put to a consumptive use in the process.

3. In the development of instream flow conditions for new withdrawals, the department shall take into consideration the combined effect on the hydrologic regime of the surface water within an affected stream reach due to consumptive water uses associated with:

a. All existing permitted withdrawals;

b. The total amount of withdrawals excluded from VWP permit requirements; and

c. Any other existing lawful withdrawals.

4. VWP permits for surface water withdrawals, other than for public water supply, shall identify how alternate sources of water supply will be made available to support the operation of the permitted facility during times when surface water withdrawals will be curtailed due to instream flow requirements or shall provide for modification of the operation of the facility to ensure compliance with permit conditions. Such modifications may include, but are not limited to, termination or reduction of activities at the facility that are dependent on the permitted withdrawal, increase capacity to capture and store higher flows, or implementation of other potential management options.

C. VWP permits issued for surface water withdrawals from the Potomac River between the Shenandoah River confluence and Little Falls shall contain a condition that requires the permittee to reduce withdrawals when the restriction or emergency stage is declared in the Washington Metropolitan Area under the provisions of the Potomac River Low Flow Allocation Agreement or when the operating rules outlined by the Drought-Related Operations Manual for the Washington Metropolitan Area Water Suppliers, an attachment to the Water Supply Coordination Agreement, are in effect. The department, after consultation with the Section for Cooperative Water Supply Operations on the Potomac (CO-OP), shall direct the permittee as to when, by what quantity, and for what duration withdrawals shall be reduced.

D. The department may issue permits for new or expanded surface water withdrawals that are not excluded from the requirements of this chapter by 9VAC25-210-310 based on the following criteria:

1. The amount of the surface water withdrawal is limited to the amount of water that can be put to beneficial use.

2. Based on the size and location of the surface water withdrawal, the withdrawal is not likely to have a detrimental impact on existing instream or offstream uses.

3. Based on an assessment by the department, this withdrawal, whether individually or in combination with other existing or proposed projects, does not cause or contribute to, or may not reasonably be expected to cause or contribute to:

a. A significant impairment of the state waters or fish and wildlife resources;

b. Adverse impacts on other existing beneficial uses; or

c. A violation of water quality standards.

4. In cases where the department's assessment indicates that criteria contained in subdivisions 2 and 3 of this subsection are not met, the department may issue a permit with special conditions necessary to assure these criteria are met.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 401 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC § 1251 et seq.).

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. August 2, 2016; amended, Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

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